Sewing Drapes for Vertical Blinds

Have a house with vertical blinds? Hide the hardware with a timelessly traditional look and these step-by-step instructions. Sewing some simple blinds for those shades can add a softer look and change the feel of the room, directing the eye away from the blinds and towards the pattern of the fabric. 

Materials and Tools:

metal ring clipsfabricdecorative trim with tasselstwo tasselsscissorsvertical blinds

Steps:

1. For the side panels, use a half-width of fabric for each and add side seams and hems (the blind stitch keeps the stitching nearly invisible on the front of the fabric).

2. For the valance, sew two widths of fabric together in the center and hem the panel. Use a template to cut scallops along the top edge. Add a basting stitch to keep it from unraveling, and then sew the decorative trim with tassels along the scallops. Repeat the process along the header of the side panels.

3. Clip metal rings to the scallop points and slide them over the rod. Tack the valance to each side panel to make sure the three pieces read as one, and then tie the side panels back with a tassel.

 

Updating Roller Shades with Fabric

Roller shades are a great way to add privacy and light control to your windows at very little cost. The plain white ones allow you to do something flashy with draperies, and some of the newer styles are striped and patterned, so they have personalities of their own. You can even make them yourself out of beautiful decorator fabrics so that they coordinate perfectly with your room. And all the parts are available in kits, or you can tear apart old, well-worn shades. If you use an old one, just be sure to make a mark on the barrel showing which direction the shade falls. Here’s how to make your own:

Materials and Tools:

old roller shade (for parts) or a new shade kitfabric of your choicefusible interfacingiron and ironing boardscissorsstraightedgematte knifestaple gunseam sealanttape measure

Steps:

1. Determining whether your shade will be mounted inside the casing (which most roller shades are) or on the casing to cover the trim when extended. Measure the window’s length, inside the casing or outside (which would include the casing), and add 12 inches to your measurement. Measure the width in the same fashion and add 2 inches to your measurement. Cut the fabric and interfacing to your measurements.

2. Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric following the manufacturer’s instructions. Then, using a lightweight pressing cloth and an iron on the “wool” setting, start ironing in the center of the interfacing, applying steam and pressure in one spot for 10 to 15 seconds, and work toward the edges, overlapping sections as you press. When you’ve completed pressing on the interfacing side (by then you’ll feel as if you’ve been ironing forever), turn the shade over to the fabric side and repeat the same steps.

3. To cut the shade width down to size, measure the barrel from the old shade or a new one cut down to the size required for your window. Don’t include the pins on the ends in your measurement. Your finished shade width should be 1/8-inch shorter than this dimension. Trim the width of your fabric using a straightedge and a matte knife. Then seal the edges with a seam sealant.

4. Turn the bottom edge of the fabric under 1½ inches and stitch or fuse to form a 1-inch casing for the wooden bottom slat. Then simply staple the top edge to the barrel, keeping in mind the direction the shade should fall. Finally, roll it up and install it.

 

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Making Palladian Window Treatments

Palladian windows can offer a unique touch to a space. However, sometimes the window’s arch may be too much for a space. The arch can be softened quickly and easily with some fabric and a couple of other materials. Creating a simple fabric treatment with 3 materials and 4 easy steps can drastically change the look and feel of the window.

Materials and Tools:

5 small cup hooks4 yards fabric5 fabric hair ties (with elastic inside)

Steps:

1. Attach the cup hooks to the trim around the window (one directly in the center at the top, two at the 90-degree angle points and two that split the difference at the 45-degree angle points).

Hem the ends of the fabric.

Gather a small amount of fabric in the center of the four yards and tie it as you would a pony tail. Put the treatment in place by attaching the hair tie to the center cup hook and arrange the pouf of fabric until satisfied.

4. Work on one side at a time and pull the fabric through the next two hair ties as above, and then attach them to the appropriate cup hooks. Arrange the poufs until satisfied.

 

How to Sew a V-Shaped Banner Valance

Adding a bold valance to a window is a great way to add color and softness without adding full drapes to a window that may already have blinds. With a few easy steps, creating a V shaped banner valance will add those touches of softness and color.

Materials and Tools:

fabricliningfusible interfacingironbeaded clips

beaded finials on curtain rodpaper or poster board

Steps:

1. Draw a template half the size of the desired finished valance onto paper or poster board and cut it out.

2. Fuse interfacing to the silk fabric according to the manufacturer’s instructions to give it some body. Lay the fabric face down and fold it in half with right sides together. Trace the template, lining it up to the folded edge and cut shape out. Repeat the tracing step with the lining.

3. Pin the two pieces together with right sides together and stitch all the way around, leaving about a 10-inch opening at the top for turning. Tip: In order to make a crisp point, stitch down to the point; sew one stitch across the point area, and then stitch up the other side.

4. Turn the valance right side out and iron it flat. Stitch or serge the opening closed. To keep the edges crisp, stitch as closely to the edge as possible with matching thread.

5. Fold and stitch the rod pocket in place and clip the beads to the point.

 

How to Make a Sink Skirt

Fabric makeovers can be especially helpful in smaller bathrooms. Without taking up much more space, fabric can bring a huge change to that space. Pedestal sinks are often the sink of choice in tighter spaces, but often show exposed plumbing and offer little to no storage. Adding an easy sew sink skirt to the sink will solve those problems, bringing more style and function to the bathroom. 

