Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Making a Roman Blind

I'm going to be honest here - I'm not going to attempt to write a full on tutorial here as Sew Helpful have an absolutely amazing one which I followed to the letter to make this blind.  I didn't buy the additional videos, and was just guided through with the free text instructions. Admittedly when I started reading the instructions it didn't make a whole lot of sense, but by the time you got up to that step, it made a lot more sense.

I therefore won't go explanation crazy, but apologies in advance of how picture heavy this post will be!

This was what I started with - it was really hard to photograph as it was so light outside, especially with the snow!  Measure twice, cut once :)

The only space available that I had that was big enough and flat enough to assemble such a blind was the kitchen floor, so after a quick clean, I laid all the fabric out.  (I then realised how creased it was and proceeded to iron it - the photo is the lining fabric pre-iron!)

After ironing the hem allowances, I then carefully measured out the rod pockets and sewed them in.  The alternative is to use rod pocket tape , but I chose to sew my pockets into the lining instead.

The one thing I dislike about sewing is all the ironing involved in it!  It makes such a huge difference though.  This is the first rod pocket in:

Once all the rod pockets were in, it was time to prepare the actual fabric.  This had the hem allowances ironed in.

This bit is hard to explain, but you lay the fabrics wrong side to wrong side, and then the hem allowances roll up together.  When you are ironing the lining fabric it seems a bit backwards, but when you get to this point it all makes sense.  The outer fabric hem really nicely hides the lining fabric hem.

There was so much hand sewing involved, and apart from sewing the rod pockets, nearly all of the rest was hand sewn.  This was so you get a nice finish on the side that you will see, and none of the stitches come through.

I also made a big blooper at this point as I had cut the outer fabric the length that I had noted down for the lining fabric.  The lining fabric is cut longer as you need extra material to make the rod pockets.  Mild moment of panic!  At which point I realised what I had done and breathed a huge sigh of relief!

This is my beautiful sewing machine, which I absolutely LOVE.  It's not fancy, it can't do a bajillion types of stitches, and 99% of the time I just use it for a straight stitch, but I still love it so much.  It was my nan's and she bought it back in the late 70's when my mum was doing sewing at school.  A good 35 years later and it's still going strong.  What a beaut.

This was at the point that I was sewing the velcro to the top of the blind.

I used a wooden baton for the header rather than buying a pre-made kit.  I figured it would be cheaper, but now I've started to add up all the little bits, I don't think it actually is cheaper to do it my way!

It was just a scrap I had lying around the garage, which I covered with the blind fabric using my trusty staple gun.  I then got the other side of the velcro (this side had adhesive on the back), and pressed it on.

There was no chance that the adhesive would hold up the whole blind though, so I stapled it down for good measure.

Next I laid out the finished sewn blind and strung up the back.  Before this point I threaded wooden dowels into the rod pockets, and sewed little hoops at regular intervals to thread the blind cord through.

Next up was putting up the baton.  I enlisted my trusty helper for this one:

I did try doing it solo, but whilst trying to hold the long heavy baton with one hand, mark out where I needed to drill with another, I ended up dropping the bloody thing and making this huge gauge in the newly plastered wall :-o Oh my days - not good news!

Anyway, with the assistance of my trusty helper, we managed to get the baton up above the window.  We used three screws to secure it, one at each end and one in the middle - that seemed sensible enough.

After that was the simple job of velcro-ing the blind to the baton,, and stringing the blind cord through the hooks that were waiting on the baton. Add a little hook on the wall for the secure the blind cord in place, and voila!

It was a thing of pure beauty when the blind glided up a dream and folded up into perfect pleats.  I was so proud of myself.

Total Costs - this was for a window 120cm wide and approx 120 high

Outer Fabric: £9 (IKEA)
Lining Fabric: £5.98 (eBay)
Thread: Free (already owned)
Wooden Baton: Free (Scrap from garage)
Staple Gun & Staples: Free (already owned)
Blind Cord: £4.50 (Local Haberdashery)
Small Plastic Rings: £1.49 (eBay)
Chrome cleat for securing blind cord: £1.90 (eBay)
Chrome Barrel for tying all blind cords together: £2.99 (eBay)
Eye Hooks: £1.49 (eBay)
Sew & Stick Velcro: £5.98 (eBay)

Total Cost: £33.33

Now that I have added it all up, it doesn't seem so bad, but it sure felt like a lot as it kept adding up.

This also doesn't include the first piece of white fabric I bought and then dyed grey.  It didn't really look like grey though and was more blueish - so I ended up giving it away on Freecycle.  It was probably about £10.

What have you done today, to make you feel proud? (Sorry Heather Small, totally borrowing your line there)

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