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Allanah Hill Roman Blinds

January 8, 2015
Roman Blinds

When we moved into our new home there were no coverings on the windows whatsoever. When I saw this gorgeous silk cotton print by Alannah Hill I immediately imagined bold roman blinds for our lounge room…

I took guidance from this wonderful tutorial from hodge:podge, and won’t reproduce every step but do have some tips about sourcing the materials.

I also made some cushions to match, they looked quite gaudy  to our eyes on day one but now I love them,  I will be sad to leave the blinds here when we go…

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Measure the window carefully

This is the most important step and a mistake at this point will ruin the whole project, so it is worth taking the time to get this right.  Drawing a little window on some paper and writing your measurements on it is a great idea.
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Fabric choice 

 
The fun part! The fabric really must have a bit of ‘body’ to it, cotton is everyone’s friend. Linen is also good.
I threw all of this advice in the bin and chose a billowy silk-cotton, so it is possible to make these out of anything, you just have to ask yourself if it’s going to be worth all the effort.
Plain fabric is good because you can turn it 90 degrees and it looks the same, your purchased fabric will probably be longer than it is wide and there are no real grain considerations in this project, so long as you don’t use the bias.

Block-out fabric

 
Would you like your blinds to block out the light?  If you do, you’ll need to interline them with block out fabric.
I sourced mine from horrible salmon coloured curtain I purchased at a thrift store.
Carry your fashion fabric over to the block out stuff and see how it sits on top, the colour may appear different without any light coming through . If you don’t want block-out that is ok, but keep in mind the anatomy of the blind will be on display (including the dowel, seams, hems).
Another option is to interline it with a thick calico, depending on your fabric choice this will block a lot of light, but not 100%.
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Dowel 

Divide your the height of your window by 30.
Then go to the hardware store and buy that number * (the width of your window) in dowel. Round up. The dowel should be straight and 12-15mm thick. Go for hardwood if you can afford it, it is so much stronger.
So, if your window drop was 2 meters, you would buy (200 / 30 = 6.667, round up) 7 * the width of your blind in dowel. Buy extra if you can, in case you sit on some or make a mistake when cutting
While you’re at the store see if you can buy some kind of heavy, straight thing to sit in the bottom of the blind (like a thin metal rod) This will greatly improve the way the blind hangs, I wish I had done this with mine. Most hardware stores cut this stuff to length, usually for little girls to use in calisthenics routines.

Stuff-to-hold-the-dowel-in 

 
Unfortunately you’ll have to go back to the fabric store once you’ve bought your dowel. Take a little piece with you and go hunting for something you can buy by the meter that will enclose your dowel with a bit extra. (usually near the lace/ trim/ ribbon section)
I used what looked like cotton sports-bag strapping that was about 4cm wide. If you can wrap it around the dowel and pinch it with your fingers it is probably ok, you just need a few mm to stitch it to the blind.
**It must not have stretch*** or your blind will be hopeless. If you can’t find the mysterious sports bag strapping that I used grosgrain ribbon will work just as well. You can see this from the outside so keep that in mind when you’re choosing colours, it will sit on top of the lining fabric

Rings 

 
Take the number of dowel widths you bought (7 from my example above) and multiply it by your blind width divided by 35, round up.
Then buy at least this many little metal rings, between 1cm and 2.5cm in diameter. These will be sewn to the back of the blind to run the cords through. I bought plastic and they all snapped from exposure to the sun within about 6 weeks, so make sure they are something that will stand the heat, metal really is best. Buy extra if you can, these are annoying to run out of.

Cording 

 
Buy a lot of thin nylon blind cording (At least the drop of your blind*8). It is quite inexpensive.
I thought it would be important to buy pretty cording; it is not. No one ever sees it.
If you happen to stumble across a pretty weight  to keep the cords hanging nicely, buy two. I am still looking for a pretty way to keep my cords weighted, it really makes the blind look professional, but you can add this later.

Wall cleats 

If you can’t stomach the idea of engineering a stay system at the top of your blind simply buy a pretty brass or chrome cleat to screw into the wall so your blind will stay up.

Hopefully these tips help speed up your project, getting all of the elements together is fiddly but home-dec projects are extremely rewarding.

Thanks for reading.

tanya
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