Fabric Studio for Sewing, etc. forum: Lampshades

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Imageokus
Mar 17, 2010 6:06 PM CST
Name: Carol
Lincolnshire, UK
A few years ago.. well more than a few!! I was introduced to lamp shade making. I've always loved those fancy Victorian Lampshades but was too tight to pay store prices for either new or genuine antique.

Now it isn't something you can do in a hurry, it takes me about 6 weeks to make one, but its very satisfying. Mind you do need cast iron fingers, sewing by hand against metal wires has the needle in my fingers fairly frequently, causing blood loss and a halt in proceedings. Silk and blood don't go well together!!

Thumbnail by okus

Carol

Imageokus
Mar 17, 2010 6:07 PM CST
Name: Carol
Lincolnshire, UK
Another - this one is my favourite I think.

Thumbnail by okus

Carol

ImageUniQueTreasures
Mar 17, 2010 6:09 PM CST
Name: Janet Colvin
Z8~Beaumont~Southeast Texas
Proud member of Cubits.org
Carol,

Your shade is gorgeous. I'm sure I'm not the only one that would love to know more about how you make them. Do you recycle an old lampshade? Are frames available? Do you have to build your own?

Janet
Imageokus
Mar 17, 2010 6:09 PM CST
Name: Carol
Lincolnshire, UK
Because it changes when you switch it on

Thumbnail by okus

Carol

ImageUniQueTreasures
Mar 17, 2010 6:10 PM CST
Name: Janet Colvin
Z8~Beaumont~Southeast Texas
Proud member of Cubits.org
Oh Carol! We cross posted. But I can tell you now that I agree. That is a beauty! I bet that one was easier to hide the blood stains! Whistling
ImageUniQueTreasures
Mar 17, 2010 6:11 PM CST
Name: Janet Colvin
Z8~Beaumont~Southeast Texas
Proud member of Cubits.org
Lovely!!! Truly a work of art!

Do many people in the UK make lamp shades?
Imageokus
Mar 17, 2010 6:12 PM CST
Name: Carol
Lincolnshire, UK
This one is on a base from a thrift store at $5 - total cost including shade $30 and six weeks blood, sweat and tears!!

I'll answer your questions tomorrow Janet - its gone midnight here and I'm off to bed!

Thumbnail by okus

Carol

ImageUniQueTreasures
Mar 17, 2010 6:18 PM CST
Name: Janet Colvin
Z8~Beaumont~Southeast Texas
Proud member of Cubits.org
Carol,

I'm impressed with your talents! That is a beauty also. I love the changing shades of color on that one. Reminds me of a gorgeous sunset!

Have a nice rest Carol. Talk to you tomorrow!

Janet
Imageokus
Mar 18, 2010 7:11 AM CST
Name: Carol
Lincolnshire, UK
You and my other half have the same idea - he was sure I was working with the red burn out velvet to hide the blood!! Rolling on the floor laughing

I started lamp-shade making when we lived in Texas, and all though there are one or tewo crafters in the UK most of my contacts are in the USA.

I started with the downloadable book from Maud at http://www.gold-kiser.com/lampshades.html and went from there. You'll find my first lamp on her testimonials page.

You can recycle old frames - they do take a bit of cleaning up if someone has been using glue in the past though. This one is on a recycled frame because its original cover had been burned by the light bulb. I bought the lamp with its useless shade in an antique store - it had a 150watt bulb in it so no wonder it had burned through the shade!!

You can also buy new frames, there aren't many suppliers but those there are are good and do mail order.

I was asked by an interior designer from Miami if I could make shades to order for him, but when I costed out frames silks and other materials and added in my time it just wasn't a viable option. I would say each lamp took me about 500-600 hours so even at $1 an hour that would make them pricey. I know the more you do the faster you get up to a point, but I would have had to charge $600 a shade to make it work and then I wouldn't have had time for anything else either so its just an occasional hobby now.
There is a limit to the number of lamps you can have in one home!!

Have I answered everything you asked?

Thumbnail by okus

Carol

ImageUniQueTreasures
Mar 18, 2010 8:10 AM CST
Name: Janet Colvin
Z8~Beaumont~Southeast Texas
Proud member of Cubits.org
Oh Carol,

You surprise me every day with your wealth of knowledge on these types of things. I can see the passion you put into each shade and can easily see how doing it for profit would be something that only the very wealthy could afford to have you do. And they are worth every penny, considering the time involved and the labor. Your fabric choices are awesome and the embellishments of the beads and fringe are "spot on".

As for the limit on the number of lamps..... with yours I'd want them in every corner of the house. :-) They are so much prettier than the shades you see in the stores.

I sure wouldn't have the patience as you have to create even one of them, much less all those you have shown us.

Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful shades. You've been very helpful with your answers. My hat's off to you for your awesome talents! I tip my hat to you.

