Tuesday, 26 June 2012

How I Cover Lampshades


I have recovered a fair few lamp shades in my time and i have had a few emails and requests in comments on how i do it and how i get the fabric so tight fitted,so today i am going to show you how i cover a lampshade.


Below is one i had made earlier and is the first pretty picture of this post....

Below is the one we are dealing with today but we didn't want to see that as a first picture did we?...
First of all i remove all the trim,this is usually glued and is easy to gently pull off,pop the removed trim on one side as it is a great measure for any future trim you may use on your lampshade and if it has a challenging shaped bottom as this one it will be a good template as you will be able to view the mitered corners for reference....
Next the tack stitching is snipped away to release the lining from the shade,top and bottom...
I have the lampshade held upside down here with the lining hanging out of the shade so you can see i will end up with a lampshade shaped tube,i only undo the stitches top and bottom and not the two sides if the lining is in good condition...
As i can pop it in a bowl of vanish to remove any age related stains,if not i can make a new lining in the same way as the lampshade cover.....
I then unpick the and release the fabric top cover and unpick the two side seams top to bottom....
Until i have two pieces like below,these are my pattern for my new cover and i will need to iron them but i always do this with the fabric between two sheets of paper as the old glue  melts and i don't want it all stuck to my ironing board cover........
I lay the pattern on top of my fabric carefully choosing a scene if it is to be in toile like below and i then add one and a half inches all around to the pattern and then cut out a back and a front.....the one and a half inches i add is mostly cut away after but while pinning as i will talk about in a minute it helps to have extra fabric to grab hold off....
The two pieces are then pinned to the lampshade with the right side of the fabric below facing in....i pin on both sides of the shade and always look up inside the shade to check my pattern is straight.....
I then sew up both sides of the frame with tack stitches working close to the frame to achieve a tight slip cover.....when i have finished i draw a very soft pencil line on the fabric against the curves of the frame.....the cover is then lifted off and taken to the sewing machine.....
You can see my pencil line below under the light of the sewing machine,i sew up both sides using my pencil line as my guide and i use a very close stitch setting that will enable me to pull the fabric tight later without light shining through the stitches or bursting of the stitching occurring.....once sewn the tack stitches can be snipped and unpicked.....the excess fabric on either side is trimmed to around half an inch beyond the stitches..... 
I then hand stitch the new cover  to the top of the light shade frame,at this point the cover is inside out and laying away from the frame in the picture below......then the lining is stitched to the bottom of the frame and pulled up inside and stitched to the top to meet the new cover as you can see below....
Holding the shade upside down below gives you a better idea.....the new cover stitched to the top but hanging loose at the wide bottom end and lining stitched tight top and bottom inside.....
Right way up below whilst holding the new cover up in the air you can see the lining stitched inside at the bottom,so i would put the new lining inside the frame and pull the fabric at the bottom out and up and then stitch it to the outside edge of the frame.....
Once all the lining is stitched to the frame as seen below any loose fabric is gently tidied and trimmed away....
The new cover can then be pulled down into place over the frame....
It will look something like this below at this stage,a little baggy and not fitted enough....
Next i pin my center to the frame taking great care that my pattern is looking good and making sure the fabric is pulled nice and tight from the stitched top edge....
Then continue all the way around the shade....
I try it on a lamp base at this stage and spin it around checking my pattern is straight and for any further tightening that may be required....
When i am happy with how it looks i start to stitch the bottom of the cover to the frame,i cut excess fabric away leaving just enough of an edge that i can fold it under twice before stitching it to the frame and lining....
This gives me a really tidy and professional edge and any trim or embellishment will not need to be added if i don't want it as you can see below the fabric is next to the lining and no raw edges are showing so it can just be as is.....
I finally end up with the frame covered nice and tight as seen below and i am ready to make a stripped trim edge to add to the top....


Join me next time when i will show you how i make the stripped trim and how i add it to the lamp....



XxX

11 comments:

  1. OMG that is so detailed work~I can't imagine trying to do this. I love your workmanship and the fabrics you choose!! So pretty!

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  2. Now this is what you call skil, I would love to try and make something like this but I would not have the patience Well done I also laughed at the beginning of this post "and you would not want to see this as the first picture" great I love the fabric too

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    1. That is the fun part of it turning something old into new. Great job :)

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  3. Thanks so much for showing how you did this.
    I CAN NOW DO THIS!!!
    Now show us how to do the shades with rolled seams down the shade!
    You know, where the rolled seams cover the vertical wires of the frame!
    Can ya,?
    Hunh?
    Can ya?
    This was EXACTLY what I wanted to see!!!!

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  4. Good job--thanks for showing how you do it!

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  5. Oh my, I think I could handle the remove the trim part. That is truly a labor of love. Your talent and patience is impressive!
    Kathy

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  6. I think I could handle, remove the trim part. I now know there isn't a chance I can do this. Your talent and patience are impressive! Beautiful job. I'll leave this to the pro. Thanks for taking the time to display how it SHOULD be done.
    Kathy

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  7. Hi,
    thank you for the tips on recovering lampshades. I also make/recover lampshades and thought you might like a tutorial on pleated lampshades, here is the link.

    http://www.intriguedesigns.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2010-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2011-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=7

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  8. I'm new on your blog. This is a very interesting tutorial. Now I have another project to add to my list :-).

    Goedele

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  9. This is really adorable. I love what you did to it. So cute! Thanks for sharing this tutorial. Good job!
    DressAShade.com

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  10. erm, not so sure I will tackle lampshades now Krissie ! Wow, you have the patience of a saint !

    Totally beautiful xx

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