The Sew-Simple Roman Shade

The Sew-Simple Roman Shade

Yesterday, when I shared my new Hobbled Roman Shades, I promised tutorials to help you make them. Since we must start with the basics, I’m beginning by showing you how to make a basic shade.  The hobbled shade, which we will get to in a few days, is made with only slight adjustments.

Today, you’ll see the simplicity of sewing shades – in only 3 steps!

Before making a Roman shade, you must consider placement.  Will you mount the treatment inside your window frame or above the window completely?

What size board will you use for mounting your shade?  Typically for Roman shades, you use a 1″ x 2″ board.  I use 1″ x 4″ boards because my windows have deep wells, and I mount my shades inside the frame.  Also, since our windows are tall, I want the most stability possible for long shades.

I should probably mention that I’m using the hobbled shade construction pictures, since I made the basic Roman shades during pre-blog days.  Please remember that today we are making a flat Roman shade as in the picture at the beginning of this post, not this hobbled shade.

The Sew-Simple Roman Shade

Step One:  Measuring and Cutting

Given your placement decisions, measure the height and width you want for the finished treatment.

To compute the cut height of a basic Roman shade, take the vertical measurement and add 8″ for the hem plus 1″ to 3″ (depending on board size) extra for attaching to your board.

For a hobbled shade, you’ll add extra length for the hobbles.  You’ll read all about that in the hobbled shade tutorial.

Add 6″ to your width measurement to allow for side hems.

Cut out your measured rectangle.

Step Two:  Prepping for Hems

Press 3″ down along both sides of the shade.

Pressing Side Seams

Open each pressed side hem and fold in half to the inside (to the pressed line), forming doubled 1-1/2″ side hems.

Folding Hem Edge

Press each edge well.

Press Side Seams

Fold 4″ at the bottom of your shade and press.  Fold another 4″ and press.

Pressing Hem

Step Three:  Cutting and Attaching the Lining

To easily cut out your lining, lay the pressed treatment on top of the lining fabric.  If you can do this along a selvage edge, that decreases your cutting.

Cutting Lining

Cut around the shade – carefully, of course.

Cutting Lining Fabric

Open all the pressed seams of the shade and place the lining inside the treatment.

Lining Inside Treatment

After folding your side hems and bottom hem back into place, it will look like this.

Close-up of Lining Inside Treatment

Pin hem and edges to secure.  Sew a hem stitch along side hems.

Hem Stitch Edges and Hemline

Press well.

Pressing Side Hems

For the bottom hem, straight stitch across the shade 1″ from the fold.  This forms a sleeve for your dowel.  The dowel helps the shade hold its shape and helps it to raise and lower evenly.

For extra-wide shades, you’ll need to use more than one dowel.  Simply overlap them about 10″ inside the pocket.

Stitching Rod Enclosure

Top stitch very close to the edge at the sides of the bottom hem to close that opening.  End your stitches before the dowel opening, of course.

Bottom Hem Complete

This is all that’s required for sewing your basic shade.  It’s much easier than you thought, right?

The next step is to sew o-rings to your shade.  I’ll share that in my next post about Roman shade construction.

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What to do Weekends

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  1. Sheryll & Critters. says

    Beautiful work and such a great tutorial. Anyone can do this with your instructions..

    I have to say that you always find and use the most gorgeous fabrics. I love even your old ones……. really, really gorgeous fabrics.

    • Kim says

      Thank you, Sheryll. You are so sweet! I always head straight to the back of the store to check out the clearance section before anything else. It’s amazing what you find there. 🙂

  2. says

    Looks like something I’m going to have to try. I have a bathroom window that I wanted something a little more fitted looking then ordinary drapes/panels…plus it’s smaller than an average window. I’ll be waiting to see how you string it!

  3. says

    Oh, my goodness. . .this roman shade is lovely, dear one!!!
    Stopping by after your sweet comment and visit On Crooked Creektt!
    I will share photos of merchandise in front of the cabinet doors,
    but our Spring Booth isn’t until April 6, 2014!
    Bear with me, please!!!

    • Kim says

      Thank you, Shirley. I wish my fabric source still had some, but they didn’t re-order after I bought this bolt. I look forward to seeing yours when you get them done! Good luck. 🙂