Ok, this is the last, long-delayed post about making window dressings (gosh, doesn't that sound Victorian?! "Window dressings, my good sir!"). Roman blinds are, I believe, the easiest type of window dressing you can make. It's a very simple and logical process.
First you need to make a decision - will your blind sit IN your window recess, or hang OVER it, covering the window recess? If you, like me, are going to have curtains AND a blind, you may well choose to set the blind in the recess, but you don't necessarily have to.
Once you've decided, measure the size your blind will need to be. When you buy your fabric and lining, you only need to buy slightly more than this measurement to give you some hem allowance.
For the blinds Mum and I made, the fabric was rather too narrow for the window recess, so we decided to put a border all the way round. Therefore, Mum had to do some careful measuring ad straight cutting to prepare the border pieces.
Then, each border piece was machine-stitched on, and the seams were ironed flat like an open book.
Now it's time to affix the lining. You need to cut it the right size - again - allowing a bit of hem allowance. Then, with right sides facing, machine stitch the bottom of the fabric to the bottom of the lining. To ensure that the lining is never visible from the front, you then need to turn up the bottom of the blind so you have a good few inches of the fabric folded up at the back. Sadly, I didn't take a picture of this stage, which is a nuisance, because I'm really struggling to explain it!!
Next you need to sew up the edges. Measure the exact width you need the blind to be, and pin the edges, making sure the fabric and edges are all straight and parallel. We had to do this with the right side facing so we could ensure the side borders were even.
Now you need to fold the lining edges in too, and pin them to the fabric. However, rather than the fabric and lining being flush, you want the lining to be a little narrower than the fabric, just to be sure that you don't see it poking around the edges of the blind. You don't need the several inches you had folded up at the bottom, just a centimetre is fine (sorry about the switching between units of measurement - it's a British thing - Brits raised between the 80's and 90's have to use metric at school but tend to use imperial at home. As a consequence we leap merrily between the two, confusing Europeans and Americans alike!).
Now, you need to make some tunnels for the rods in your Roman blind to sit in. How many you need depends on the height of your blind. If it's for a window of average height, three to four should be fine (excluding the bottom one). If it's for a taller window or a doorway, you'll need more. Measure and cut strips of fabric about the width of the blind, and 8cm tall.
Carefully (if you value your fingers, that is!), iron the edges in like this:
Soon you should have some smart looking strips ready to turn into tunnel-pockets.
Right, now you're rejuvinated, you need to fold each of those neat little strips in half lengthways, and stitch it in place on your measured lines. You need to position each one like a u, with the folded edge hanging below and the two free edges stitched along the top. Thus you create a long hanging pocket.
If you work carefully, yours should end up looking as neat and tidy as ours did!
Nearly finished now! It's time to cut and slide in your wooden rods - a wide, flat rod for the bottom (oh - you can see the turn up in this picture - do you see?) and little round dowels for the other pockets.
Once you've slid them in, you can handstitch the ends of the pockets closed, so that your rods don't fall out all the time.
Now, again you'll need to consider the width of your Roman blind to decide how many cords you'll need. We did three for our little blind. The way it works is you handstitch little hoops onto the rod pockets in columns. Then, you tie a piece of cord to each bottom hoop, thread it up through the other hoops in that column, and along the top (they'll go through the curtain wire eyes that are on the wood attached to the wall) and back down to the bottom. It sounds complicated, but it's very logical.