The Makings of a Lined Roman Shade

January 23, 2010 at 4:56 am | Posted in decorating, sewing | 31 Comments

 You will need:

lining fabric, face fabric, mounting board, screw eyes, shade cord, plastic rings, weight rod, white glue, staple gun, L-brackets, screws, cleat to anchor cord pulls, calculator, pencil, paper, and patience.

First thing is deciding on the placement of the shade.  I wanted an inside mount so I measured the inside width and height of the window.  Since the window was narrower than 54 inches, I knew I would just have to purchase fabric the length of the window plus enough for a fold over on the top and bottom.  I allowed 3 inches on the top and 5 inches for the bottom.  So 64 inches (inside height of window) + 3 (top fold over to attach velcro) + 5 (flap at bottom, weight rod pocket and 1/2 inch seam)  = 71 inches.  I always buy a little more so I have enough extra to square up the fabric. 

If the window was wider than the width of the fabric I would have had to join the fabric to make it wide enough.  I have had to do this before and it is nice if you can do something with the seams, like, add piping, or a contrast band or ribbon.

I chose a nice black, beige and grey stripe with a cream lining.  Greige a new favourite.


I take great care to square up the fabric, otherwise it won’t hang straight in the window.  Since there were various stripes I also centred them on the vertical.   I cut the face fabric 33 1/2  inches wide and 71 inches long.

Next I cut the lining the same size as the finished blind size.  In this case that was 27 1/2 ” by 63″.  That makes it 6 inches narrower than the face fabric and 8 inches shorter.

After pressing, I placed the fabric face down and the lining on top.  Centring it so there was 3 inches on either side and 3 inches down from the top and 5 inches from the bottom.



Next, I fold over 1 1/2 ” and press along one side.   I then fold over another 1 1/2 inches and press again.


The picture above shows the 3 inches.  The one below shows the first fold. 


The next picture shows the second 1 1/2 inch fold over.  I press and pin and am ready to sew.


After pinning both sides of the blind,  I then sew them close to the folded edge.


The side seams are now done.  On to the top.

Just as we did for the sides we do for the top.  Fold 1 1/2 inches and press and again.  Open out the second fold and 


 attach the soft side of the velcro with your machine.


At this point I do some hand sewing.  I know that not everyone likes this but, I find it gives a nicer look on the finished project.  I refold the 1 1/2 fold down and hand sew it .  You won’t have a machine stitched line at the top that shows from the front.

The top is done and we just have the bottom to complete. 

I fold and press a 1/2 inch seam.


Then I fold up the remaining 4 1/2 inches and press that.  I then pin and before sewing I check that the length is good.  If it isn’t for any reason.  I can make this fold a little less and lengthen the blind or shorten it. 

I then sew one line of stitching close to the fold and then one line about 1 1/2 inches below that for a weight rod.  The weight rod (a dowel in this case) helps the shade hang nicely.  I have used old ibeam tracks and copper pipes.  Basically anything fairly narrow with some weight to it.   I use heavier weight rods on larger blinds.


At this point you may need to get a calculator, a pencil and paper to figure out the placement of the rings.  I like to have about 8 – 12 inches between the horizontal rows.  On this 27 1/2 inch wide blind I used only 3 rows across.  The vertical rows take a little more figuring and measuring.  I measure from about an inch below the velcro ( the first ring row) and just above the weight rod pocket( bottom row of rings).  This measurement was 56 for me.  I then divide this by 8.  This number could be more or less  depending on the depth of the fold you want when the blind folds up.  Larger blinds might look better with slightly larger folds.  I took the 56 which nicely divided by 8 to give me 7.  I ended up with 7 vertical rows 8 inches apart.  I mark these points with a washable marker or dressmakers pencil.  


I hand sew these rings on as well.  I stitch into face fabric at least twice or three times and the rest just into the lining.  I use matching thread and I double the thread.  I sew the bottom rows with extra stitches because they hold more weight. It worked out that the rows where all on the black stripe this time.  Whew.

 The Singer Sewing for the Home where I first learned all this from has you sew these with a machine.  “Attach rings by placing fold under presser foot with ring next to fold.  Set stitch length to 0, and zigzag to widest setting.  secure ring with 8 to 10 stitches, catching small amount of fold in each stitch. ”  This might be faster but I tried it once and didn’t like the effect on the face fabric.   

At this point you need to know if you want the cords to be on the right or left hand side.   It is time to cut the cording in the various lengths you will need.  Start with the row opposite to the side you want the pull.  Tie a knot in the bottom ring and secure with a drop of glue.  Thread it up thru the row leave enough to go across the top and down half way.  Continue along on all rows.


