Sunday, October 7, 2012

roman shades

finally, a project post!! my intention was to post these more often...oh, well. this is a project tackled while my mom and sister were here last month. and, honestly, they did a lot of the work. sorry to disappoint you! they are handy, talented ladies and i am so glad they came to visit!

anyway, i have been bugging poor phil to rearrange the back den. it's a former porch, now enclosed, with french doors to the back patio. phil has claimed it as 'his' room, since we rent out our basement, so it is the tv room. as i write this, he has two (!) televisions set up from watching the game last night. (which, by the way, was an awesome game!!! go aggies!) but his argument was always that there would be a horrible glare on the screen from the french doors with no window coverings. valid. i guess. but i still wanted to flip the furniture arrangement. so when momma and sarah came to town, covering that glass was the main project i wanted us to tackle.

i decided on roman shades because they're simple, easy to operate and can be installed on double doors. after painstaking measurements and too much math for a non-work day, we set off for the fabric store. i wanted white shades with grey trim and blackout lining. the lining is because those doors face south and need some solar blockage.

we found blackout lining that was a similar color to the white so we could leave it exposed to the outside. the doors face the alley, so i'm not really as concerned with consistency like the front window treatments. before starting anything, we washed and dried the fabrics, then gave them a quick ironing. we cut one panel of the lining in the full length and width we wanted (plus seam allowance and extra at the top for mounting!). for the front panel, we cut the two inch grey borders for sides and bottom, and the white main panel. we pinned together a full mock-up to hold against the door to check our measurements and see how it looked before assembling.

we sewed the front panel together first, the borders to the white. all the seams were pressed and the corners tacked. getting the mitre correct was very difficult and took a few tries.

then the assembled front panel was sewn to the lining, front faces together. we turned it inside out and checked it against the door again. and tried to fix the corners again.

then we decided how many folds would be on the open shade - this determines how many rows of rings you need. then we carefully measured to get the rows even, equal and level so the open shade would fold and hang correctly. the locations were marked and small clear plastic rings were sewn, three across, at each row. this part was done by hand.

then the entire curtain was stapled onto a 1x2 at the top, taking care to keep the curtain level and plumb. small eye hooks were screwed into the wood at the top of each column of plastic rings. string was fed through each ring from the bottom to the top. then the string was fed through the eye hooks. you decide which side of the shade you want your control, then feed the other strings across, through the adjacent eye hooks, to come out a single side.

we used those control tabs to attach the shades to the fiberglass doors. et voila!

however, we are going to have to screw them in for long-term viability. the more we tried to operate them, the more they fell. but if you don't plan to open/close them very often you could use the command strips in a rental to not leave holes...

oh, and just so everyone knows, when i write 'we' i mean mom and sarah :) my main contribution to this project was getting in the way and ironing.

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