Roman blinds are wonderfully versatile window coverings that adapt well to a number of settings. They are totally at home in any contemporary room, but they also can be used under more traditional top dressings while yet providing crisp and neat dressing along with absolute privacy. They can appear to be difficult to make, but they are not. Making Roman blinds is a satisfying, creative and relatively quick home sewing project.
The first step is to determine the length that a functional Roman blind needs to be. Measure the length of the window. Divide this length by 5, add that number to the length of the window, then add another inch for seam allowances. Thus for a 40″ window, cut blind fabric and lining fabric beginning with: 40″ ÷ 5 = 8. Fabric panels should be 40″ + 8″ + 1″ seam allowance = 49″ total length.
With right sides together, sew the blind fabric to the lining fabric, leaving an opening on the top edge of about six inches for turning. Turn the piece right side out and iron the seams. An optional step is to place a small wooden dowel inside the piece, cut to slightly less than the width of the Roman blind. This will help to keep the bottom stable and crisp, but is not necessary. Sew the opening shut and then iron that as well.
Sew hook-and-loop tape along the top edge on the lining side of the Roman blind. Measure five inches from the top edge, and then measure and mark a one inch distance. Measure another five inches from the bottom of that one inch section, and mark another one-inch section. Continue this process to the bottom of the Roman blind. Make ½” flaps of each one-inch section and stitch them down to the lining side.
After all flaps have been sewn in, mark six to eight evenly-spaced sections at the top on the lining side across the width of the Roman blind. Duplicate the marks on each flap that already has been stitched in along the length of the blind. Cut several lengths of small, lightweight cording. Each cord length will be twice the length of the window, plus the width of the window. For a window that is 40″ long and 36″ wide, each cord will be 40″ + 40″ + 36″ = 116″ = 9.67 feet. Hand sew one end of each cord to the lining side of the blind. Begin at the bottom edge, sewing only through the lining fabric and being careful not to pick up any blind fabric so that no hand stitching shows on the right side of the blind. Keeping the cord flat, hand sew the cord to each ½” flap, continuing to the top edge. Repeat this process with all other cords on marked lines, leaving the remaining cord length free.
Cut a mounting board the width of the window and Roman blind. Transfer cord markings to the mounting board. Staple the other side of the hook and loop tape to the mounting board. Install small screw eyes on the bottom edge of the mounting board, and then thread all loose cord ends through the screw eyes, gathering all at one side of the blind and tying them together. Attach a cord cleat to the wall or window frame.
Install the mounting board in the window that the blind will cover. Attach the Roman blind by matching up the hook and loop tape pieces. Raise and lower the blind by using the cords, winding the cord bundle around the cord cleat to keep the blind in the raised position.
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