Creating a sunburst can be an intricate, time-consuming and costly process. But here’s a gorgeous one you can create in less than 30 minutes using no rods, brackets or custom frame! What’s more, no template is required for this fabricating method. Simply measure around the arch and across the bottom.
Two times fullness is plenty for this treatment, even if using sheer fabric or lace. (As the fabric is pulled into the center creating the sunburst, the radius decreases, which increases the fullness tremendously. You want a pretty treatment, but as little fullness in the middle as possible.) Multiply the distance around the arch by two. The treatment will be railroaded, so this is the amount of needed yardage.
1. Turn and sew small side hems in the cut ends of the piece of fabric.
2. Fold over and press one selvage to the back of the fabric to eliminate it and create a finished edge.
3. Sew two gathering threads (long basting stitches) through both thicknesses of fabric along this folded edge.
4. Pull up the gathering threads to one half of the original size. This is the same size as the distance around the arch because we used two-times fullness.
5. Sew the loop half of hook-and-loop tape onto the backside of the folded edge, stitching exactly where the gather threads were sewn. Doing this applies the hook-and-loop tape and holds the gathers in place at the same time.
6. There is no Step 6. You’re done!
The secret to why these treatments look so pretty and are so easy to do is that they are mounted directly to the window frame with the other half of the hook-and-loop tape. The tape can be stapled into the wood or use self-adhesives. (Caution: the self-adhesives will not stick to mental very long. As the metal sweats in periods of humidity and quick temperature changes, the tape will fall off. Try a couple drops of super glue periodically if you must use self adhesive on metal.)
As the hook-and-loop tape is stapled around the arch of the window, it will need to be clipped into segments to follow around the curve.
The fabric is now attached around the arch by the hook-and-loop tape. The excess fabric is all pulled to the bottom center of the window and tied. The side hems are now lying across the bottom of the window.
Tying is a difficult task while trying to hold all of that fabric together. Cable ties are the perfect solution. You know, those small plastic straps—one end slips into the other end and teeth keep it from sliding back out. Cable ties can be purchased at any building or electrical supply store. I’ve also heard from my seminar attendees that they can be purchased at wholesale club outlets in bulk bags very inexpensively.
Cut off all but about two inches of the excess fabric and cover it with a rosette that is pinned or sewn on. If you prefer, leave about 10 inches of fabric instead of two inches and use it to create a self-rosette. Pull the cut ends out away from the tied area and tuck them back under to the cable tie. Now, place another cable tie around these ends to hold them in place around the original cable tie.
(Special note: Make sure your fabric is at least four inches wider than one-half of the distance across the bottom of the arch. If not, you will run out of fabric when trying to pull it to the center.)
Try it! Your customers will love the gorgeous look, the great price, and how easy these sunbursts are to take down, clean and put back up.
If you have no convenient place to mount the hook-and-loop tape around the window, you may want to consider using a new special type of rodding that is L-shaped with the hook half of the hook-and-loop tape already laminated onto one side. This rod is called The Perfect Sunburst and is available in Canada and the United States.
The rod can be mounted easily around the arch with screws (inside mount) or brackets (outside mount) because it is flexible. The treatment itself can be made with the exact steps already described.
Here’s another design idea: Use decorative shirring tape in place of the gathering threads. Imagine four-inch-wide smocking or pencil pleats around the outside edge of the sunburst. They’re gorgeous! There are also hook-and-loop tape compatible shirring tapes available that already have the loop fiber in the tape. This eliminates the need for applying the hook-and-loop tape onto the back of the tape.
ARCHED ROD POCKET TREATMENTS
If you are familiar with making templates, this next treatment will give you another option for treating an arch top window—it requires a template to exactly duplicate the shape of the arch. Be sure to use heavy-duty construction-weight plastic and permanent marker for your template.
Arched rod pocket (or gathered) treatments that are also to be arched on the bottom can be made with both a straight top and bottom. The arched hardware not only shapes the fabric into the arch at the top, but also pulls it into the arch at the bottom. If the treatment is to be straight across the bottom, the top of the treatment must be shaped to perfectly fit the arch.
To do this, the treatment is straight across the top to start with and the bottom must be formed first. Turn whatever bottom and side hem is desired. Now shirr the straight top to the exact fullness that it will be on the window. This can be done with a temporary rod pocket or gathering threads.
Clamp the treatment onto the worktable and dress the folds down the length of the fabric as they would be hanging on the window. (Special hint: Run a straight edge or rod through the bottom hem before the corners are sewn to keep the folds evenly in place from top to bottom.) If you have a vertical or slant table, simply hang the treatment with the hem gathered onto the straight edge or rod at the top so you can easily reach the top of the treatment.
Now lay the template on top of the fabric one inch longer than the exact finished length. Draw around the template and remove it. Open out the fullness. The line now becomes small dashes because the pencil did not mark where the fabric was folded. Connect the dashes into a continuous curve and cut along this curve. You are cutting the exact shape needed to create the arch when it is gathered because you drew it when it was gathered. Press under the extra added one inch to form a finished edge.
Cut a bias strip of fabric double the width of the pocket—and header if you want one. Fold the raw edges to meet each other at the back of the strip and press. (Just like making a band.) Now, top stitch both sides of the strip of fabric onto the curved top edge of the treatment. It is usually much easier to use this separate piece rather than trying to turn down a double-turn top on a curve. But, you can use that method if you prefer.
If your treatment has a severe arch and stitching a bias strip will be too difficult, face the edge of the curve with a curved piece of fabric cut the exact same shape. (As you would cut a facing.) Stitch both edges of the facing and another row for the header, if any.
Try this method; you’ll find it simple, fast and very exacting.
Cheryl Strickland is owner of Professional Drapery School, Swannanoa, NC, and is an internationally acclaimed speaker with 20 years experience in the window coverings industry. She is the publisher and editor of Sew WHAT?, an international monthly newsletter for professional drapery workrooms.