Making Roman blinds requires careful measuring and a little patience, to ensure your blind fits perfectly in your window and is straight! However, if you take your time, measure accurately and keep checking as you are going then you can make your own.
Roman blinds (like the ones pictured above) can be used to create a light but cosy atmosphere in a sunny room.
There are several different ways to make Roman blinds and most people start off by making them on a sewing machine. However, for a really professional-looking finish, you shouldn’t be able to see any machine stitches on the front at all, and nearly the whole blind is made by hand.
We have tried many, many different ways of making Roman blinds and perfected our techniques over the years and we have found that this is the most accurate way, with the neatest finish.
There are also different ways to hang your blind – you can use a wooden batten and screw eyes to thread your cord through, then wind it around a cleat mounted on the wall. However, since we discovered the side-winder mechanism, we have never looked back! The blind is lowered and raised by pulling the chain (just like on a roller blind) and you don’t have all those strings in the way, plus the blind pulls up more neatly, too.
You can buy all these mechanisms as kits, which include everything you need for your blind (rods, tape, bar, Velcro) except for the fabric. They come in a variety of sizes and you just cut them down to fit.
How to choose the right fabric, lining and interlining for your Roman blinds
You can use any fabric to make your blind, but a curtain-weight fabric is the best to give your blind some body, which will make it hang better. If your finished blind is wider than the fabric width then you’ll need to join it together before you make your blind.
Be sure to match the pattern carefully and instead of having the seam running down the middle, join pieces on either side of the full width because this works better visually. for a really individual blind, you could make it in patchwork, appliqué a motif or embroider words on the fabric.
It’s best to line your blind, so that you can hide your Roman blind tapes and make them invisible from the front. an ordinary cotton sateen lining fabric works well and this can be bought in a variety of colours. or you could use a blackout lining if you want to block out more light.
We also interline our blinds, using a lightweight 160g/m2 dommett interlining that doesn’t add too much bulk. The blind always hangs better with it placed between the main fabric and the lining, plus it gives the finished blind a slightly padded, more professional look.
Measuring up for your Roman blinds
Fabric and interlining amounts will depend on the size of your window – see instructions for measuring.
First you need to decide whether your Roman blind is going to sit on the inside or outside of the window recess. Think about what suits your window best, marking the wall if necessary to give you an idea. If it’s going to sit inside then measure the width and drop of the inside of your window frame.
Your blind rail will be attached to the top of the window frame and the blind will touch the windowsill, so it’s really important to measure accurately. It does need to move freely up and down though, so measure 1cm less than the width to allow for this. if your blind is going to sit outside the recess then add 5-10cm on both sides of the window width so that it overlaps the walls, and add the same to the bottom. add 10-20cm above the window.
Still not sure how to size your Roman blinds? Use the diagram below as a guide.
How to calculate the amount of fabric that you’ll need to make your Roman blinds
Now you have the measurements, you need to work out the fabric sizes you need and then cut it all out, using the following guide:
From your main curtain fabric, you will need:
Width – measured width, plus 5cm on both sides for turnings (so width plus 10cm) drop – measured drop, plus 5cm at the top and 8cm at the bottom (so drop plus 13cm).
From your lining fabric, you will need:
Width – measured width, plus 5cm on both sides for turnings (so width plus 10cm) drop – measured drop, plus 5cm at the top, no extra at the bottom.
From your interlining fabric, you will need:
Width – same as the measured width drop – measured drop, plus 5cm at the bottom.
Working out the tape spacing
Calculate where the tape will be sewn because this is where the rods will be inserted. The tapes should be spaced 20-30cm apart. using the measured drop, take 5cm off this measurement to allow for the blind rail. now with the measurement left, you need to work out the spaces between each tape.
The bottom space should be half the width of the other spaces and the top space will have the 5cm added to it to allow for the blind rail. For example, your measured drop is 122cm, minus 5cm, so this is 117cm. four rods is about right for a blind of this drop, so divide 117 by 4.5 (the half space is for the bottom space) and you get 26cm. So that makes your top space 31cm (26cm plus 5cm), then you’ll have three spaces of 26cm, and the bottom space will be 13cm.
It’s a good idea to draw yourself a diagram and then check against it that your measurements add up. As long as each space is between 20-30cm, it will look fine, and you can add a couple of extra cm to the top space if you need to.
Read on to discover how to make roman blinds with step-by-step pictures.