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An Introduction to Roman Blinds
Roman blinds are the most elegant of the flat-faced blinds and complement almost any decorative scheme.
When raised, Roman blinds gather into folds of deep, straight horizontal pleats. These are formed by pieces of dowelling that are sewn into sleeves in the lining fabric.
Because the dowelling gives firmness to this type of blind.
There is no need to treat the fabric with a stiffener. The hanging system for a Roman blind include pull-up cords that run vertically up the back of the fabric and are threaded through a series of metal eyes screwed into a heading board.
The same hanging system can also be used for ruched blinds.
Making a Roman Blind
Decide on the blind position and measure the window width. If the blind is to hand outside the recess, add an extra 5 cm for a light-excluding overlap. Fix the heading board.
Measure the drop from the heading board to the windowsill, or 5 cm below if the blind is to hang outside the recess.
To make this blind, you will need the blind fabric, the lining fabric, pull-up cords, cleat, dowelling, panel saw, screw eyes. rings, velcro strips, and the basic sewing kit.
Construction of the Blind
The pull-up system applies to Austrian, festoon, and Roman blinds. Cords are attached near the lower edge and threaded up through rings sewn to sleeves containing pieces of dowelling.
At the top, the cords are worked through eyes screwed into the underside of the heading board.
These eyes are aligned with the vertical rows of rings at the back. An extra eye is screwed to the side on which the cords will hang.
The distance between the topmost piece of dowelling and the top of the blind should be greater than the distances between the other pieces of dowelling.
This part is made larger so that the rest of the blind will pull up neatly behind it.
1. Cutting Fabric Cut out the fabric on the straight grain to the required size, adding 6 cm to the length and the width. Cut the lining to the same size as the main fabric, less than 8 cm widthways, and the sleeve widths and the circumference of each piece of dowelling, plus 6 mm to the length. You will need a piece of dowelling for the bottom of the blind and for each sleeve. The top of the blind does not require a piece of dowelling.
2. Stitching Side Hem Lay out the lining fabric and turn the side edges by 1.5 cm to the wrong side. Press, pin, tack and sew both of the side hems.
3. Marking Sleeve Positions On the right side of the lining, mark a line of 3 cm from the bottom. From there, measure and mark the sleeve positions. The distance between the pieces of dowelling will be twice the pleat depth.
4. Folding Sleeve Following the sleeve marks, pinch the sleeves together, wrong sides facing. Pin, tack and sew along these marks. Turn and press the sides and bottom edge of the main fabric 3 cm to the wrong side.
5. Marking Sleeve Fold the bottom corners of the main fabric into mitres. From the lower folded edge, make a mark for each sleeve position. At the lower edges of the fabrics, mark the mid-points.
6. Pinning Fabrics Lay the fabrics right sides together, aligning the mid-points. Sew a plain flat seam of 3 cm from the lower edge. Trim seams to 1.5 cm. Fold the lining and main fabric wrong sides together. Press along the lower edge of the seam line.
7. Aligning Sleeve Marks Align the sleeve seam line on the lining with the sleeve marks on the main fabric. Pin the lining to the main fabric along the edges.
8. Attaching Lining Tack together the lining and main fabric, just above or below each sleeve line and close the stitching. For the bottom dowelling, tack a line 2 mm plus the diameter of the dowelling from the lower edge of the blind.
9. Sewing Lining Sew the lining and the main fabric together along the tacked lines. Cut dowelling pieces, except the bottom one, 1 cm shorter than the sleeve length. Cut the bottom dowelling to the width of the blind, less than 6 cm.
10. Stitching Sides Insert each piece of dowelling into a sleeve, including the longer piece at the bottom. Slipstitch the ends closed. Slipstitch the sides of the lining to the sides of the main fabric.
11. Attaching Rings Sew the rings to the dowelling sleeves, 10 cm from the edges and 30 - 40 cm apart. Make sure that they are aligned vertically. At the top edge of the blind, turn the fabric 3 cm to the wrong side. Press and tack. Cut strips of velcro to the same width as the blind.
12. Stitching Velcro Sew the loop strip of velcro to the top turning. Cut each cord length to twice the blind length plus the necessary amount for the cord to run along the top of the blind to the pull-up side.
13. Securing Cord Tie one end of a cord to the lowest ring. Thread the cord up through the vertical line of rings to the top of the blind. Tie and thread the remaining cords in place across the blind. Staple the hook strip of velcro to the heading board.
14. Securing Eyes Mark on the heading board the placement for the screw eyes. All of the eyes, except one, should line up with rows of the rings. Screw the eyes to the underside of the board corresponding with these dimensions. Fit one eye at the edge of the board on the side you wish the cords to hang. Attach the blind to the board.
15. Fixing Blind Thread the cords through the eyes on the heading board, working towards the side where the cords will hang. Let the blind hang down and tie the cords together at the top, 2.5 cm from the last eye. Trim the cords at the bottom and knot them together again to neaten. Draw the blind, mark and fix the cleat to the wall or window frame.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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