Custom Roman Shades|Sew Lovely By Kelly Sew Lovely By Kelly-Etsy|Sew Lovely By Kelly

Busy Weekend! The Life Of A Shade Maker!

Busy weekend making shades!  Completed 25 shades this week and most of them were large ones. As many know, I have a wonderful seamstress, Yolanda, who has been working for me for the past 1 1/2 years.  She's a great find!!  She has over 25 years of sewing experience and her skills are of perfection!  So happy to have her along to help me.  She's been so consistent with her work and works really hard.  I get fabric delivered to me by the customer then I write up all the orders on an order form, which takes a great deal of time bc I have to check to make sure the customer did not update measurements via email or make a change etc. after the order was placed, and I have to be sure the measurements are exactly correct.  Also, I get a TON of fabric delivered to me each week, so I have to be sure I have the correct fabric attached to the right person's order.  Yolanda comes to drop off her work and pick up new fabric every week.  I normally fill her car up with giant fabric rolls and boxes every week!  Her job is important because she has to accurately cut the fabric and sew it to the right size and then space the rings out accurately.  She presses the shades and returns them back to me looking amazing!  

I then take the shades and complete the construction during the week.   I try to get all of the shades done before she comes again the following week.  On average, she brings 17 shades a week to me.   I cut dowels and slide them into the pockets on the shade, cut and tie on the cords and measure the length to finished shade length according to my order sheet (I have this whole thing down to a routine!)  I then measure the top board and hand them off to my wonderful husband, who cuts the wood to size for me.  I then attach the boards to the shades and let them sit overnight to dry.  The next day, I affix all of the screw eyes and hardware to the shades and string the cord through the cord lock.  I put a knob at the end and then the process is complete!!!   I gather the mounting hardware and bag it up and put it all in a big box.  I weigh the box and create a shipping label and then tape it up!  Schedule a USPS package pick up and out they go!!!  

The whole process of making a shade is a little time consuming and tedius, even with my seamstress helping out, but I've managed to get my timing down and fit the little steps of the process in throughout the day whenever I can.  I've also gotten a lot faster in the past 6 months, due to making small changes and making things more convenient for me (just simple things like creating a form for myself for orders so I don't have to manually write down things, and moving my workshop around).  For instance, my son goes down for a nap and off I go to my sewing room to work on a step.  If my parents come over to watch my son, I usually take advantage of the free moment to get some work done.  When everyone is off to bed at night, I usually sneak in some time to work on shades then.  In between making them, I'm responding to several emails for inquiries, providing yardage estimates and doing a lot of calculating and ordering supplies.  I have to make sure I order enough lining fabric each week for Yolanda to attach to the shades, and order a bunch of supplies from various vendors and keep track of inventory so I have everything I need to complete the shades.

So there you have it... The life of a shade maker! HA!!!