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Roman blinds - planning to make some and need a bit of help!

(26 Posts)
EagleRay Thu 22-May-14 15:35:06

Tiny little DD has ended up with the master bedroom, which has a fairly bog standard Victorian bay window. We've had Ikea venetian blinds up there for years but I want to replace them with something nicer, and a bit better at blocking out the light!

Today I finally found the fabric of my dreams and am toying with the idea of making the blinds myself. Having recently stopped working, I have time on my side. I can sew reasonably well, but nothing fancy and am not very good with sewing technical terms. I have a sewing machine but it's ancient and needs fixing because the stitching tension is very skewed.

I was also planning to buy some blind kits with the chain/cassette mechanisms as they would be safer. Oh, and blackout fabric too.

So, with all this in mind, would I be foolish to proceed myself? It would be 3 blinds in total. Am slightly worried I would end up with one rubbish blind, one average one and a fab one as I improved with each one I made!

Has anyone else made similar blinds? And would I be saving a fortune by doing it myself? The fabric would cost about £70 in total, by the way.

willowisp Thu 22-May-14 19:07:42

You're very brave & I would say go for it....but, go to charity shop & pick up a couple of sheets, so you can make at least one prototype.

My mum is good at sewing but ALWAYS always, something isn't quite right.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Thu 22-May-14 19:13:03

Try this for instructions.

Sonofagun Thu 22-May-14 19:18:48

Try this video

m.youtube.com/watch?v=NxgHJO993Rk

I've made 4 lots of blinds using it. Very easy to follow grin

7to25 Thu 22-May-14 19:21:00

Something to remember is that ,if the fabric has a pattern, this should match across all three blinds. Just the same as curtains.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Thu 22-May-14 19:44:05

That's the same one I linked to, agree it is easy grin

EagleRay Thu 22-May-14 22:26:12

Aha - the video! I meant to ask in my original post if anyone could recommend a video as couldn't find a good one when I looked earlier. Am watching the video now to see if I can understand it - thank you so much Wynken and Sonofagun

The matching pattern thing is an interesting point 7to25 - the fabric I want to use is actually that of a world map! The roll is massively wide at 280cm and this is enough for all 3 windows but obviously the map wouldn't then continue neatly across all 3 windows due to hemming allowance? Hmm... have I set myself a near-impossible task? I am desperate to use this fabric as I love the design, the colours go really nicely with the F&B paint on the walls and it is interesting enough for a toddler to look and point at, but also nice for anyone else using the room.

Here's some pics of the fabric - I will post some pics if I end up being brave daft enough to make the blinds myself...

Btw willow I seem to have a mountain of fabric upstairs in a bag which I could use for prototypes - just need to be patient enough to spend the time on a prototype rather than rushing in!

HaveToWearHeels Fri 23-May-14 21:18:53

I have done it and my top tip is don't rush it, take your time. It can be done and get a good finish. The fabric is beautiful by the way.

MadameDefarge Mon 26-May-14 12:37:54

I did a cheat with IKEA roman blinds, by using hemming tape to stick new fabric on top, just ironing it! worked brilliantly.

The trick I found was to make sure I used the tape across each of the rods as well as down the sides and across top and bottom. I think I also folded it around top and bottom so taped on each side with a good finish.

betold Mon 26-May-14 21:15:39

I did the same as Madame on my dd's 3 window bay. Cheap fabric from dunelm and iron on hemming tape.

Our original blinds were made to measure and to replace them would have been over £400, my recovering cost about £40.

But mine were blackout already...

Maybe you could back your fabric with the blackout then cover the existing blinds?

They don't look too hard to make from scratch but I'm really not that clever! Sounds like your fabric would be complicated to match up.

Good luck with it whatever you decide! smile

ginmakesitallok Mon 26-May-14 21:21:07

That's one of the patterns which was in the running for DDS room! In the end we went for another one, and have ordered from blinds to go (I think!)

stealthsquiggle Mon 26-May-14 21:33:56

Roman blinds are pretty easy to make once you get the maths right and make sure you measure really carefully. I can't see pictured on the app, but a fabric with no definite horizontal lines is a definite plus (depends how visible the lines of latitude are, I guess)

Blackout fabric otoh is a pita. It shows every single hole, including pin holes, when the sun shines though it. I wish you luck with that one - the first blackout blind I made annoyed me for ever more as you could see where it had been pinned together angry. My DC grew out of needing blackout curtains before I got around to making more (actually, that's a lie. DS now has a huge east facing window which needs absolute blackout to stop the sun rising straight in his eyes, and I wimped out and bought a blackout roller blind blush)

JamJimJam Mon 26-May-14 21:36:59

I am not crafty, but I made some using a YouTube tutorial (can't remember which one). It was easy and they look very professional.

