Saturday, June 30, 2012

Roman Shade

Today I'm going to attempt to make a Roman Shade for our guest bedroom. *crosses fingers*

My in-laws are stopping by for an overnight visit on their way to Dallas this weekend. So over the last week I've been trying to clean, decorate, pull weeds, and keep my curious-into-everything-one-year-old properly entertained...

In between buying guest bath towels, organizers for the office area and a window treatment I discovered a magical place called Hobby Lobby. Yes, I know, I'm in the stone age having just discovered this place. It reawakened my crafters heart and I've found legitimate reasons to go back at least once each day (I even found a reason to take my husband along for a second trip one day... *sigh*)

Anyway, back to the Roman Shade. I decided it was too spendy to buy one so I decided to make it and I'm trying to take pictures to go along with directions, that's always more helpful to me than just reading what I'm supposed to do. (And I had a teacher in high school say there was too much going on in my head for me to properly word it to the rest of the world, so I'd like to think that pictures help clarify my ramblings.)

Measuring tape
Iron and Ironing Board
Sewing Machine
Staple Gun
Electric Drill
Needle and Thread
1/4 inch dowels
2 x 1 inch wooden batten
Screw eyes
Shade life cord
Tassel or condenser
"L" hook

-First, go measure the window. I like the way the shade looks mounted in the window frame, but you can easily measure outside the frame if you like that better.
-Keep the width measurement for your dowels and batten (I got mine at Lowes, and the guys were nice enough to cut them for me. My husband had to trim them a little when I got them home then because they were a little too wide.)
-Then add 4 inches to the width and 6 1/2 to the length (for hems and wrapping over batten) and you'll have your fabric dimensions. (I used a corduroy because I wanted a thick enough fabric to block light and I didn't want to do a liner).
-My fabric was too wide for my window, so I measured the correct width, took a small snip and tore the rest of the way. Since I was ripping with the grain of the fabric it made a straight line for me and I didn't have to mess with scissors or worry about a straight line.

-Once your fabric is the correct dimensions you have a little tedious work to do - but I promise this is the most time consuming park of the whole project.
-Along the two long sides and the base, measure a 2 inch hem, fold, pin, press (to press is to pick up and set down, not smooth along the fabric. Doing this will scratch the bottom of the iron as you drag it along the pins).

-Unfold, and fold up the bottom corners then refold the hems and press. Confusing right? Right, it makes me think of origami... but it makes a little pocket for one of the dowels and it helps the corners to  lay flatter.
-Now, to hide unfinished edges take out a pin at a time, fold under 1/4 inch, repin and press.

-Sewing time! Since my corduroy is thick I wanted as much fabric as possible, while still enclosing the unfinished edges, to be between the presser foot and the feed dogs. I lined up the folded edge with the farthest left edge of the presser foot (try to keep all the excess fabric to your left).
-I think most machines give you the option of stopping with the needle down, make sure to select this and backstitch to start off and head on down to your corner! I stitched 4 stitches past where I wanted to pivot and backstitched then turned the fabric (while the needle was in the down position - this keeps the fabric right where you want it while you are turning it) and continued across the bottom (I backstitched here too, just because I could). Do these steps again when you reach the next corner. REMEMBER - when you pivot you want the edge of the presser foot to line up with the hem's edge. You can take a stitch or two forward or backwards if you need to- this is why stopping with the needle down is such a joy; you can check where you are and move as needed.
-Dowel time! I slid a dowel in the bottom pocket and started measuring from there. 8-12 inches is a good dowel space. I used a seam ripper and split 6 stitches where I wanted to slip a dowel into the hem. Then I went back and sealed those stitches with Fray Check.

-You can add your batten across the top now, but I added my rings first because I was waiting for my hubby to finish a poker tournament so that he could trim my batten.
-Using thread and a hand sewing needle I looped 3 rings across each dowel. One in each corner and one in the middle (middle might not have been needed, but I didn't want to chance a sag). Do that at each dowel.

-I placed the batten across the top edge of the fabric and measured from the top dowel to make sure it was even. Fold fabric over the batten and use a staple gun to secure the fabric to the batten.

-My hubby helped me get the screw eyes in place by drilling into the batten then hand twisting the eyes into place.
-Decide which side of the shade you want your cording on (for the right side when installed, start from the bottom right cord, string up and across and leave 4 feet extra, move to the middle and then finally the left side. Visa versa if you want the cords on the left side of the finished product).

- Tie your cord to the bottom ring and then just make sure it goes through the middle of the rest of the loops.
-Once all three rows are corded push the cords through your tassel or condenser and you're ready to install in your window!

-Secure your "L" hooks in the desired positions, set the batten on the hook and screw into place! Viola! Roman Shade!

Enjoy =)

1 comment:

katieinak said...

Amanda! You are so incredibly talented! I wish I knew home to make shades! That is soooo impressive! :)