PROJECT EMBROIDERED LAMPSHADE
Shades of Home
BY ANNE VAN DER KLEY
In this three-part series Anne shows how to use your creativity to the max by covering a new lampshade or giving an old one a new lease of life. In this ﬁrst part, Anne has taken an embroidery design, added some cutwork, and created a masterpiece that would look great in any home!
• Firm woven fabric – Anne used silk dupion
• 2 sheer fabrics – one the same size as the main fabric, the second slightly larger than the embroidery design and in a different colour to the lining. Anne used white as her lining fabric and olive green for the embroidery fabric
• Machine sewing thread and suitable needles for your fabric
• Tape measure
• Pearl thread to match fabric
• Chenille needle
• Candlelight thread
• 2 sewing threads to match lining
• Coverstitch machine – if you have one – use the wide setting and recommended needles
• Sewing machine – use a 4.0/80 twin needle with the candlelight wound on 2 or 3 bobbins (check if you need a different bobbin case)
• Embroidery thread to contrast with fabric
• Bobbinfi ll
• Size 80 embroidery needle
• Tearaway stabiliser
• Lampshade frame – see end of article for ordering details NOTE: Many designs in the ‘Art of Ancient Maya’ set are suitable for cutwork. Ensure you have very fi ne, pointed embroidery scissors if you choose to cut some areas out
When asked if I’d like to cover lampshades in response to a reader request, my initial challenge was to ﬁnd one! It seems the quest for all things retro has seen many old lampshades and bases snapped up from my local second-hand shops. Luckily, they’re available new, but there are far too many styles for even this keen adventurer! I have mixed the styles over this 3-part series that will show a variety of techniques to light up your home in whatever colours or manner you choose!
THE LAMPSHADE FRAME
When using a rectangular wire-frame lampshade, make sure it has a ‘collar’ – the type a globe can be ﬁxed into, with supports that radiate out from the collar – and some form of rods to connect and support the upper and lower frames. These are the best to cover if you’d like to use a variety of fabrics. See photo 1.
Measure around the lampshade and cut the fabric to size, but do add a 2.5cm (1in) seam allowance. Refer to diagram 1 on the pattern sheet. Repeat the same process for the lining. Overlock all edges with a narrow stitch to prevent fraying. Hold the fabric around the shade to ensure it ﬁts and the seam will end up at the centre back.
Insert an embroidery needle and thread the machine and bobbin with matching threads. Hoop up, placing the embroidery-sized piece of fabric between the lampshade fabric and stabiliser, ensuring it’s within the margins of your design. Embroider a design on the fabric. Remove all excess stabilisers from the design, trimming up close to the edge. If you’d like to create cutwork areas, carefully trim the stabiliser from the design at the back to the sheer fabric layer. From the front of the design, trim the lampshade fabric back to the sheer layer. See photos 2 and 3.
AT YOUR COVERSTITCH OR SEWING MACHINE
Thread your machine with sewing thread in both needles. For the coverstitch machine, thread the coverstitch looper with candlelight thread. For the sewing machine, insert a twin needle according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Place the candlelight bobbin in place and bring the thread to the top of the throat plate. Follow the machine’s manufacturer’s instructions for bobbin work by bypassing the tension of the bobbin case or using a separate case for heavy threads. On either machine lengthen the stitch to around 4.0. Stitch random curves over the lining fabric – you don’t need intensive work, a light coverage will be fi ne. See diagram 2 on the pattern sheet and photos 4 and 5.
Wrap the fabric around the shade with the seam line to the back and trim any excess fabric from the back seam. Overlock the edges and stitch at the machine. Make sure the cover fi ts snugly, but not too tightly. Repeat the above process for the lining fabric. Stitch the lining fabrics together around the top with right sides facing. Separate at the lower edge and then slide them over the lampshade. Measure the length of the shade, ensuring you have a 6mm (1/4in) hem. Remove from the shade, trim any excess fabric and overlock the raw edges.
Replace the cover on the shade. Fold each fabric hem to the wrong side, ensuring the lining does ‘t show on the outside of the shade. Thread the chenille needle with the pearl thread and stitch a whipstitch around the bottom of the shade to hold the edges together – add any highlights as you go if you want. Repeat the whipstitch at the top if you like, though this will be purely cosmetic! A quick note about the legs on this shade! While I like the metal fi nish, you may prefer to cover the legs of your frame with plastic tubing or spray paint it before commencing any work on it. You may prefer to place beads on the feet or little rubber stoppers if you can fi nd them. Perhaps cutting out shapes from a child’s colourful eraser would work? Covering a lampshade in this manner makes it very easy to change when the time comes. The next shade we will cover will be a traditional conical shade, but using quite a different technique.
Lampshade frames are available from Arbee Craft at www.arbee.com.au or phone (03) 9555 3677. Visit them at 58-60 Levanswell Road, Moorabbin VIC 3189.
Special thanks for ORFEUS CEO Olga Sudnitsin (Australia Brisbane)