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My Favourite Way to Make a Classic Shade

​Since I've always wanted to create my own home interior decisions I couldn't help the fact I was stuck with store options I was never happy with. Plus, the ones I happened to like were a bit expensive for what I thought I was buying. So, an year ago I decided to try out the sewing skills my grandma gave me when I was a 9-year-old. Well, it turned out they were pretty bad and I thought I'll never be good at that. 

Now, an year later, my skills are still too basic for my taste, but at least I can make something for my home which will look more presentable. And the fact I made it makes it even prettier. 

So, I will share with you how I made the classic shades in my kitchen. I didn't explore that method at all, I remember I found a tutorial on a magazine and one gloomy Sunday I rolled the sleeves up and made them. What I love about that tutorial is that it's pretty easy and takes considerably not long to make. It can be modified in many ways, but I'm not that advanced yet. So, take a look and I hope you'll find my tips helpful. Please, bear with me, as I am not very good and explaining how I do things ha ha. 

What You'll Need:

  • Lining fabric
  • Shade on your choice
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing kit or a sewing machine

Now, onto the instructions:

1. Decide what would be the size of the shade and add 4 inches to wide and then 8 1/2 inches to the length of the shade. Next, cut both the shade and the lining fabric you chose to size. 

2. Next, lay the fabric with it's right side down. Then take 2 inch hems of the long sides and base,  then fold and press them. Now unfold. Then fold and press the bottom corners, refold the hems. Take the corners and slip-stitch them. Miter the corners and leave a 1/4-inch opening on the side which is meant for the dowel. The last thing of this step is to hem the base and the sides (you can make it by hand or with the sewing machine).

3. Determine the positions of the pockets of the dowel and mark them on the back of the shade. I recommend using a disappearing-ink pen. Space the pockets evenly according to how wide you want the pleats to be. For the placement of the bottom pocket I divided the size of the intervals between the pleats by 2 and then I added 1 inch to be certain it will be enough. Start measuring and mark the intervals to the bottom. Then sew the cotton strips (fold length-wise and press them and then machine-stitch the long edge with a 3/8-inch double hem,  The fold and press one of the ends and machine stitch with again a 3/8-inch hem. 

4. Machine stitch the folded long edges of pockets. Then insert the dowels in the pockets and slip-stitch a double 3/8-inch hem. When you're done, insert the bottom dowel into the opening of the corner you mitered earlier. Then close with a slip stitch. 

5. Draw a line 6 inches below the top of the shade, then wrap and staple the the ends in fabric. Roll and staple until the marker line is covered. 

I want to thank my friend Mike who works for a London based window cleaning company, who gave me the idea of making these myself. He visits many homes and he figured a lot of the women start making window treatments by themselves.  

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Comment by Karen on December 14, 2015 at 3:38pm

I well remember my first home-made roller blind, using Laura Ashley fabric and a can of Fabric Stiffener!

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