Roman Shades Are A
Good Alternative For Window Treatments
Roman shades are a good alternative for window treatments
because they can serve 2 purposes at once:
- They are decorative the way a traditional curtain or
drape would be
- They do "double duty" by acting as a shade or
Roman shades are also relatively easy to make. Of course,
the first thing you do is measure your window, the same way we
did on the Simple
Curtains page. Except, you will not need the
additional 3 inches at the bottom for the hem.
To make the directions easy, lets use a window 35" X
Most fabrics come in widths of 45", 54", and 60". This makes
it easy because the fabric will be wide enough to cover the
width of the window.
For the length, you can buy 1 1/2
yards of fabric. This will give you extra fabric to allow
for the casing at the top, and a small hem. You will also
need to buy small plastic rings and a bulk of cording (the
sales person in the fabric store can show you where these
are). And of course, matching thread.
Start with the
width of the window and fabric. Since the window is 35"
wide, cut the fabric to be 37" wide. This will give you
enough fabric to make a strong side seam.
For the length, cut the fabric to be 49". This
allows the 3 inches for the casing and a 1-inch hem.
Let's start with the side seams on your roman
- Press under 1/2" on one side.
- Press another half inch on the same
side. This will give you a very nice clean edge.
- Run a straight stitch down the entire side of the
- Repeat this process with the other side of the
For the top of the roman shade, we will repeat the same
process as we did on the Simple
- Press under 1/4" on the top of the fabric.
- Press another 2 1/2 " creating the casing for the
- Run a straight stich at the bottom of the casing where
you pressed the 1/4".
The bottom of the roman shade will be the same as you did
for the sides.
- Press under 1/2" on the hem.
- Press another 1/2" under.
- Sew a straight stitch down the seam.
OK...you're now ready to finish the shade.
For this size window, and to get a nice even pull on the
shade, I recommend 4 columns of rings. On each side
seam you will sew a column of rings. Then, evenly space
the 2 inside columns of rings through the width of your roman
To decide how many rows of rings down your shade, you have
to determine how many folds you want, i.e., when you draw the
shade up, you will see the number of folds. This will
determine how far apart to sew the rings.
Let's say you want 4 folds when you draw the shade up.
So you will need to sew on 6 rings in each column, 6"
apart. You will now have 4 columns of rings down your
fabric. (I recommend you sew the top rings at the stiching line
at the bottom of your casing).
Lastly, measure your cording to the length of the roman
shade, plus 1" to tie them at the bottom rings. Thread the
cord through each ring in one column...don't cut it
Now you have to allow enough cord to be able
to draw the shade up. Next, allow enough cord
to go across the top of the shade then down to pull it up
(You can decide how long you want the pull cord to be).
This means, each cord will be a different length from each
column. To keep the cord neat, you can thread each one through
the top ring on each column.
Now, you can tie, or braid, or be creative on how you want
the pull cord to look.
And your done! Put the rod into the casing and hang
your brand new roman shade.
If you need a printed pattern and directions, here is a
program that I highly recommend. The program will take you
step-by-step through your creation of roman shades.