Samantha’s Roman Blinds

Construction, Homeware

The Brown family have been very good to me so far through commissions, my first curtains, first solo upholstery project, and now I have had the chance to learn how to make roman blinds! I don’t mind telling you I was extremely nervous about setting to it because they seemed so much more complicated that curtains because they are so flat and accurate but I did some research online and in a book (I know, proper research!) and started ordering all the necessary materials…mixture of eBay and The Millshop Online.

I found an excellent YouTube video by My Decozo which took me through the steps to making a roman blind which was extremely easy to follow and helpful! I find it easier working with a video but I will put it step by step here incase others find it easier with pictures, and also so I can come back to it for the next blinds!

Firstly, decided what mechanism you want to use for your blind, you can by ones or make your own – I decided to make my own with some wood 12 x 32mm. This I cut to the length of the window minus 1cm (so for this blind, 90cm – 1cm = 89cm). I then covered the wood with an off cut of Samantha’s chosen fabric (which used to be curtains in her house!).

I stuck the first side down with sellotape to hold it while I pulled the other side tight.

Fold over the next layer to create a neat finish and staple down.

Fold the corners like a present and staple securely.

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Lay a strip of sticky side velcro on the top edge and staple to secure.

Now, get your head around the chosen window and its measurements:

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  • Samantha’s windows are in alcoves so I have been given the wall to wall measurements to work from.
  • Calculate the number of rod pockets you will need (excuse the rough drawing but it helps to physically draw it).
  • Decide how many rods you want depending on the dimensions of window – Samantha’s was 90cm x 84cm so I did 3 rod pockets and worked out the measurements by following these steps:
  • 1.5 x depth of head rail (4.8cm) = A (7.2cm)
  • Full drop of blind (84cm) – A (7.2cm) = 76.8cm
  • 76.8cm / 7 (for 3 rod pockets) = 10.9cm = C
  • C = the length between rod pockets, this will be times by 2 when the sections include a fold.
  • The top section has A added to it for the mont board allowance.

Now the complicated bit is done you can start cutting out your face fabric.

  • You need to add 10cm to the finished width (so that would be 100cm for me)
  • And a top hem of 6cm and bottom hem of 10cm (so my cut length was also 100cm)

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For the lining it is slightly different.

  • It is cut to the finished width (90cm for me)
  • But you need to add an additional 5cm for the top, 5cm for the bottom, 2cm per rod pocket (6cm for me) and an ease of 5cm (lining total for me was 105cm)

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Now you are ready to start!

Beginning with the face fabric, iron one 5cm side fold and then measure across the width of the fabric to get the correct measurement and fold and iron…

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Iron the top 6cm fold…

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Reopen the top and side ironed creases and machine the soft side of the velcro…

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Moving on to the lining, on the wrong side of the fabric measure and iron the 2.5cm side folds…

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Flip the fabric over with the right side up and press over the 5cm bottom hem allowance…

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Now you are ready to start measuring out the rod pockets!

Measure from the bottom hem fold up to your first section measurement plus 1cm (for me that would be 11.9cm up from the hem fold) and mark with a pin and draw a soft pencil line from pin to pin…

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I then drew another line, 1cm off from this fold line, this will be your stitch line!

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Now fold and press along the fold line and take to your machine! Sew along the stitch line…

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Now measure up from the STITCH line up 2 x your section measurement + 1cm (10.9cm x 2 = 21.8cm + 1cm = 22.8cm) and draw your fold and stitch lines and repeat the stages!

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Now moving back to the face fabric, herringbone stitch the side folds using matching thread…

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Measure from the top fold down the length of your blind to find your correct length, fold and press…

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Then measure up from this fold your C measurement and mark with a pin on both sides of the fabric – this is your join mark for the first rod pocket, continue measuring up the sides of the fabric to mark where all of them should be so it is easier to lay the fabrics together correctly, smooth the lining across the face fabric and pin in place…

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Slip stitch the layers together, but do not go through the the front layer of the face fabric…

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Cut the excess lining fabric at the top of the blind down to the original fold line…

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Then cut down the face fabric fold to 2cm beyond the velcro and fold a 1.5cm fold underneath the velcro, pin and slipstitch to lining…

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Slip stitch the bottom hem to the lining…

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Now it is time to fix the lining to the face fabric across the width of the blind, stab stitch along the rod pocket seams starting at 10cm in from each edge fold and no more than 30cm apart from each other…

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Make small stitches above the seam line and assure you only pick a one thread from the face fabric…

Now you are ready to insert the rods, mark the fibreglass rods to 1cm less than the rod pocket, cover with masking tape and cut them using a copping saw and sanding paper…

Insert the rod and stitch the pocket closed at both ends…

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Repeat this process with the bottom bar, but cut it to 2cm shorter than the channel…

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Now you can attach the blind rings, I used the first stab stitch (at 10cm) as the first mark for a blind ring and stitched around the rod as well as to the pocket. The next one I placed at the halfway point and the last at the other 10cm point.

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I then threaded the blind cord through the rings down the length of the blind and then through an orb, tying the end to stop it pulling out…

Then, using the cord as a guide I marked where the eyelet screws needed to go and screwed them in…

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Loop the cords through the eyes, making sure to go from back to front and bringing the excess down to the side of the blind. Attach the acorn to the cord and there you have it! Your roman blind!

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Samantha had just forwarded some photographs of her blinds – and they look so lovely!

I feel I have learnt a lot from the project, and am really looking forward to the next one! I may even make one for our new home!

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