6.24.2017

Burlap Window Shades 2.0

Finally a follow up post on the burlap shade I made for the top floor bathroom. This shade is similar in style to these ones I made for the master bathroom, with a few small functional differences. 

Like the shades downstairs, this shade is stationary and not intended to be lifted with any frequency. I have buildings right across the street so this shade is really required for privacy. The panel is hung at shoulder height because this bathroom has a very nice view of Saint Ignatius Church and the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge and it would be a shame to block that out.


For visual simplicity, I decided that for this pair of windows, I should make one large panel -rather than one shade for each window. My burlap bolt was 40" so I needed to join panels to get my required width. In this application it is best to divide in three and get the full width down the center with two smaller panels on either side (rather than join two panels with a seam up the middle). 

This method actually worked to my advantage because I was able to join the cut side at the seam and use the selvedge edge (which required no hem) on the panel edges. Because burlap is sort of thick and stiff and at the same time transparent, I used a rather large allowance at the seam (1 1/8") so that it would lie flat and be as unobtrusive as possible.  

I left the cut on the reverse side raw, rather than fold it over onto itself, because it would have become less transparent that way and more visible on the front. To prevent unraveling (which burlap is prone to do), I sewed a straight line along the cut edge with same colored thread. A zig zag would also do well here. 

On the front side, I made a small detail with black thread to make that seam visually interesting. I used the same detail with a single stitch line at the top and bottom seams.
  
The detail stitch is easily done with a blind stitch presser foot. Run the mechanism down the seam (right side up) with the needle offset to the side. Turn it around and run it down the other way for two parallel lines. This could also be done with care with a regular presser foot.


I splurged for a polished nickel cafe curtain rod from Rejuvination. It is delicate and a nice small detail. If these were hung at the top of the window I'd probably have gone for cheaper tension spring rods from the hardware store because those also work great and are far less expensive.

One last detail to complete this project is to slip a 1/4" dowel through the bottom seam. This is not completely necessary but it does give the panel a nice finished look. My local hardware doesn't carry longer length dowels so I need to pick that up elsewhere (probably Discount Builders Supply for local readers).

As I think I've mentioned before, these shades are really easy to make. I knocked these out in about an hour.

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