Thursday, May 29, 2014

Euro Pleats for Ikea Curtain Panels: Step 2 - Facing the upper edge ...

NOTE: 2 sets of curtains were made (both full length) & self-lined with one of their other fine cotton curtains. Wanting only simple curtains, minimum width & the ability to easily launder them. For this reason I opted to have individual curtain panels rather then seam them together, thereby having 2 separate panels per individual curtain. To begin, all the curtains were unpicked & for the main tree/bird fabric, the patterns were matched across the entire 8 panels. One panel & one lining were used together & treated as one panel; sides seams were double folded & machine stitched; lower hems were allowed but finally stitched when upper edge had been completed.

(Ideally, the upper edge should have just been folded to encase the buckram but because the main fabric's pattern was showing through on the right side, I opted for stitching a separate facing using the lining fabric.)

To make the heading facing
Cut the lining fabric into a 8"/20cm wide strip & stitch this across the upper edge of the panel - as per image above.

The seam & facing were then pressed away from the main fabric.

Working on a flat surface & with lining/wrong side of curtain facing, lay the buckram on the curtain butting against the seam line (as per black arrow below). Pin in position across entire width of curtain (ensuring buckram lays perfectly flat) & tack into position if required.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Making Waves ...

At the beginning of the year I MADE some WAVES !

Curtains actually (above) - adapted from pre-made ones with tape heading. If you want to see these details in full, they can be found here:

NOTE: Since making these, I've found that also sell a wide range of eyelets.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Euro Pleats for Ikea Curtain Panels (Step 1 - contd from May 2013!) ...

Finally the lounge is finished & the Ikea Bird curtains (EIVOR left) are to be made up. I decided against eyelets in preference to Euro pleats as I wanted to have more fabric hanging like the trees printed on it! Also, I planned to have integrated linings - the Ikea plain cotton (VIVAN) are ideal & allow the curtains to retain their lightweight feel. Over the recent months, the curtains were all unpicked & patterns matched. A total of 8 curtains (for 2 areas: a patio & large window space) were to be made - each one was to be separate so that laundering would be easier. After next cutting the curtains to size (maximum length was needed for 4 curtains & only a hem was allowed - the heading fabric would be added later when a buckram was found & pleating decided). The side hems included the lining fabric (folded twice to provide weight as well as durability) & were finished by machine straight stitch. Being a relatively fine cotton fabric, this finish would be more practical.
A Euro pleat heading would be an ideal finish but because of the 'fine' fabric weight, a woven buckram would be too heavy. After much internet surfing, I finally came across some polyester buckram (see left) available in the UK for this pleating technique on the headings. Available in a wide range of widths - I opted for the 120mm / 4.75" version from an excellent mail-order company thoroughly recommeded (They are: & besides this item, also sell many other wonderful curtain-related other items.) The sew-on brass curtain hooks (see also left) were obtained from eBay.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

'Cell self-portrait' (stage 4) ...

A few more stitches to hold the various 'meshes' in place now has the piece looking like this. Previous embroidered stitches are beginning to disappear & become "trapped" underneath transparent sections. 

Looking at the piece so far (especially viewed on-line), it is becoming almost 3D & more cellular than as seen in "the flesh" ......  I'm very pleased about this. Also, when held up to the light, parts of it appear & disappear ... very pleased on this aspect too!

Friday, May 9, 2014

'Cell self-portrait' (stage 3) ...

For the next stage, I'm adding some "cellular' shapes in organza & plastic. These are loosely tacked into position to hold in place - stitches are small & worked using ordinary sewing thread.

Pink 'heat set" organza
Strips of fine plastic added

Monday, May 5, 2014

Mesh or MESS !!! (stage 3) ...

Continuing, the sample is getting more 'crinkly' as 2 stages of black thread are completed. Currently I'm not certain what the next stage is but I'm considering paint or wax.
stitched in black
stitched more in black
While the sample section has been stitched, the piece has been 'turned' to work it. This ensures stitching remains in spread 'centrally'  rather than getting placed just in one area - consequently photos have been taken in a variety of positions too. Close-up, the colours are merging better than anticipated although at a distance, the fabric colours still remain isolated (this is an aspect of my work I'm currently investigating &/or enhancing).

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Mesh or MESS !!! (stage 2) ...

More stitching on the mesh sample in pink & green - by now the sample is begining to get stiff. However, the 'holes' between the strips (only with machine stitching) are keeping the sample supple.
stitched in pink
stitched in dark green

Friday, May 2, 2014

Mesh or MESS !!! (stage 1) ...

Continuing with some 'mesh sample ideas' from the earlier patchwork waistcoat, is resulting in an enthusing 'mesh type grid'. The fabric is backed with soft interfacing to keep it firm while machine stitching ( more close-ups are here).

Pinned initially together, free machine embroidery is being used to hold the sections together - thread colours used are based on the fabrics.
mesh pinned & stitched in off-white
The next stage continues using purple thread.
stitched in purple