I picked a large scale fabric of stylized trees in the same colors as the rug but on an ivory background. I wanted the drapes to run floor to ceiling and, since the fabric is a very large scale print, I did not want to detract from the graphics with pleats. I decided to do a grommet style drape. I had never done this before. However, when my kids were babies I would sew their clothes and add gripper snaps at the crotch and down the legs. Other than grommets being way bigger, how different could they be from gripper snaps?
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Before cutting out the holes, I stabilized the three layer sandwich so the fabric and header would stay aligned. I stitched a vertical line at each position and then, with the largest stitch size I had on my Pfaff, I stitched all across the header parallel to the top, through the midline of the grommet circles, a stitching line I would later remove.
To get the hole started I first tried folding the fabric in half and snipping in the center of the circle. That was difficult to do through six thicknesses and I nearly nicked the tip of my fingertip a couple times. I later came up with slicing a starting slot by poking a hole with a seam ripper and slicing outward to a point on the drawn circle. I inserted a straight pin at the marked line so I did not overshoot.
Cutting out 32 circles with scissors was not as onerous a task as I first thought it might be. My husband tried using a hole saw in his drill press in the garage but that method just shredded the fabric and flung the sample far out into the driveway. After cutting out the stabilized holes, the next step is to insert the front part of the grommet, the one with crenellations along the inner diameter (like the tower of a castle or the top of a rook in chess), into the hole from the front of the drapes. The hole fits snugly around the upward facing crenellations and I smoothed all around with my pointer finger or thumb.
A closeup of the black hard rubber tool illustrates a base with a curved upper surface to mate with the grommet front. A plug then flips over the mated grommet assembly that sandwiches the fabric header. When pounded down with a mallet or squeezed into place with a press, the grommet back and front are then joined, crimping the drapery fabric in between.
My husband has a press so we did not need to pound with a mallet. I was lucky to have him as my brute force input.
At first I had bought four sets of eight grommets each, exactly the amount I needed for the drapes. My husband wisely encouraged me to buy some extra grommets so we could experiment with non-drapery fabric and perfect the installation technique. I did order one more set of eight from Amazon and they were there within a day. Doing trial runs also gave us the experience of learning how to remove grommets that did not go in quite as desired. His array of tools to peel open those bent over crenellations was quite extensive.
The grommets look great in the drapes on the rod.
We bought a rod that looks like pipe for an industrial vibe.
The drapes slide easily and are not so crowded that the fabric print is lost.
Backing away a bit, here is what the corner of the room looks like. That blue leather chair is my favorite to curl up in and read in – or stretch out on and nap.
There are a lot of patterns going on in this room, a quilter's delight. They all seem to work together because they share so many colors in common. I have a post March 30, 2018 about positioning the fireplace tile.
The hardest part about this project was dragging around and manipulating the weight of each panel. By the third panel, I realized it was best to pile the panel on a chair and slide that chair from the cutting table, to the ironing board, to the sewing machine, and finally to the grommet marking and press station on my hall counter. Other than that, it was all straight sewing and not rocket science.
I have thirty two of these leftover cut-out holes. They are double sided. Like donut holes, they must be good for something. Perhaps the folks at Lets Bee Social #231 will have some ideas.