Janet
ImageMaude
Mar 22, 2010 1:28 PM CST
Carol,

Thanks so much for plugging my (e-)book. As you know, I was so impressed with your first shade I have it displayed in the banner on my site (and on my testimonials page, too). As per your permission, I'd like to point out that it took you longer to make your shades than is usually the case, due to vision and joint issues, as well as that you like to work slowly and very carefully. It's quite possible to make shades by this construction method in a day or two, or even in a few hours, depending on the size and complexity. Also, some of your finger sticking problems derive from the fact that you're really a lefty, who was made to become a righty. Although any craft that involves pins and needles results in a certain amount of blood letting. If a problem, this can be greatly reduced by making use of the finger-protecting devices made for quilting, embroidery, and other needlecrafts that involve considerably more hand sewing. And stretch-style, traditional, lined lampshades are mostly machine sewn (4 short seams), with much less hand stitching involved.

These instructions should have been included in every book on sewing soft furnishings ever written, but for some reason have almost always been left out, leading one to think this must be really hard to do, when it's actually one of the easiest crafts to get really good at really quickly I've ever found. Below is Carol's first shade, and it's not only gorgeous, but perfectly constructed. In fact, most of the shades shown on my site were first or second projects. And you don't need to have much or even any sewing experience to be successful at this (a sewing primer is included for those who can't sew, yet; see my testimonials for the first shade made by a woman who'd never even sewn on a button). Soft shadecrafting also lends itself beautifully to the application of other crafts, such as fabric painting and bead work, and because so little material is required, it's a wonderful use for vintage fabrics and trimmings.

Thanks again!
Maude

P.S. The more direct and easier-to-remember URL to my site is http://shadecrafters.com

Thumbnail by Maude

ImageUniQueTreasures
Mar 22, 2010 2:15 PM CST
Name: Janet Colvin
Z8~Beaumont~Southeast Texas
Proud member of Cubits.org
Hi Maude,

Welcome to the Nook! Thanks for coming in and giving a great explanation about making these fantastic lampshades. I was telling my sister about Carol's fantastic shades the other day. She is one that would get an incredible amount of good from your site Maude. There's nothing she won't try if she wants to do it. I enjoyed looking around at the link you posted. I can see that Carol was one of your best students. Her work is incredible, though if the truth be told, I am a bit biased about Carol. Big Grin

Maude, I will be happy to include your link in our Links (in the right side panel under LINKS). I see you have a link exchange on your site as well. I'd be mighty proud if you'd include our link for the Artisan's Nook. http://cubits.org/UniQueTreasures We're proud to have artisan's of all types come post their work. I will do everything I can to promote them.

If you have photos of any that you've done, we'd love to see them. I can't promise to like them better than Carol's, but I'll keep an open mind about it. HAHAHAHA

Janet
ImageMaude
Mar 22, 2010 4:44 PM CST
Hi Janet,

Thanks so much for the link. I've added one for your site on my links page. And I've included a picture of one of my shades, below. It's a small, stretch-style frame, and I wanted your readers to see an example of how you can cover any free-standing frame with the all-hand-sewn construction method used to cover the fancier frames (which don't have a lining, but rather, the wire is covered to co-ordinate with the other materials). It's feedsack, backed with seersucker, bound with bias tape, and trimmed with two different crocheted trims, all of it vintage. It took me a couple of hours, and was only my second project using this method. And I couldn't be more pleased if you like Carol's shades more than mine. Makes me proud to have been her teacher.

Maude

Thumbnail by Maude

[Last edited Mar 22, 2010 4:45 PM CST]
Quote | Post #139139 (13)
ImageUniQueTreasures
Mar 22, 2010 5:23 PM CST
Name: Janet Colvin
Z8~Beaumont~Southeast Texas
Proud member of Cubits.org
Maude, I like your shades too. You gals make it look so easy. It's a shame I don't need any lamp shades at the moment because I might like to try this out sometime.

OK so you bought the crochet stuff? See, that would take me forever to do. Last time I crocheted I was in the 6th grade. I also learned to knit that year. Made a hat in the school colors and then someone at school stole that hat from me. I swore I'd never knit anything again and I haven't!
ImageMaude
Mar 22, 2010 5:55 PM CST
This trim was handmade by someone many years ago. And there's gobs of both crochet and tatted vintage trimming still around, with not much that can be done with it. As mentioned, it's perfect for this craft, as it molds beautifully around the shade. Those who already crochet know that trims are one of the quickest projects. And if thinking about learning how, they're a swell newbie project. I'm with you on knitting. I don't have the patience for undoing mistakes. But crochet is really easy to pull out and start over. You may want to consider giving it another try.
ImageUniQueTreasures
Mar 22, 2010 5:58 PM CST
Name: Janet Colvin
Z8~Beaumont~Southeast Texas
Proud member of Cubits.org
I'm hoping my oldest daughter will see this. She crochets and sews beautifully. Maybe she will make something for me for Mother's Day! That's not that far off, yet she'd have plenty of time to learn! Big Grin

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