DIY · Fiber Craft · How-To

Getting Shady, Part III

Want to start at the beginning? Check out Getting Shady, Part I!

When I last left you, dear reader, the lampshade had been dressed with fine beige undies, and was ready for its outer garments. Since the tracing had worked out so nicely, I decide to do it again for the outside fabric but with two major differences: 1. since the outer fabric stays, well, on the outside of the frame, I could make it one continuous piece for as many panels as the fabric’s length would allow and 2. I enlarge my margin of error to more like two inches because I like to be overly cautious about margins.

Rollin’ rollin’, keep those lampshades rollin’!

I roll the frame over the outer fabric, marking the corners as I go. Drat, the fabric isn’t wide enough to do the entire circumference of the lampshade! I will have to settle for doing two pieces, covering a narrow and a wide panel each. However, there is a silver lining: doing things this way means that if the raw edge and wrapped corners end up somehow visibly different, there will be a pair of each kind so they will be …balanced? It’s enough to soothe my exasperated inner perfectionist.

When it’s time to tackle attaching the fabric to the frame, I pin and sew the bottom first instead of the top as I had with the lining. I choose this tactic because I know I can wrap the fabric piece tightly over the centered corner and get the whole piece more evenly stretched. Remember, these wide panels are NOT square – the bottom is wider than the top – so a bit of manipulation is required to fit them correctly.

Note to self: don’t use the nice quilting pins for lampshade work #RIPpins #bentaf

Once the bottom is finished, I tackle the less-straightforward edge: the top and the panel’s center corner. There is about three quarters of an inch of excess fabric that has to be sewn around, folded, removed, SOMETHING, but I don’t know how to accomplish this exactly, soooo I don’t. I pin/clip the whole kit out of my way and sew the top edge down.

Wow, why is it so dark in here? And sandy?

Oy, what am I going to do with you?!

Next on the docket: the upright bars. Since I’m ignoring the corner that needs fussing with, I work on the the two corners with fabric edges. These are straightforward enough, since they use essentially the same technique as the lining panels. Besides getting constantly tangled in my own thread, I finish them without much fuss. (Read: I only muttered the swear words…)

The forever choice between longer thread so less knotting off or shorter so it doesn’t catch on EVERYTHING.

Sigh. With all edges but the one fussy corner complete, I have to stop doing mythical ostrich impersonations and deal with this thing. Working slowly, a little section at a time, I pull the fabric taut, fold, and pin in place. Once the whole upright bar is done, I do a tighter, more dense whip stitch to hold the fold to the frame – I don’t want to have to do this over again because I was lazy on the last leg.

Phew, it doesn’t even look too bad!

I repeat the whole show (sans mythical ostriches) with the other side, then trim all edges very, very carefully. It’s starting to look like a real lampshade!

Steady… STEADY!!

Well, except for all of these raw edges and unraveling threads and exposed whip stitches… Time for trim, which means time to make some BIAS TAPE.

Join me next time on the same bat channel for fourth and final installment of this lampshade journey!

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