How To Sew
9 Expert Tips On Making
1. Square the fabric
Nothing is worse than
hanging your roman shade only to discover that
your shade hangs lopsided... it twists... or
just isn't right. One of the main causes of
this is that your fabric is not square. Make
sure you use a T-Square or Right Angle tool
when measuring and marking your fabric to cut.
If your edges are square... then sewing your
fabric to your lining is easier... and your
roman shade will hang nicely.
2. Space your lift cords
Many people think that you
only need 2 or 3 lift cords to operate a roman
shade. Then when they go to raise the shade,
the fabric swags in between the lift cords.
That's because there are not enough lift cords
and they are not close enough together. You
should space your lift cords about 10" apart.
This will guarantee that your roman shade does
not swag in between cords.
3. Consider the hardware
Choosing the roman shade
hardware is important. A basic installation of
screw eyes and a cord cleat may be all you
need. This is appropriate for lighter shades.
One small upgrade of adding a cord lock will
make operating your roman shade 10 times more
enjoyable. A cord lock will have your roman
shade operating like a blind. For heavier
shade, replace the screw eyes with cord pulleys
or cord idlers. These reduce the friction of
the lift cord rubbing along the screw eyes...
allowing for a smoother operation. For the
ultimate, most professional result, consider a
bead chain clutch system. These systems have a
continuous loop bead chain that you pull... and
your roman shade raises and lowers smoothly.
4. Center the main panel
If your roman shade is wider
than your fabric, you'll need to piece your
fabric. Be sure to place one full fabric width
in the center of your shade. Then piece on each
side the remaining width needed. This will make
for a stronger roman shade, and you won't have
an unslightly seam in the middle of your
5. Use a blind hem
Try to avoid having too much
stitching show on the front of your roman
shade. Many times you just can't avoid this.
Try using a blind hem stitch to sew the bottom
hem of your roman shade. Depending on how you
sew the side seams, a blind hem stitch may be
perfect to use here as well.
6. Use ribs
Adding roman shade ribs to
your shade will help your shade pleat evenly
and neatly as you raise it. Ribs are not
required for making a roman shade, but they are
a really nice to have. You can add ribs to your
roman shade in a couple of ways. You can sew a
casing at each row of rings and then insert the
ribs. You can use an iron on rib tape that
creates a casing at each row of rings without
the extra sewing. And there is also a roman
shade rib loop tape that you can sew across
your shade instead of sewing on individual
shade rings. This tape creates a casing and has
loops to thread your lift cord.
7. End your lift cord with
Don't forget about the lift
cord that you pull to operate your shade.
Condense them down to one lift cord with a cord
condenser and then add a decorative cord drop
at the end. You'll enjoy looking at this small
detail everytime you go to raise or lower your
8. Use roman shade orbs
Instead of tying your lift
cord to the bottom rings of your roman shade,
use a roman shade orb. These orbs are so easy
to use and they save you a lot of time. You
just slide one on at the end of each lift cord
below the bottom rings... and you're done! No
more fussing with knots!
9. Sew with a long straight
Make sure you extend the
length of your straight stitch on your sewing
machine to as long as it will go... before it
becomes a basting stitch. A common problem when
sewing roman shades is that the fabric will
pinch or gather up. Sewing with a long stitch
will help prevent this problem.