mandy214 Mon 26-May-14 21:48:17

I've done it and agree that black out fabric is very hard. If you sew through it you'll have pin holes. Without sewing through it, particularly for your middle blind (am guessing its quite wide) you might not get it to lift / fold properly. Also be careful with the depth of the cassette / baton as if its too deep the fabric will stick out from the window and let light in at the sides. You also have to be careful with the cassettes that they don't abutt each other depending on the angle of the victorian bay.

mandy214 Mon 26-May-14 21:51:55

I've done it and agree that black out fabric is very hard. If you sew through it you'll have pin holes. Without sewing through it, particularly for your middle blind (am guessing its quite wide) you might not get it to lift / fold properly. Also be careful with the depth of the cassette / baton as if its too deep the fabric will stick out from the window and let light in at the sides. You also have to be careful with the cassettes that they don't abutt each other depending on the angle of the victorian bay.

stealthsquiggle Mon 26-May-14 21:53:43

OP, if the windows are deep enough, you might want to consider ready made blackout roller blinds with decorative roman blinds in front - that way you wouldn't need to line them at all, as the double layer would also provide reasonable heat insulation?

mellicauli Mon 26-May-14 21:57:07

I made 3 blinds and it was easy enough. I used a kit from Pretty Frills. The material was very expensive and I was quaking in my boots when I cut it..but after that it was very easy. I think using the kit is reassuring if the material is expensive.

Btw - lovely the fabric. Where did you get it?

stealthsquiggle Mon 26-May-14 21:57:45

Although, come to think of it, you might want him lining anyway so that you can minimise the stitches which show on your maps by having all the channels only in the lining

<<realises she is probably just confusing OP now>>

<<backs away>>

ThinkingtheUnthinkable Tue 27-May-14 08:28:32

I had Roman Blinds made for the bay window in our dc's bedroom years ago. They were blackout lined too but the light still got round the sides more than I would have liked and they weren't as effective as the fully blackout lined curtains in the actual nursery bedroom iykwim.

How important is blocking out the light ? IME if it's very important consider curtains instead.

EagleRay Wed 28-May-14 13:19:06

Wow - loads more food for thought!

I like the idea of cheating with cheap ready-made blinds, and I hadn't thought of using roller blinds for the blackout part - think it would be a lot easier to put rollers inside the windows then romans on top.

I hadn't thought about abutting cassettes, but there's a real risk of that happening - luckily I have a cassette mechanism on some existing blinds in other rooms so will do some careful measuring.

Mellicauli the fabric is a non-branded one from Fabric Mills - it's on their website and the ref is FMM4163 - it's super wide so you the price per metre is v cheap!

Thinkingtheunthinkable I love roman blinds, hence going for these rather than curtains. I don't need to block the light 100% but would love the improve on the poor effort the existing venetian blinds are making...

HaveToWearHeels Wed 28-May-14 16:01:48

EagleRay do you have upvc windows ?. If so another idea is Perfect Fit Blinds in the windows and a Roman on the outside of the recess, we have this in our bedroom and it works really well.

EagleRay Wed 28-May-14 16:35:42

Well that's a very interesting question HaveToWearHeels! I totally forgot a fundamental issue with my bay window, and have just realised when I took a look at it just now to see if roller blinds would work - the middle/largest window is the original sash window, but whoever owned the house in the 80s kindly replaced the side windows in the bay with bloody aluminium ones! It means that the amount of recess varies wildly and the roller just wouldn't work with the sash window. Grrrrr...

So back to drawing board and original plan of blackout blinds! Am going to spend some time now watching the video very carefully to see if I can see myself constructing blinds without messing it up...

betold Wed 28-May-14 20:30:44

We have the same problem Thinking, lots of light comes in round the sides of the blackout blinds. Would be better with curtains over the top to block the light.

Think roller blinds would be the same if that was all you were using.

Roman blinds mounted outside the recess would block more light IYSWIM

MadameDefarge Wed 28-May-14 21:51:23

Another cheat I came across on good old Pinterest, actually putting the fabric on the window, using spray starch.

I know it sounds weird, but if you went for the roller blinds for black out, then its not so weird really!

A roller that crossed the entire bay and only pulled down for night would work.

EagleRay Sat 01-Nov-14 11:43:01

Hi - this thread is a few months old now but I thought I would update...

Back in May when I first posted, I had time but not the money, hence me wanting to make the blinds. Then while I was still faffing around trying to decide what to do, I got a full time job so no longer had the time! In the end, I decided to bite the bullet and get a local company in to make them for me (it was 3 blinds for a bay window).

They were finally fitted last weekend and here's the result! They are lovely and it was a relief to get rid of the dusty old wooden blinds smile

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