Roman Shade Tutorial (Part 1)

*This tutorial explains how I sewed my Roman Shades, check back on Thursday (hopefully) on how to assemble and install the shades.  Update: Check out Part 2

I haven’t been very motivated to work on our guest room since we don’t have guests very often and hardly ever go upstairs. So, when Chris’ parents and sister planned on coming for the weekend it was just the push I needed to do something with the guest room. The first thing on my list was to add curtains that would block incoming light  and provide privacy for our guests. Just as with the bath room curtains I considered a few different options for window coverings but in the end I decided that the look I really wanted was roman shades. I liked that they could add some color and pattern to the room without being overwhelming.

So here’s how I made my roman shades. Hopefully this will help me to remember how I did them later and maybe it will even help someone else too.

For reference the windows I covered are measured 16 3/4″ x 52 1/2″ and 34 3/4″ x 52 1/2″. It is really important to measure really well. Here is a picture of the windows I am working with:

The first thing I did was determine how much of each item I would need by using this calculator on the Terrell Designs website. Then I purchased and gathered my supplies along with a few tools I needed.

Engineering A Home: Roman Blind Supplies

This is the breakdown of the cost of my supplies for reference:

Fabrics for Outside: $30.20
Lining Fabric (white cotton): $19.15 (40% of coupon)
Rocloc Blackout Lining: $9.60 (50% off) (didn’t use inside the curtains)
Plastic Rings: $3.59
Cord Pulls: $2.58
Cord Cleats: $7.47
Velcro: $3.96
Thread:  $4.59 + On Hand
Cording: $4.99 (ended up using left over on hand)
1/4″ Dowels: $13.72
Eye Hooks: $2.36
1×2 Board: $3.12
Staple Gun: On Hand
Staples: On Hand
1 1/2″ Screws: On Hand
Drill: On Hand
– $5.00 off coupon
Total: $100.33 + tax

Other Supplies on Hand:
Rotary Cutter
Self Healing Cutting Mat
Quilting Ruler
Miter Saw
Drill and Drill Bits
Measuring Tape

Before I started sewing the shades I decided to pre-wash all my fabrics before ironing them. I think this is where I remembered just how crazy this idea was and what it was really like the making the bathroom shades.

Once I had the fabric ironed I folded it along the selvage edges twice to make a nice long strip that could be more easily managed using the rotary cutter and mat. As usual the cats were being really helpful.

Then I cut my fabric according to the sizes specified by this calculator. The only difference I made here was that I cut 2 pieces of lining fabric per shade. This is the reason there is so much white fabric. Oh so very much fabric.

Since I decided to use a few different fabrics together I had to sew them together in order to have each front fabric with a finished size as was specified by the calculator.

The next thing I did isn’t really part of the directions but it allowed me to have finished edges with the later sewn side seams. I serged both the left and the right side as well as the bottom of each front panel.

After serging I folded up the bottom 3″ and again another 3″ and then pinned for the hem. (Note the very helpful cat attempting to pull the fabric down)

Here’s the hem after it was sewn and pressed.

After I completed the front panels I moved on to working on the linings. I serged the left edge of each individual lining (2 pieces per shade). Then I laid both linings on top of each other and serged the bottom and right hand side together. Now I have only three sets of lining, one for each curtain. Each set is connected on the right side and bottom and the top and left are left open for steps later on. After serging the lining fabrics I hemmed the lining in the same way as the front.

I decided that I didn’t really want to glue my battens into the shade so I created a pocket for each batten to slip into. Thus the reason for two pieces of lining fabric for each curtain.

So to create the slots I laid out each set of lining  that I just serged on the carpet and marked out the locations of each batten (also from the calculator). Don’t forget to offset the tape measure so that the lining starts at the 1/2″ marking since the lining will start a half inch above the front. I used an air erase marker to mark out a line for the batten slots.

Once I pinned around each of the lines securely I sewed a line about 1/4″ on either side of each marked line. This created a pocket that was around a 1/2″ wide. After I had sewn a few slots I slipped in a batten to make sure they would fit. I removed them before I moved on since it makes it much harder to sew the rest of the curtain. This is something I learned the hard way the first time around.

From here on I pretty much just followed the directions from Terrell Design’s website.  I  lined up the front fabric and lining with right sides facing together. I pinned and sewed the first side together using a 3/4″ seam allowance. This should be the seam with the finished edge of lining not the one with the open ends of the slots.

Next I lined up the other sides, pinned and sewed along the edge leaving the batten slots open so they could be slipped in later.

It may not be really clear in the picture above be the lining is actually not as wide of the front fabric. This was done on purpose. That way when the two sides are sewn and turned the front fabric will wrap around the side and you won’t end up seeing a seam on the front edge of the curtains when hung.

The last part of sewing the curtains was to finish the top and add the velcro. I laid out the fabrics on the floor and smoothed all the layers out. Then I measured and marked where the top would be accounting for an extra inch to sew on the velcro.

Next I serged the top edge together to finish it off.

Once I serged the top together I turned it towards the back 1 inch, pinned and then sewed on the fuzzy side of the velcro.

Well that’s it for sewing the shades. it actually isn’t quite as difficult as it looks. Unfortunately I realized when I was writing this post that I never took any photos of the curtains once they were all sewn. Whoops, guess you’ll just have to wait for the assembly to see the big revel.

Don’t forget to check out the Terrel Designs website for more instructions and helpful tips.

Also don’t forget to check back on Thursday to see how I assembled and hung my curtains! (Check it out here)

Anyone else out there crazy enough to attempt a method similar to this for a roman shade?

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