One of my students brought me a photograph of a soft fan-bottom shade—it was something that a client had specifically asked for. I’d like to share some fabrication tips with you on making this unusual shade treatment.
There are several key issues to creating this interesting shade.
The first is the choice of fabric. It must be very soft, to the
point of being silky or even slinky. If there is any body to the
fabric at all, it will not hang as it should.
As you might expect, this shade is not flat across the top. Allow
about 1 1/2 times horizontal fullness. If the width of the window
requires more than one width of fabric, sew the seams. The side
and bottom edges can be finished with a small, soft cording, if
desired. If edging with cording, cover the cording and sew down
both sides and across the bottom.
Lay the lining and face fabric right sides together and stitch down
both sides and across the bottom. Turn the shade inside out from
the opening at the top and press.
MAKING IT WORK
Sew shade rings every five to six inches up the center of the shade,
as shown in the diagram, beginning about six to eight inches from
the bottom edge. This space at the bottom will form the bell shape
that will make it a fan-bottom shade!
Gather the top edge of the shade and staple it onto a shade mounting
board. Hand sew a decorative tassel or knot of trim at the bottom
edge at the center of the shade. As the shade is pulled up, this
tassel or knot will form the center of the fan shape.
String with shade cord beginning at the bottom ring. Feed the cord
through a screw eye that is placed in the center of the mount board
and through another at the end of the board.
When the shade is all the way down, it will be straight across the
bottom with the decorative tassel showing in its center. Because
there is a horizontal fullness and no weight bar, the shade has
a very relaxed, undressed-up, casual look in this position. When
the cord is pulled, the fan automatically will form at the bottom!
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