Monday, June 4, 2012

Kitchen window goes Roman!

We've been in this house one month short of 4 years.  That entire time we've stared at the naked kitchen window and just never could make up our minds what we wanted there.  That's our backyard neighbor's master bedroom deck you see there - it's a weird backyard because we're the last house before the cul-de-sac.

So, I got a bug up my bottom and decided to do something about it.  I knew we would never agree on a fabric, so I thought some sort of wood or bamboo or man-made material.  I don't really like roller shades.  Neither one of us wanted frilly half-curtains and a ruffly valance.  So that left some sort of blinds.  I quite like Roman shades, but this is a weird sized window - 49" wide by about 39.5" high, interior measurements.  I did what I always do and started googling around the blogosphere to see if anyone has hemmed Roman blinds before.  I found a bunch of tuts, so we picked up a pair at Lowe's for around 35$.  They're allen+roth brand, 48x72, natural fiber roman shades.  Looking closer, natural fiber apparently equals paper!  Who knew?  They're lined on the back which is fine, but made things a bit weird in my head because none of the tutorials I looked at used lined blinds.

I got right to it today and installed the blinds as they came , which resulted in a GINORMOUS puddle of extra Roman.

Took them down and started futzing.  These have a 'wood' bar at the bottom of the shade, with the pretty wrapped all the way around it, sewn into a little pocket with holes on each end.  There were 2 staples in the middle hooking the bar in place.  I just cut the blind out of those, as I was never able to get a good grip on them with the pliers.  Took my seam ripper and picked apart the pocket so I could see how it was constructed, especially with regards to the pull strings.

Then it was basically just doing it all backwards.  I measured & pinned them to length.  Hung them up to double check.  I did that about 5 times because I was crazy paranoid I'd mess up ;)  I accounted for 5 extra inches to accommodate the pocket for the bottom rod, laid them on the floor and measured about 10 more times, triple checking the pull cords were all the way down, the lining was smooth, etc etc etc..  ;)
Then I took my seam ripper again and used that to cut them, by slicing the tiny threads in one row. Next, I sewed (sewing machine, not anything fancy) the lining and the blind together right at the bottom edge (making sure to sew the 3 pull cord ends as well!), then took my good fabric scissors and cut the excess lining away.  I folded both the blind and the lining to the back and then to the back again to create the pocket.  I pinned it in place, inserted the rod and hung them AGAIN to quadruple check the length was right.  Then I made the Husbeast check. Once I was happy, I took the rod out, sewed them with a regular straight machine stitch, put the rod BACK in and hung them.  Husbeast cut the pull-cords shorter, put the pretty plastic ends back on and knotted them.
I'm really pleased!  I do expect they'll live mostly at half-mast or all the way up, but it's nice to have the option.  Another bonus is that the dark brown they are matches the colour I'm likely staining the cabinets.

Now I just need to figure out what to do with a 48x28 piece of roman shade ;)

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