Making a Roman Blind
Roman blinds can be fitted to either recessed or unrecessed windows. If the window is recessed, you can hang the blind inside or outside: inside the recess, the board can be fixed to the recess ceiling; outside, secure it to the wall using brackets.
Fix the heading board in position temporarily to measure up. To calculate the length of fabric required, measure from over the top of the board to the sill, adding 15cm/6in to the length for hem and top fixing. Add 7.5cm/3in to the width for the side turnings. The lining should be 10cm/4in shorter and 10cm/4in narrower than the blind fabric.
The blind is pulled up by means of cords running through ringed tapes sewn to the back. The tape is attached in vertical rows, one at each side with others between them at intervals of 25-30cm/ 10-12in. Also, you will need cord and aeye for each row of tape: to calculate the amount of cord required, measure twice the length of the blind, add the width, and then multiply this figure by the number of rows of tape.
Materials and Equipment
• blind fabric lining
• ringed blind tape
•eyes (one for each row of tape)
• thread, pins and needles
• sewing machine
• wooden batten (5 x 2.5cm/ 2 x 1 in) for the heading board
• wooden batten (2.5 x 0.5cm/1in x 1/4in)
• cleat for securing cords
• hammer and tacks, or stapling gun and staples
• angle brackets
1. Trim or snip selvedges to prevent puckering. Join any widths with flat seams; place part-widths to the outside, matching pattern if necessary. Repeat with lining fabric. Mark the mid-points of the lining and blind fabric and, with right sides together, align the top and sides and machine-stitch 1cm/1/2in side seams. The surplus fabric will form a pleat at the back. Press the seams open.
2. Turn right sides out, matching the mid-points, and press so that the blind fabric forms equal margins at the sides. Turn up the main fabric by 1cm/1/2in at the bottom, then turn up 10cm/4in to make a hem. Pin in place.
3. Mark guide lines for tape rows. Attach tapes, the first two covering the two side seams and the others spaced evenly between. Rings should align horizontally across the blind; the bottom ring should be 1cm/1/2in from the hem edge. Tuck the tape ends into the hem.
4. Machine-stitch through all thicknesses along both sides of the ringed tape.
5. Machine-stitch twice across the hem, first to catch in the ends of the tape and, again, 4cm/1-1/2in down to form a casing.
6. Trim the smaller batten to make it just shorter than the width of the blinds and slot it into the casing. Slip-stitch the ends so that the batten is enclosed; continue down the ends of the hem to finish.
7. Zigzag-stitch the top edges of the blind together, catching in the raw edges of the tapes. Lay the heading board on a flat surface and position the edge of the blind 2cm/3/4in over the wide side of it. Tack or staple at 10cm/ 4in intervals.
8. Fixeyes into the underside of the heading board at the top of each row of tape. Use a larger eye at the right-hand side, because all the cords will converge here.
9. With the blind still laid flat, tie cords to the bottom rings and thread them through each row and through the eyes at the top. Working towards the right
10. Knot the cords together about 5cm/2in from the last eye.
11. Fix the heading board either to the top of the window using angle brackets or directly into the recess ceiling. Trim the cords so that they are level and knot at the bottom. Screw the cleat to the wall near the bottom of the window to secure the cords. Keep the blind drawn up for a couple of days until the pleats in the fabric are firmly established.