Sunday, August 7, 2011

Lessons from the Romans!

The Roman blinds are finished!
With the help of my hubs...we're done!
Now, I have a lot to share about this project. The finished product is NOT perfect at all, but I learned a lot along the way. 

I'm excited to share what I learned. This has been a project which intimidated me a long time before getting the courage to go for it. 

The first thing I did was find a good home decor fabric that would achieve the look I was going for. 
I went to one of my FAV fabric shops:

The next thing I did was RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH! I went through all the sewing books I have (thanks family and friends for all the AWESOME books...woot woot!!!)
I finally settled on this tutorial:

Once I purchased all my materials per the tutorial I got crackin!
I really struggled with the length I needed and making sure the ends were perfectly straight. So I used my  green cutting mat, roller cutter and folded the right sides of my decor fabric together. Once I was able to make sure my lines were straight, I used my roller cutter to tidy up the ends so they would be perfectly straight (TOTAL BEGINNER MOVE...I know....hehe).
To make my life easy, I'm sure there's an expert way of doing this and probably easier, but this worked for me; I pinned my decor fabric to my curtain lining fabric right sides together. I used my FAB fabric as the pattern to cut the lining fabric from. EASY PEASY!
Leaving pinned together I stitched just as the tutorial instructed me. Then I turned it inside out which made a casing. 
At this point I was feeling pretty good.
A closer look. 
So still following the tutorial I attached the rings and was getting a little more confidence in the project. I had this idea I could deconstruct the old, VERY DIRTY, levolar blinds and use the parts to mount the blinds to the window frame. Thrifty right?!?!

 EPIC FAIL!!! Don't do this...just be a good seamstress and follow the tutorials!!! haha!

It just so happens later that afternoon we went to a Borders bookstore that is closing near us...BOOOOO HOOOO!!! I am very sad about Borders closing! I love going there and scoping out the next books to read. 
Well, I stumbled across this AWESOME book!
Um....SO FAB!!! Yea, this book has just about it all! LOVE LOVE LOVE!
I found a great section on window treatments and really liked Martha's take on roman blind construction.

So off to Home Depot I went...clueless mind you, but a rough idea from Martha's book!
I picked up some dowels and 2X1 wood plank or whatever you call it. I had my measurements and they cut the wood for me!!! Where I lost the "thrifty" in this project was having to purchase a staple gun and staples!!! Um, $30 extra I wasn't expecting. But hey, every house needs a staple gun I guess. So I can't feel that bad about it.
Ok, so Martha suggests using dowels to add weight at each ring interval...makes perfect sense to create that finished look. I created these small casings for each interval.
I sewed each casing at the measured interval, sewed the rings to hemmed edge of the casings, and inserted the dowels. 
I spray painted the 2X1 with some white gloss paint to take the finished look one step fuRther...THANKS HUBS FOR THE IDEA!

The tutorial did not say to finish the top edge, but I hemmed it anyway. Then I wrapped a little around the top 2x1 wood strip and staple gunned it down! I have never used a staple gun so that was strangely fun...hehe! 
I screwed the special rings through the wood at the top and then threaded the string as the tutorial online and Martha guide.
We painted the windowsill since before the blinds were solid and we couldn't paint in the space before. The hubs got out some power tools...HARUMPH, HARUMPH, HARUMPH!!!
He was a ROCKSTAR and mounted our Roman Blinds to perfection!!!
When we first stepped back the right side was hanging ever so slightly longer...NO PROB...hello Mr. Staple Gun! One ta-dow and we were good to go!
So what are the final imperfections that I'll correct next time around? Maybe slightly longer because I didn't factor in the length it would take to go around the wood at the top for the mounting mechanism. I also don't like the pull things at the bottom...I have an idea for those but have to make a run to a store first...stay tuned!!!

I also would like to see more of a layered look to the roman pleats. The online tutorial explained how to do this, but with the Martha re-do I jumped ship a little from the online tutorial and went with her advice.  Next time, I'm going to go with the online tutorial's advice for the ring spacing. 
Overall, I am beyond excited about the finished product!!! EEEKKKK!!!
It's just a huge sense of accomplishment for me. I never thought it would work out and IT DID!!!
I now know I can do window treatments for the back bedrooms. I don't think I'm good enough yet to make blinds for the main rooms of the house, but with a few back bedroom practice...maybe. 

Fingers crossed!

1 comment:

  1. Great job. Next time you don't even need to make a casing for the dowel rods. Just sew a seam in your designer fabric and slip the rod into that. It will fold up nicer. You will have to allow fabric for wrapping each dowel, but I think it's a nicer outcome.

    Good work!!!