As with all window covering projects, make sure you measure your windows carefully. You'll also need to decide if you want your shades to hang from a simple tension rod inserted inside your window molding (those springy things that look like a miniature shower curtain rod) or if you prefer something more decorative that mounts to your window's upper crown molding or even onto the wall above or to the either side of the window. Our picture shows a decorative rod mounted on the window's crown molding.
Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome Magnolia 7318)
Fabric and Other Supplies
Supplies based on one shade, 44" wide x 45" high
- 1 3/4 yds base fabric for shade top
- 1 3/4 yds base fabric for shade bottom
Note: base fabric should be double-sided and measure 54 or 60 inches in width. If the fabric you choose has a pattern, you must increase the yardage so you have enough to match the pattern at the seam line.
- 2 yds contrasting fabric for ribbon ties
- 1 wooden dowel - ½" diameter x 43" wide
- 1 Tension rod - 45"
- All-purpose sewing thread to match fabric
- Hand sewing needle
- Straight Pins
- Iron and ironing board
- Cut one piece of your base fabric 48" x 19" (for shade top).
- Cut one piece of your base fabric 48" x 36" (for shade bottom).
- Cut four pieces of your contrasting fabric, each 4½" x 54" (for ribbon ties).
At Your Sewing Machine
- Wind a bobbin with thread that matches your base fabric.
- Thread your machine with the same thread, and insert the wound bobbin.
- Select a straight stitch.
- With right sides together, sew two 4 1/2" x 54" fabric strips together along the short ends using a 1/2" seam allowance. The strip will be approximately 107" lon
- Repeat using the remaining 4 1/2" x 54" strips.
- Wrong sides together, fold this fabric strip you just made in half along the 107" edge. Press. Stitch along all three sides, leaving a 1" opening in center.
If you want your ribbon to have diagonal ends like we did, make your stitching diagonal across the corners, as shown in the diagram below.
- Clip seams, turn right side out through the 1" opening.
- Slip stitch opening closed with hand sewing needle and thread.
Attaching Ribbon Ties:
- Fold the tie strip in half to find center.
- Place one tie at the top, 12" in from the right edge and having one length of the tie on the front side of the shade and other length on the back side. (i.e. the shade is sandwiched between the tie). Place the other tie 12" from the left edge, and again sandwiching the shade between the tie.
- Baste in place on top.
- With right sides together, using a 1" seam allowance, stitch the shade top to the shade bottom. You will be catching the top of the ribbon ties and securing them in your seam, but be careful not to catch the bottom of dangling ribbon ties as you sew; they should hang free.
Note: If your fabric has a pattern or stripe, be sure to match it up (top to bottom) before you sew this horizontal seam.
- Fold one side of the fabric under 1" and press. Then, turn under an additional 1" and press again. Create a hem by stitching close to the fold.
- Repeat for other side.
- Turn top hem under 1" and press. Turn under an additional 4" and press. Create hem by stitching close to the fold. The sides of this hem will be left open for the tension rod (for hanging the shade).
- Turn bottom hem under 1" and press. Turn under an additional 2" and press. Create hem by stitching close to the fold. The sides of this hem will be left open for insertion of the wooden dowel.
- Cut 1/2" dowel down to 43" wide and slide into bottom pocket, slip stitch right and left openings of bottom hem pocket closed.
- Place the tension rod through the top casing and place on your window or slip onto your decorative rod.
- Accordion fold the bottom of the shade to the desired amount of "openness" and secure it with the ribbon ties.
Other machines suitable for this project include the Viking Emerald 183 and the Bernina Aurora 450.