“Ringing” a Standard Roman Shade

Ring Placement on Roman Shades

In my last post about Roman shades, I covered the steps for The Sew-Simple Roman Shade.  That post provides the basic construction of any shade.

After two three attempts to write a “ringing and stringing post” for Roman shades, I decided to break it down.  You get bogged down with over a thousand words to read, and I get bogged down when writing instructions that long.  Making a Roman shade is a little labor-intensive, so explaining all of it takes many words and pictures.

I will follow this post with the tutorial for “hobbling” the hobbled shade, then a post for stringing any Roman shade.

Let’s talk about ring placement for the standard shade first, shall we?

Standard Roman Shades

For most Roman shades, the rings are placed vertically, every 8″ up the shade.  You can vary this a little if you’d like, as long as you keep the spacing consistent.  For today, we’ll use the standard 8″ measurement for our example.

The beginning ring is placed at the upper edge of the pocket I demonstrated while making the basic shade.  Remember this?  It’s where a dowel slides through the “sleeve” to give the shade stiffness along the bottom edge.

Dowel Pocket

To attach this first row of rings, you’ll simply fold back everything except the little flap and sew the ring just to the very top edge of this pocket.  You don’t want to obstruct the pocket in any way, since the dowel needs to slide through easily.

The upper edge of the dowel pocket is 4″ from the bottom edge, which places the flap neatly behind the folds as the shade is raised.

Begin by marking the locations for the rings just at the edge of each side hem.  Measure 8″ up the shade from the dowel pocket location, mark that spot, then mark every 8″ location up the remainder of the shade side hems.  I added X marks, since pins don’t show well at this distance.

Outer Ring Locations

You can mark for rings using a disappearing marking pen.  But, pins hold your fabric and lining secure, which helps avoid puckering when attaching the rings.  That’s why I like to use pins.

To decide the space between rings, spread your tape measure between the pins at each side hem.  (Please ignore the ring tape in this picture.  I was moving on with the hobbled shade when I realized you needed a picture of this step.)

Measuring Ring Placement

Ring columns (the vertical lines of rings) need to be spread 8-10″ across the width of your shade.  Since I tend to stretch this a bit, depending on fabric weight, you might be able to get away with it, too.  I don’t want to teach you wrong, so we’ll pretend my shade is 30″ wide between side hems. (Do as I say do, not as I do…)

Mark for your rings at each 10 inch spot horizontally from shade edge to edge.

Pinning Ring Locations

Here you see the pin locations for the entire shade.

Standard Shade Ring Markings

Sew the rings at the marked locations using the “buttonhole end” setting on your machine (if your machine sews button holes).  Some machines have a standing zig-zag stitch, I believe.  You could always sew these by hand, but I don’t recommend it.  With a machine, it takes only seconds to stitch each ring.

Sewing Rings

This is a picture of the hobbled shade after ring tape is sewn at the rings.  The standard Roman shade looks very similar, except there are no ring tape strips – just lone rings after they are attached.  In the near future, I hope to have a picture of a “ringed” standard shade for you to see.

Ring Tape Sewn

As I mentioned before, I’m covering the remainder of information about making your Roman shade in “Stringing” Any Roman Shade – Tutorial.  We’re almost there, folks!

If you have questions or comments (nice ones, I hope), please share with all of us. 🙂

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    • Kim says

      Great! There are more posts coming soon for future steps. 🙂 I hope you’ll be sharing your new shades…

  1. Iris says

    Thanks for the instructions especially for the lining. I made standard roman shades last year. The directions I followed made lining the shade incredibly complex. The way you lined these is so easy. When you use the buttonhole stitch will to attach the rings I assume it will show on the outside. Will this disappear in the folds? I will follow to see how you finish the shade. Thanks again.