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Roman Shade Tutorial



So a few months ago, hubby and I went shopping for some Roman Shades. We had five windows needing shades/blinds.  We were blown away at the costs! At roughly 180-200/shade (low end), we could not afford it.  Especially when you can MAKE one! And choose your own, fun fabric.

Time? My first one took 4 hours, my second 2 hours (once I figured this all out). My goal is for my instructions to make it 3 hours for your first one!

What you will need:
1 yard heavy/decor weight fabric (8-$20)
1 yard blackout fabric ($6)

I bought a kit that has apparently been discontinued, but no worries! (that explains the heavy discount) What you need is:
10 yards Roman Shade Tape ($9)
15 yards drapery cord ($6)
4 L brackets - 1.50
4 screw eyes 1.50
18 screws- 2.00
1 Cord Cleat- 1.60
6-7 wooden dowels, depending on length. = .50 X 6= 3.00
Mounting board 1 X 2 X (width of window - 1/4"). (Mine = 1 X 2 X 42.75")= $1

In your stash (probably)
matching thread
fabric glue (tacky)

That= $39. Get out of town! You may be able to keep the price down if you shop sale! I bought my fabric during one of JoAnns 50% off sale, as well as the kit, so it was roughly $30 per shade for mine... just saying.

Now, I apologize that I'm going to do one of my blogging pet-peeves. Yes, I am using white fabric with white thread for a tutorial. Sooo sorry. Won't do it again. Moving on...

First Step- Measure your window from outside edge of moldings for the width. For length, measure from where you will want to mount the shade to the window sill.

(Mine were 43" x 58)

2nd Step- Cut your curtain (design) fabric.  You will need to ADD 1 inch to the width, and 6 inches to the length. (So for mine, 44" x 64")

Leave your lining fabric alone for now....

3rd step- We're going to sew in a second. FIRST, you need to iron 1/2" seams on each side (lengthwise). And on the bottom of your fabric (choose a shorter side) a 2" seam. THEN, lets sew! Sew the sides at 1/4" seams, and then sew the bottom at 1/4" as well.  Leave the rest of the bottom alone- it looks weird for now, but that's ok.



4th Step- Cut your Roman Shade Tube Tape the width of the fabric you cut plus one inch (for me this was 44 + 1 = 45") Cut 5 pieces if you have a length similar to mine. If your curtains will be longer, add a piece for every 10 inches longer. Then, measuring from the top of the piece of fabric hemmed at the bottom, pin the tape every 11 inches, to make a total of 5 pockets. Pin the ends under (about 1/4 inch), to keep things pretty.  You should have roughly 12 inches at the top when you are done from the top of your shade to the last tube line.  DON'T BE STINGY ON PINNING.  I learned my lesson, as the final pic will show. The more you pin, the straighter the tape will be.



Be careful to stay between the ribbing and the loop
and the tube for the dowels... don't sew over.



5th Step- Sew the tape horizontally. Make sure your thread matches pretty well. You need to stitch right above the tube part of the tape, but below the "ribbed" part. This will be important later on. Don't forget to backstitch!


6th step- Cut your lining. It needs to be 1/2" shorter than the width of your main curtain fabric, and 12" shorter. (So for mine: 43.5 x 52") . Go back to the ironing board, and iron both lengths and one shorter side up 1/4".  Set aside for a moment.

7th step- Cut the chords and chord the curtain! You will need four chord pieces: Piece 1- 99 inches; piece 2: 115inches; piece 3: 131 inches; piece 4; 147 inches.  Once cut, starting from the left, you will thread the chord through the chord guides. The first piece goes 1 inch from the left, the forth one inch from the right, and the middle (pieces 2 and 3) nearer to the middle. Come on- eyeball it, this isnt rocket science.


To thread the chords, grab a small safety pin, thread the chord on in. Using the safety pin to guide the chord through the chord guides on the fabric tape. Try to keep it straight. Knot the bottoms of each chord line after you thread it through the first piece on the bottom.  Once they are all threaded, pull to the left and make a loose know to keep them together.  Use your fabric glue to dab it on the knots, for reinforcement.

8th step- Pin the lining to the Curtain fabric. Make sure the cords are not in the way, and pin the left side and bottom of lining to the fabric. Make sure the bottom of the lining is 1/4" from the top of the curtain hem. LEAVE THE RIGHT SIDE OPEN (you're about to insert rods). Sew!


9th step- lay the curtain back down. Insert the rods into the tape pocket rod guide. There will be holes in the tape- this is normal, no worries. Now, pin the right side of the lining down. Get hubby/roommate to help and sew up the right side!


10th step- Random finishings.  Lay curtain back down. Use your fabric glue to tack down the top of the curtain- but MAKE SURE you don't glue down the curtain cords!


- Next, take your board and cover it with discarded fabric (either lining or the decor- doesnt matter, it just looks prettier). Staple gun in place. Put board on top of curtain back, roughly 2 inches from the top of the curtain. Pull decor fabric over and nail into place.


11th step- attach eyelets and then pull chords through. Once pulled through (with the right chord going through all 4 eyelets, the next one over pulled through 3, etc), knot.

12th step- Hang! Attach mounting board to the outside of the window with the L-brackets and screws. Honestly? I asked my husband to do this, and he said its pretty easy.  Once hung, put your final dowel in the bottom, just to make it hang nicely.
See why you should pin the tape better? I still like how mine came out :)

And DONE!

Also- see the one I made for my daughters room. With really heavy black out lining- its awesome!!

blackout!







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