Materials Needed:

• 4-1/2 yards of 48″-wide cotton fabric

• measuring tape or ruler

• 2 yards cotton piping

• 5′ of 1″-wide adhesive-backed hook and loop tape

• coordinating all-purpose thread

• sewing machine

• scissors

• iron

• 1 roll 5/8″ fusible bonding web tape

• high temperature hot glue gun

• hot glue sticks

Measure and Cut Fabric

Measure the height and width of sink. Measure and cut three pieces of fabric to the length of the sink height plus 5 inches for seam allowance and hem. Position two fabric panels with right sides together, and pin and sew right edge. Pin and sew third panel in the same manner. (Example: If using 48-inch wide fabric for a sink that’s 31 inches high, the fabric panel should measure 144 inches by 36 inches.) Tip: If a machine washable skirt is desired, pre-wash fabric.

Make Piping

Cut cotton piping cord to sink width, plus 1 inch for seam allowance. Measure and cut a piece of fabric that’s 2 inches wide and the length of the sink width plus 1 inch. (Example: If sink width is 30 inches, the fabric piece would measure 31 inches by 2 inches.) Wrap fabric length around piping cord and sew into place using a zipper foot.

Make Header Band

Measure and cut a piece of fabric to sink width plus 1″ seam allowance and 6-1/2 inches wide. Fold fabric in half lengthwise and press. Sandwich a piece of fusible webbing tape between the two layers and press again to activate adhesive.

Sew Piping to Band

Position piping cord two inches below folded seam. Raw edges should face the same direction. Pin and sew into place.

Gather and Sew Skirt

Position header band and skirt with right sides together and raw edges lined up. Pin right and left sides of skirt to band, just above piping. Pull skirt out to find the center and pin to band’s center point. Gather and pin skirt from center point working out toward each side. Sew into place and remove pins. Trim excess seam allowance. Tip: For an even gather, divide skirt and header band into eighths and pin together at each eighth mark. Gather skirt between these marks.

Hem and Press

Measure skirt length and double-check measurement against sink height. Fold skirt under at desired finished length, measuring to ensure an even hem. Pin into place. Insert fusible webbing tape under hem and iron to activate adhesive. Tip: Hem length is a personal preference. Have the hem just off the floor if a wet floor is common, just touching the floor for a traditional look or allow it to puddle for drama.

Sew Exposed Edges

For an exact fit, hold skirt to sink and place a pin to mark left and right hems. Fold fabric under to hide raw edges and pin. Sew into place. Tip: Fusible webbing tape can be used here, but it isn’t strong enough to hold down the piping trim and band. Those sections need to be hand- or machine-stitched together.

Apply Hook and Loop Tape

Remove paper to expose adhesive back on loop tape. Apply to clean, dry sink just under the lip. Cut excess. In the same manner, apply hook tape to inside top of skirt band. Adhesive tape isn’t intended for fabric use, so apply hot glue to ensure proper adhesion. (Follow manufacturer’s instructions for adhesive dry time before applying skirt to sink.) Tip: Moisture and humidity may cause adhesive to relax over time. Add a bead of hot glue or super glue to reattach.

 

Low Sew Roman Shade

Using fabric to makeover a room can be done in more rooms than just a bedroom. The bathroom is another place where simple fabric accessories can change the whole feel. An empty, drab window in the bathroom or any other room, can be transformed with a roman shade. Making a simplified roman shade is easy with the help of fusible webbing tape and hot glue, even if sewing isn’t for you.

Materials Needed:

• 2 yards of 48″-wide home decor fabric

• coordinating all-purpose thread

• 1/4″-wide wooden dowel rods (8)

• 4 yards Roman blind ring tape

• sewing machine

• pins

• sharp scissors

• high-temp hot glue gun

• glue sticks

• 1 roll fusible webbing tape

• iron

• 1 1″ x 2″ board cut to window width

• screw eyes (3)

• screw hook

• nylon cord

• yardstick or ruler

• pencil

Measure and Cut Fabric

Measure height and width of window, inside frame and sill. Cut fabric to window width, plus 2″ for seam allowance. (Example: If inside of window width measures 27-3/4″, fabric width should be 29-3/4″.)

Hem Edges

Fold under 1″ seam allowance on right side and press. Insert fusible webbing tape under fold and iron to activate adhesive. Repeat on left side.

Pin and Sew Rod Pockets

Fold under bottom edge of fabric. Insert dowel rod in fold and pin fabric to form pocket. Using a yardstick or ruler, measure distance between every other ring on tape. Use that measurement to determine proper placement for next dowel rod pocket and mark with pencil. Position dowel on mark, fold fabric over and pin to form second pocket. Continue in this manner to top of blind. Remove dowels and stitch along pin lines. Remove pins, trim threads and insert dowels.

Affix Ring Tape

Position blind on work surface face down. Line up ring tape on sides, making sure rings line up with rod pockets. Hot glue ring tape into place. Tip: If rod pockets and rings don’t line up perfectly, cut twill tape to position rings directly on dowels.

Prepare Header Board

Drill two pilot holes through header board for installation screws  . Tighten 3 screw eyes into bottom side of header board  . See diagram for proper hardware placement  .

Thread Cording

Cut two pieces of nylon cording double the window height. Tie end of one cord to second to last ring at bottom of blind on right side  . Thread through rings that are positioned over dowel rods and up through screw eye. Continue to thread cord through middle and left screw eyes. Repeat on left side, but thread only through left screw eye  . Pull both cords tight, so the blind is even and make a knot just to the left of the left screw eye. Make one more knot in bottom of cords to keep them together.

Hang Blind

Drill pilot holes in underside of window header trim that match pilot holes drilled in blind header board  . Hold header board tight to window trim and insert a screw in each pilot hole. Tighten a screw hook in side of window frame to wrap excess cord around when blind is raised  .