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.
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.
Open each pressed side hem and fold in half to the inside (to the pressed line), forming doubled 1-1/2″ side hems.
Press each edge well.
Fold 4″ at the bottom of your shade and press. Fold another 4″ and press.
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.
Cut around the shade – carefully, of course.
Open all the pressed seams of the shade and place the lining inside the treatment.
After folding your side hems and bottom hem back into place, it will look like this.
Pin hem and edges to secure. Sew a hem stitch along 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.
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.
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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