Monday, February 16, 2009

Headrail Systems for Roman Shades

Am always on the trail of a better mouse-trap & a way to set our workroom apart from the average workroom. These headrails look like a Hunter Douglas blind headrail and look more "up scale" than a 1x2 covered in fabric.

The headrail system is extruded aluminum with a pulley system. The front of the system is Velcro ready so you can either use the drapery pleater tape that is woven with the loop in it or attach loop to the top of your shade. Developed in Germany so that your roman shades can be taken down to be laundered.

The cords come on cassettes which fit into the headrail instead of the outside mounting that you find with Rollease which can be adjusted by the homeowner. You just specify how long your roman shade is & the cassettes come pre-wound with the appropriate length.

The Drapery Studio has decided to distribute these headrails because we love them so much. If you would like a quote for your job, just give me a call.

Off to sew....

Friday, February 06, 2009


We are up & running!
I saw this location over 5 years ago & waited for it. It is across from the Denver Design Center, cati-corner to Ralph Lauren, across from Ann Sacks. We have off street parking in the front (Broadway is a major artery from downtown Denver), UPS parking in the alley, the Gates Rubber Company lofts 2 blocks away & in the heart of the antique district for Denver. And the real reason this was worth waiting for? Over 2000 designers pass our location WEEKLY! Several more than my basement workroom in Ft. Collins.....

We are a co-op! Currently there are 4 of us, one has dropped out to go to nursing school because her husband thinks nursing is worth more $ long term than draperies. Yes, all us baby boomers are getting older, but I prefer silk to bedpans myself.

Barb Bock - sewing all her life (& she's not telling how long that is, but over 50 years). She's been supporting herself as a Curtain Lady for over 10 years.
Liz Bock - Barb's daughter. Great designer! Learning to be a Curtain Lady
Bonnie McCartney - She has the best quilting machine I've ever seen. She is truly an artist. Then you should see her bedding!

We are also teaching classes. Chris Watt is coming on April 16 to teach Advanced Roman Shades & Motorization.

Classes planned:
Perfect Panels
4 Pillows in an Hour
Beginning Roman Shades

Well, it's time to be off to the Studio!


Smocking the top of a panel is really easy, whether you are using pencil pleat tape or simply using standard header tape.

I use pencil pleat tape when I only want 4" of smocking at the top of my panels. My preference is an Austrian tape I found years ago at a show:

This tape is "Velcro Ready" meaning that there is loop woven into the back of the tape so that you can simply attach your panel to hook that you have stapled to a board. After you have sewn the tape to the top of your panel, pull cords, even up the spacing & smock using buttons or beads.

If you need more than 4" of smocking at the top of your panel, remember proportions, proportions, proportions, you may either prepare the top of your panel as if you were going to stitch standard pleats with buckram or if your fabric is stiff enough, buckram isn't necessary.

This picture shows how I measure for spacing across the top: 3" at leading edge, then 1-1/2" in the little pencil pleat, then 1" spaces. But of course, I adjust this spacing for how heaving the fabric is, how long the drapery is (if the panel is 24' long & viewed only from the bottom, then I might put 3" in each pencil pleat & make the length of the pleats 12 to 18" deep (long). Test drive your proportions before making the actual panels.

These pencil pleats were stitched with black thread so that you could see them on the photo. Then smocked with black also. This would be great with beads or little buttons over the stitching.

This picture is taken on my table the way I work on it, opposite of how it hangs. The black really looks terrible.....but you get the idea.