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Monday, April 25, 2011

Lamp Shade Adventure - Part 2

I had gotten it into my head that I had to have lace on my new lamp shade, so that’s what I went shopping for. And I had been looking for lamp shade tutorials and blog posts to see how others had done it to get some ideas. I found some nice tutorials here and here and here. But those tutorials were to cover a plain shade with fabric or to cover a wire frame with lace, neither of which exactly fit what I was doing. Anyway, back to the fabric. Here’s what I ended up buying at JoAnn’s. Lamp shade fabric and trim
I cut out my blue fabric and my lace fabric using my paper pattern and leaving about an inch all around. Fabric cut out using pattern
I layered the fabric and lace and machine basted around all the edges to hold the two layers together. Sewing layers of fabric together
I turned under the edge of the back seam and pinned it all together on my two wire rings. I should have paid better attention to how it was all fitting together at this time, but I just assumed when I had it all sewn together that things would fit together better and blindly and optimistically went on my merry way. Fabric pinned onto rings
I sewed the bottom seam, as in the photo below, then later trimmed the edge. Sewing the fabric onto the bottom ring
At the top, because of the three wires joining the circle, I cut slits in my fabric, sewed around the ring where I could then sewed the rest down by hand. I sewed the back seam by machine and had to sew the very top and bottom by hand.
Here’s the lamp shade before I added the trim. Second place I should have evaluated and decided whether to keep going. But I really assumed that sheer will power of wanting it to look a certain way would make it so! Lamp shade before trim
And here’s what my back seam looked like. Not bad really! Lamp shade seam
I hot glued the trim around the top and bottom edges. Lamp shade with trim
Here’s the lamp in the bedroom. Finished lamp shade in bedroom
And here’s what I learned.
1. There’s a reason most lamp shades you see are white, off-white, light tan, etc. A blue lamp shade really cuts down on the amount of light the lamp puts out into the room. Do not make a colored lamp shade unless you purposely want to limit the amount of light for the right kind of mood or setting. Stick with the light colors.
2. Without a stiff frame like in the first tutorial link, you really need to use a stiff covering so your shade does not look saggy like mine. If you have a stiff, well defined shade form, I think you have a lot more flexibility in how you cover it.

I do consider this lamp shade more pleasant than the ugly broken shade it replaced, but I am not really happy with it. It will do as a temporary shade. My next attempt will have two important features: 1) Use some sort of stiffener or interfacing so the shade will not be floppy or saggy and 2) do not use blue fabric! I need to finish up some other projects, give myself a little time before I try again and then I will try attempt number two at a new bedroom lamp shade!

If you’ve covered any lamp shades, please leave a comment with a link to a photo. I’d love to see yours! Eventually I will be on a mission to prove that this lamp shade will NOT get the better of me!

1 comment:

  1. Great Job! Perhaps I will give this a try sometime.