Thursday, March 27, 2014

Lined Lamp Shades...... How to tutorial

Thought I would share how to make a lined lampshade.  I have just completed a living room with premier print slipcovers and needed a lampshade to coordinate, so why not do a tutorial.

Select and prep frame, I always spray paint mine to blend with the lining fabric.

Next wrap the frame with hug snug, this provides the sewing base for the outer and inside fabrics.  Measure around the frame and multiply by 3 to get the length needed.

Trace around pattern, for this frame we have 4 sides.  Cut pieces out leaving ample room for seams.

Pin traced seams right sides together, matching top and bottom markings.  Sew exactly on traced lines.

Do a quick fit to see if you need to do any adjusting to the seams.

View of quick fit from inside.  Looks good!

Pin outside to frame, first pinning the top, first one corner then the opposite corner, continue pinning 4 corners.  Next do the same on the bottom, always pinning opposite sides and stretching to eliminate puckers.

Begin sewing, first top then bottom.

Completed outside.

Repeat the same steps for the lining, except the pattern for the lining is a tad smaller than the outside.  I like to use coupe de ville polyester lining.

Pin lining in.

Interior lining.

Sew lining, trim lining, and attach stays to cover slits where spider meets frame.

Finally, cut and make self trim bias or use premade trim to finish the shade.


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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Spiral Restoration

A lot of my work is restoration, each lamp needs the right shade.  There is a reason why there are so many lamps w/o shades and shades w/o lamps at tag sales.  Shade making is a lost art!

If you still have the lampshade frame for your lamp save it, this is the perfect pairing.  Also, even if the fabric is falling apart on the shade, save it too, it helps in drafting the pattern for the new shade.  From here just select your fabric and voila!   Up cycling at its best!

Thankfully, the fabric on this shade was in great condition to draft a pattern!  I always say, just when you think you have done every shade possible, a new challenge arises.  Case in point, a spiral cone.  If I didn't have the pattern for this one, well, I just don't know.  This shade was truly a challenge!

Original shade, the fabric was glued to the frame and the heat from the light bulb caused the fabric to pull away from the frame.

First, carefully strip the fabric from the frame, and in this case, trace around each half of the pattern, remember this is a spiral cone and the seams are directional.

Next, sew the to halves together.  Remember though, since it is a spiral, you are fitting the convex to the concave and the shade will look like this after sewing.  Kind of wrong looking, but when you stretch it on the frame.....right!

But first we need to wrap the frame,  we need a base to sew the fabric too.  I use hug snug rayon seam binding, measure the circumference of the frame and multiply by 3 to estimate the amount of binding you need.

Next, drape, stretch and pin new fabric on frame.  Do this in a very balaced way, first one side then the opposite side and so on. 

Now, using a double threaded needle, sew using a lock stitch to adhere fabric to frame.

And here it is, voila!  Trim added to finish the top seam and the original tassel to finish!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Vintage Oilcloth! Mod 60's Graphic! So Tim Holtz!

So you never know what you will find at an estate sale, right?  I tend to shop for the same things, vintage fabric, ribbon and paper, just things I like!  The tag sale yesterday was in River Forest, Illinois, a four square home built in 1912.  I shopped in my somewhat organized way, walking through the house just to see everything quickly, then back again to the areas of interest and then finally one last walk through to see if I missed anything.  And there it was, so innocently sitting in a plastic bag in the basement with stuff piled on top of it..... a bag of vintage oilcloth, so I grabbed it!  I didn't even look inside, the price was just too good to pass on.  I checked out, came home and finally remembered hours later, oh yeah the stuff from the estate sale is still in the car!  So here is my find......over 5 yards of graphic FUN Mod 60's Oilcloth!

Imagine the possibilities!  My first thought....a fun market tote bag!  What do you think?  What would Tim Holtz think?  It's right up his alley, yes?

I wish I new the manufacturer, just for some more history.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Have you ever thought about how do you like your colors?  Not just what colors you like, you like your colors, separated or all mixed up?

I first started to think about this when I was planning flower beds for our landscape clients, they would choose their flowers, but where do we plant them?  Some like to plant in a very organized way, block style, masses of one color here and another mass of color there.  Then there is the client who prefers more of a cottage style, all mixed up.  Certainly two unique approaches to how do you like your colors.

So this started me thinking about the quilts I am drawn to.....the quilts that really catch my eye are all mixed up, the more mixed up the better!

So, taking it a step further, are you left brain?  very logical, organized and good at math?  or are you right brain, very spontaneous, unpredictable and a dreamer?

Have a great week!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Do you Spade Edge?

Ever wonder what life is like off the blog? My blog focuses on sewing projects and lampshades, but while I'm not blogging here, I am a working crew member in my husbands landscaping business, Basic Landscape, yes a real worker bee!

Anyway, its that time of the year now, gardening season in suburban Chicago! August through January is pretty busy for lampshades when everyone is thinking about getting back indoors and focusing on the inside. As soon as March comes its back outside! So before I get all of the clients yards ready for Spring I do mine first. It is truly an all day workout, so you really have to start with shorter workdays and build up to 8 hours to get in shape. This year is going to be a little more difficult, I had broken my wrist at the end of last years season. So after surgery and rehab it has been 6 months since I last worked outside! Whew!

Anyway, this was my first week back and I am almost done prepping for new mulch in the beds. I have raked the leaves, cut back the remaining grasses and my favorite part spade edging! Why you ask? Its just something about the immediate gratification of that new, clean edge! Call me crazy, but I really enjoy it!

New spade edge!

Chrysanthemums....signs of life!

Xcalak, Mexico Beach Vacation February 2011......GORGEOUS!

Now its off to the Flower and Garden Show!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Vintage Handkerchief Aprons

Have you ever wondered what to do with all of those vintage hankys you find at flea markets and estate sales? I have bunches of them......and decided to make aprons! What a perfect way to display all of the sweet and cute patterns.

I chose a strip piecing method used in quilting to design my fabric. First, lay out the hankys side by side matching like sizes, this will make sewing easier. Next, sew them together overlapping sides to reveal scallop or lace edges. Sew 6 or 8 in a row, then onto the next 6 or 8, continue until you have enough for the number of aprons you would like. Now, depending on the size of the hankies, cut this row of sewn hankies into strips. My strips are 2 3/4" wide, they can certainly vary though, it will just add more interest! So, now the fun part! Repiece these strips, mix it up.....lots of movement going on now! The seams were finished with a feather stitch and the scallop and lace edges on the sides. So dang CUTE! I used the leftover strips to finish off some of the bottom edges and some to make the waistband. Insert bias tape ribbon through the waistband and voila!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Scrapbook Paper Lampshades

How much scrapbooking paper do you have? There are so many enticing papers available it can be quite addicting! I don't know about you, but I have stacks! So I thought, why not try making some lampshades! Since we never want to throw any scraps away, they can be easily sewn together to form one continuous piece.

The shades above are all from the gorgeous 7gypsies collections, Lille, Conservatory and Venice. The 2 in the background have been featherstitched together, and the 2 in the foreground are solid panels.

Since I didn't use an adhesive styrene because I wanted to see the other side of the double sided paper, I needed to try to make the paper a bit more sturdy. So I decided to use what I would use when making a botanical shade. I placed usiki silk over the paper and then applied a layer of usiki glue. I achieved my goal and a surprise! The affect of the silk and glue gives it the most incredible vintage feel! I was thrilled!

To complete the shades I used a variety of interesting trims, tree trunk wrap, crocheted hemp and Tim Holtz Traveler Tissue Tape.

See you soon,