Revamp an old shade with this exquisite tucked fabric design by Dorothy Wood. Using a surprisingly small amount of fabric - only half a metre - you can really go to town and buy some fabulous silk organza that will look equally stunning whether the lamp is on or off! You can use this technique to update an old paper shade by simply following the instructions, or if you have a drum shaped lampshade frame, then wrap it with narrow white tape and sew the fabric in place, rather than using double-sided tape.
- Fabric: Organza, 140cm wide x 50cm
- Double-sided tape: 60cm
- Textile tape, self-adhesive, 15mm wide, white
- Lampshade: 25cm diameter, 19cm deep
- To fit lampshade 25cm diameter, 19cm tall
Cut the organza in half to make two 25cm strips, ensure the edges of fabric are straight – pulling a thread will help to provide a straight cutting line. Create a long strip by joining the two pieces at the short ends with a French seam using a straight machine stitch.
- Create a French seam by first stitching 5mm from the selvedges, then trim off the excess, press the seam open and fold the fabric over to enclose the seam. Stitch a second seam 7mm from the edge. Finish each run of stitches by setting the machine to reverse and working back over the stitches for 3cm.
3.With the fabric laid doubled use tailor’s chalk to mark 2.5cm from the outer edge of the French seam (not the visible stitching line). Continue to mark 2.5cm increments all the way across the top and bottom edges. Turn the strip over and mark the other side in the same way.
Open out the strip. Fold the organza between the first two marks on one side. Holding the strip securely, run the fabric over the table edge between the marks to make a crease. Stitch a seam approximately 7mm from the fold to create the first tuck. Finish by setting the machine to reverse and working back over the stitches to secure. Continue folding the fabric at each pair of marks in turn until the tucks on both sides are formed.
With a cool iron press the tucks in one direction and then press gently the opposite way. They should be standing up from the background. Check that the fabric strip is the correct length – it should fit exactly around the lampshade when stretched slightly.
Smooth the pleats in one direction down the centre of the strip. Mark the midpoint of the strip from the side edges with pins, ensure the points are facing in one direction so that they can be removed as you sew. (If you are feeling a little less confident – tack it in place using contrasting cotton and hand sewing long loose stitches). Work down the centre of the strip with the sewing machine set to a small straight stitch, keeping the tucks flat as you go. Secure the stitches at the ends to finish.
- Working to the left-hand side of the centre stitches, smooth the tucks in the opposite direction to create a twist effect down the length of the strip. Mark, with pins, a line the length of the strip 5cm out from the stitched centre line (or tacking thread.) Stitch the tucks in place using the same small straight setting on your machine.
Smooth the section of unstitched tucks to the right-hand side of the centre line in the opposite direction creating the twist effect. Secure in place with a line of straight machine stitches 5cm away from the centre line to complete the tucked panel. Secure the stitches and trim the thread ends and any excess fabric at each end to 1.5cm beyond the last tuck.
Run the narrow double-sided tape around the outer top and bottom rims of the lampshade on the outside and again around the inside, below the metal frame. Remove the outer backing paper and stick the tucked fabric around the shade, folding the seam allowance under on one side and pin so that the tucks continue all the way round. Unpick a few stitches on one or two tucks to get the overlap correct. With a needle and coordinating thread, hand stitch the seam at the stitched lines only.
Remove the inner backing paper from the double-sided tape and tuck the fabric over the top and bottom edges of the lampshade. Apply self adhesive white textile tape around the inner top and bottom edges to cover the raw edges.