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Grab Loops on a Window Shade

The second task of the new year was this somewhat peculiar project. Our laundry room has a window above the washer and dryer, but I’m just too short to reach the shade that covers it. The shade itself is ugly, I’m afraid, but it’s also very different from (and better than) anything I could find to replace it. It’s very heavy vinyl, and completely blocks light. It also works very, very well. And, as I couldn’t help noting when I considered replacing it, it’s already installed. Putting up new shades in the sewing room was a nightmare I’m not eager to experience again.

grab-trim-3001What I needed was some kind of handle. I probably should have crocheted a small ring and strung it from the bottom, but I’m just not up for crocheting right now. Instead, I put up a yellow and blue valance, and found matching colors in grosgrain ribbon for this trim-and-grab-loop solution.

The yellow quarter-inch ribbon is stitched over the blue, one-inch grosgrain. I had a sewing machine foot that I thought would make the job of sewing one to the other easy by letting me thread the narrower ribbon through the foot, but it turned out that the ribbon proportions were wrong. After a few practice scraps, though, I figured out how to feed the ribbons evenly by hand, and got a pretty good result.

I couldn’t find an adhesive that worked on the shade, so I had to figure out how to get the stripe to stay in place. In the end, I ran the ribbon completely around the shade, going through the slot at the bottom where a wooden slat goes to make the shade more sturdy. Underneath the trim, and just above the slat, I carefully cut two buttonhole-like slits, and ran the back of each loop through each one. That way, when I pull on the loops, the pressure is on the slat, not on the shade itself.

The horizontal ribbon strip is just pinned inside the slat’s sleeve. (Don’t tell anyone!) Logistically, it was too difficult to try to stitch it, and I was worried that I might need to tighten it up later. The loops are discreetly hand-stitched closed, since putting the entire shade under the sewing machine wasn’t an option.

Mr. Noile isn’t wild about the look; he says it’s a bit utilitarian, and he’s got a point. Considering the issues, though, I think it’s a good solution for now. And that dreadful fringe? Well, that’s for another day. In the meantime, I’ll just call it vintage, and appreciate its historical value.

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