Project 6: Shades

When Josh and I moved into our house three years ago, it was after it had been a rental property for several years. I’m sure at some point, all the rooms had custom shades and the wood floors weren’t scraped up and everything was wonderful. And the house is still in pretty great shape, but we do have issues. And one of those issues is missing blinds.

Our master suite faces the street. Our window — and all the ones the same size — are missing their custom blinds. Our first day in the house, we taped wrapping paper over our bedroom window, and it stayed for three years. I came up with a plan to sew custom roman shades for all the windows in the room. However, I procrastinated. My sewing machine had some issues, plus it seemed like such a daunting project (and all that cutting!) that I just never really did much with it. However, I want the custom blind from the one window in our room that has one for the window in the baby’s room. So, I got to work.

Here are my two completed and hung fabric shades. There’s still one more to hang (it’s a really long window) and we haven’t figured out a good solution yet.

(The light above the shade in the top picture is also new. Josh replaced three mismatched and ugly lights with these fixtures from IKEA.)


A quick run-down of how I made these:

1. I measured each window several times on the interior of the window frame. I wanted these panels mounted and sitting on the inside of the windows. It’s a clean look that I really wanted for our bedroom (rather than hanging curtains collecting dust on the bottoms).

2. I used a 40% off coupon at JoAnn Fabrics to purchase black out lining. It’s a bit pricey, which is why I used — and recommend using — a coupon, but it’s so worth it. Our bedroom is SO dark, which is wonderful for blocking out city lights and the motion lights between our house and the neighbors’.

3. I cut the lining to precisely the windows’ measurements, and left a 2-inch selvage on the fabric on the sides and bottom and several inches on top (to sew the sleeve the rods go through). The side and bottom selvage allowed me to fold the fabric over to create a neat border with the fabric’s rough edges hidden.

4. I pinned the fabric and the lining at the sides and bottom first, but the first line I sewed on each panel was to secure the top edge of the black-out lining to the fabric. In some cases, this actually meant some adjustments to the sides, but if you attempt a similar project, it’ll be obvious that you’ll need to do this and it just involves redoing one side of the panel.

5. I used this tutorial‘s method for corners. My sewing isn’t as precise and matched up and wonderful, but my corners aren’t bulky and everything looks nice.

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