(the dark spots are where I washed away dressmakers pencil what was in the wrong place. oops)


I have a handy man cut me a mounting board slightly narrower than the width of the window and about 1  1/2  inches by 1 1/2 inches.   You can paint this the same colour as your trim or mine was wrapped in fabric already from the last blind I made for this window.  It matched the lining so I left it alone.  You need to insert screw eyes to line up with your vertical rows.  I use L brackets to attach the mounting board to the window frame.  I stapled the hard side of the velcro along the edge which will face out.  Use lots of staples for this or when you need to reposition the blind you may pull the velcro away from the board.

Sew the weight rod pocket closed.


 Hang the mounting bracket.


Velcro the blind on and thread each cord  through the ring above it across and down to the side you want the pull.

All the cords will come through the last ring.  Make sure the blind is hanging flat.  (this was a little hard to do when I was standing in the window sill).  Make sure as well the tension in the same on all the cords.  Just on the outside of the screw eye tie a knot with all the cords so they don’t slip through the screw eye.  I usually braid the strings from this point and find a knot cover or an interesting bead.  (haven’t done this yet though).

I will at least cut the cords even. ..soon.

Last step,  I promise.  Attach a cleat.


And make yourself a lovely tea with honey because you deserve it.  Well I do anyways.



I usually keep it all the way up for a few days in order for the fabric to form a memory.  Really!  It will.

I hope someone will find this useful.  I have made many many blinds.  Roman, hopple, large, small, sheer, heavy canvas,  more than I probably remember.  Feel free to ask questions.  I would love to help.


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  1. Perfect! I’ve always wondered how to make these things. The other tutorials I’ve seen are not terribly clear. Thanks for that. It looks beautiful in it’s native environment. Your wallpaper is awesome! I agree with the tea and honey bit. All rewards for hard work should start with tea. 🙂

  2. Wow – I’m really in love with the wallpaper in these photos! It’s gorgeous, and the window shade goes perfectly. I can’t wait to see your red stair runner! Bold choice, something I think I’d do if I had stairs.

  3. Great tutorial, I love your choices. It was a lot of help to see each step. Thanks for the great pictures.

  4. Love the tutorial, but need more detail about cutting and threading the cords.

    • Thanks Mary, I’ll revist this post soon and try and make the cord threading more clear. I guess I’ve done so many of these window treatments my instructions are a little vague. I learned how to do this from Singer Sewing for the Home. This is what they say about the cords. “Cut lengths of cord, one for each row of rings. Each cord will be a different length; cords go up the shade, across the top and partway down one side. String cord through rings and screw eyes, with excess cord at one side for pulling.” Hope this helps.

  5. Hi,
    Your blog is really good! Keep posting. Your photos are really nice. 247 blinds offers a range of blinds such as roller, roman blinds, vertical blinds and lots more ranging in different colors.

  6. Great tutorial, Thank you.

    I’m half way through making my first roman blinds. I took bits and pieces of advice from different websites and now I stuck. Could you please tell me what to do next –

    I sew the face and lining seperatly and assumed it will be attached at the top. I sew rod pockets only on the lining. I used a white pattern face fabric and hope not showing any sewing lines through. But now I don’t know how to attach face and lining together?If only relying on the stitching rings to hold face and lining together, do you think it is strong enough? Many thanks for your suggestions!

    • hi yulin,
      Not sure if I can visualize exactly what you are talking about, but I’ll try. I believe you are making a roman blind that has the dowel casings on the lining fabric. This is not how I made this particular blind but, I think I have made this style in the past. When you do this, the face and lining are not attached at the side seams but, are attached in the bottom hem and at the top. One of the books I have has you lay the lining on top of the face fabric and stitch a line along the bottom of each dowel casing. This would attach them together so the draw up nicely. I would tack this by hand first because the lines must be very straight. Unfortunately they sewing lines would show to front.
      Another book says to hold the fabric and lining together, sew small spot tacks through the fabrics just below the pockets, wherever a ring has been sewn. This book also has the fabrics attached at the side hems.
      If you are relying on just the ring stitches to hold them together I would be worried they may tear your face fabric. I usually only sew 2 or 3 stitches through to the face fabric and 5 or 6 to the lining.
      If you send pictures I may be able to help more.
      good luck,

      • Thank you.
        I can see relying on the ring stitches won’t work. I should redo them and sew the side seams together at least. But no, the rod pockets will be in the way… If I sew them together, I won’t be able to put in rods.

        So I should follow your second book, do small spot tacks through the face fabric. Let me try and see if it works.

        Thank you for “listening” my thinking process. : )

  7. The photo in the book shows the rods inserted (cut short enough to miss side seams) and then the side seams sewn. I wish a had a scanner and I would send you the instructions.
    best of luck,

  8. Im really having problems figuring out how I join together a lining that has the rod pockets as part of it and the face fabric as if i were to join them in the normal way i will be closing up the open end i need to place the rod into??? Your tutorial is great and the first i’ve read that explains the process really well. I’ve made curtains for years but i’ve never tried Romans and have always had a professional make them and she creates the pockets as part of the lining and of course it’s then joined to the main fabric but i can’t figure out how????????? Please help if you can.

