An epic Roman (shade) battle!

I’m not what they would say considered “crafty.” My graphic design skills are adequate. My interior design notions are amateur. And my crafty skills hover somewhere between “Did your child make that?” and “I’ve seen worse.” (Good thing my try-hardiness levels are through the roof.) There is a noticeable absence of posts related to all things hand-crafted or sewn on this blog, and that is because I am not crafty. I am trying though, darn it. Just recently I learned to use my sewing machine without supervision. And the result is this ill-fated account about my attempt at making a Roman shade.

I really wanted a Roman shade for our kitchen window because they just look so flippin’ fantastic and minimalistic, which is perfect for our mid century modern abode.

Photos from Houzz.com

bluepatternedromanshade pinkromanshade romanshadelivingroom bambooromanshade

So I briefly (and I cannot stress how briefly) began to peruse websites for how to make one of these little items at home. I found two sources that seemed manageable:

Martha, helpful as she may be, did not include pictures on her how-to (shame on you, Martha), and Scoutie Girl had a great tutorial, but I lacked the fabric glue needed to complete the task according to her instructions. However, I did have a yard of fabric from Hobby Lobby I purchased for a whopping $6 that matched our kitchen perfectly. So I ventured out on my own, trying to create a hybrid of the two, without referring back to their directions. Perhaps this is where I went wrong.

  • First, I hemmed the entire piece so it wouldn’t fray. (This was a big deal for me, as I am new to the exciting world of sewing machines.) That part was a success. So, go me!
  • Second, I placed (I say place instead of lie/lay because I still don’t completely understand the difference) my fabric under the mini blinds (I think it’s layed) and determined which blinds I wanted to cut and which I wanted to keep as the support for my roman shade folds. Then I cut all the others away, per Scoutie Girl‘s instructions.
    diy-blinds-5
  • Then, using the existing kitchen mini blinds as a frame, I haphazardly folded the fabric under about 1 inch around the blind slats to create my Roman shade folds, making what looked like a little pocket for the plastic blind. I made a couple of stitches on each end to hold the fabric pockets in place around the blind.
    pocket
  • Once the blind pockets were done, I hand stitched the fabric on either side of the draw string a couple times for added support.
    stitchsupport
  • Then it was time to incorporate the draw string from the original blinds. Here’s where I started thinking outside of the box, perhaps to my own detriment. Martha Stewart said to buy brass rings for the drawstring to run through, but instead I made a small (very small) loop with some extra yarn I had around the house and sewed each of those loops onto every fold, in line with where the draw strings would run. I also tied a bead to the end of the draw string. This way, the drawstring would follow a straight path, but not slip through the yarn loop when drawing the shades.

Ultimately, the finished product looked like this when down.

uglyromanshadeIt’s too short! To quote Liz Lemom, “Blarg!” This is why I studied journalism and not math. Granted, I chose to do this project on a whim and did not precisely measure before-hand, but let it be known that a yard of fabric is not enough to cover a kitchen window. I’m optimistic that I can tack on another length of fabric and fix this problem without it being too obvious, but geeeeeeez, I was so (well, not really) close!

And here’s how she looks pulled up.

uglyromanshade2 It’s a little floppy on the edges. Bummer. Fortunately Home Depot has 48″ wooden dowels for $3 that I hope, hope, hope will fix the flop prob (new band name?).  For now, I’m not calling the shades a victory, but for $6 I’m not willing to say I’ve been defeated either.

Let’s call it half time.