    • Hi Emma, I’m not sure if I understand entirely, but here goes. If I was going to hang a roman on a rod I think I would make a rod pocket and attach it to the lining fabric first and then attach the lining to the face fabric. If you did this I guess the rod pocket wouldn’t go to the ends though because the face fabric wraps around to the back about an inch on either side. One other way would be to hand sew a rod pocket on to the back without sewing thru to the face fabric. umm…. Hope this helps …a little?

  9. […] more research I found a great tutorial that outlines, step by step with excellent pictures, how to make lined roman shades. I had […]

  10. I just finished hanging my very first roman shade thanks to your great instructions!! Thank you!!!

  11. […] followed this tutorial, which is very detailed with […]

  12. I’ve made a roman blind which pulls up but not into neat folds. What do I need to do?

    • Some people sew in a dowel or weight rod at each fold, but I don’t usually do that. I usually just keep them folded up for a few days when I first install them. The fabric will get a “memory” and will usually fold in the same place after this. Hope this helps.

  13. Hello! I am getting ready to make some roman shades for some windows that are 73″ long. How many folds would you recommend and how far apart for each fold? Thanks so much!

    • The blind I made here is around 64″ and the spacing is around 8″. For a larger blind I would make the distance between the rings larger. You could probably do 6 or 7 rows of rings on a 73″ long blind. I measure the distance between the top and bottom ring and divide it by how many rows you want and that will tell you the distance between the rings. The bottom ring goes just above the weight rod pocket and the top ring about an 1″ from the velcro. I can’t give you an exact ring placement size without knowing your bottom flap size. Hope this helps.

  14. I bought roman shades , after two weeks of use, the front fabric is tearing. We’re they suppose to attach the rings to both fabrics?

    • I usually sew two or three times through to face fabric and six or seven times into lining. This helps keep them together. I double the thread as well, so the face fabric doesn’t pull.

  15. Sewing the side seams together means you can see the stitching from the front of the blind. I would prefer to sew it so that you don’t see this. How is this done so that the width measurement is correct. Thank you

    • Hi Margaret alexander, In order to make it without the side seam stitching showing through to the front, you can stitch the blind right sides together. I cut the front fabric the width I want the finished blind + 3″ ( 1 1/2″ either side for the wrap over to the back) + 1″ for 2 seam allowances. The lining will be the width of the finished blind minus the 3″ wrap around + 1″ for 2 seam allowances. Turn right side out and press with 1 1/2″ face fabric on either side folded to the back of the blind. So, the lining isn’t as wide as the face fabric and the face fabric wraps around to the back by 1 1/2″ on either side. This helps so you don’t see the lining at the edges of the blind.
      Hope this helps.

  16. Hello. Great instructions. I’d like your input on shades I’ll be making for my sliding patio door. Do you have any thoughts on how I could hang the completed shades directly from the window’s glass surface? I want a really clean, uncluttered look and I don’t have a mounting surface within the sliding door frame. Any ideas or input you have are welcome, and thanks.

    • Hi, I am having trouble visualizing this. I’m not sure how you could mount onto the glass surface. I’d be concerned about mounting onto the metal frame too. I’ve used heavy duty magnetic rods before for metal doors, but that wasn’t to hang a roman on. Is there no where above the door frame? If they hung above and you didn’t like the look, you could make a valance (box pleated maybe) to cover top of roman blind. I’ll try and send you email and maybe you could send pics?


    • Hi Shelia, You can definitely make this blind without the lining. I like to add lining for body and it gives you something besides the top fabric, to sew the rings to, but it can be made without lining as well.

  18. Hi i have read your tutorial it looks great i have recently made a Roman blind outside the window but when i pull it up the rod pockets bunch to the right and you can see them 😦 not sure what i have done can you help!!! My email address is

    • Hi Natasha, I’ve sent you an email. Well, it appears to not be sending so I’ll copy and paste the message here.

      I was away at the cottage for the week. Have you solved your problem? If not, if you send me a picture, I might be able to help. I’m not sure if there is a problem with the strings. You have to make sure they all go to the top and through the eye rings that are screwed to the mounting board. Before tying a knot with all the strings together I usually hang the blind and pull on them to make sure the strings are lifting the blind level and they are all the same tautness. I then tie a knot placing it just outside the last eye ring and I braid from the knot to the length of cord desired.
      I hope you get your blind problems sorted.

      best of luck,

  19. Can you tell me the name of the fabric and/or where you got it?

    • Hi Brian,
      The fabric was purchased at Fabricland (Canada) several years ago. This blogger made a similar looking blind with Waverley Surrey Stripe in Ebany. I think the picture online makes the one colour look greenish, but from a picture of her finished blind, I don’t think it’s green. Hope this helps .

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