How to make -
Blackout Roman Blind
WORKROOM METHOD
BLIND SAFETY
Blind Safety

This website is viewed globally and at the last time of looking had been used by people from 136 different countries.

The instructions and videos on this website show you the traditional methods of making a roman blind. Many countries have introduced safety regulations with respect to child safety, to reduce the threat of injury or strangulation to young children from the cords of roman blinds.

It is your responsibilty to find out what the regulations are for your country and modify these instructions to make your blind compliant with those regulations

Examples of safety advice and rules used by some countries of the world are:

  • Do not place furniture or beds near windows where children can climb up and access the blind cords.
  • For roman blinds with rod pockets greater than 20cms apart at any point a breakaway device must be used on each cord.
  • The cleat must be 150cms from the floor and accumulate all/most of the cord – only a single cord of no more than 20cms can hang below the cleat.
  • The bottom loop of the chain or cord must be 150cms from the floor and secured with a safety device OR If the operating chain/cord has a breakaway device then the bottom loop of the cord/chain can be 60cms from the floor.
  • Some countries require that all the blind's components have been tested and certified when used together.

BLIND SAFETY
Blind Safety

This website is viewed globally and at the last time of looking had been used by people from 136 different countries.

The instructions and videos on this website show you the traditional methods of making a roman blind. Many countries have introduced safety regulations with respect to child safety, to reduce the threat of injury or strangulation to young children from the cords of roman blinds.

It is your responsibilty to find out what the regulations are for your country and modify these instructions to make your blind compliant with those regulations

Examples of safety advice and rules used by some countries of the world are:

  • Do not place furniture or beds near windows where children can climb up and access the blind cords.
  • For roman blinds with rod pockets greater than 20cms apart at any point a breakaway device must be used on each cord.
  • The cleat must be 150cms from the floor and accumulate all/most of the cord – only a single cord of no more than 20cms can hang below the cleat.
  • The bottom loop of the chain or cord must be 150cms from the floor and secured with a safety device OR If the operating chain/cord has a breakaway device then the bottom loop of the cord/chain can be 60cms from the floor.
  • Some countries require that all the blind's components have been tested and certified when used together.

Step 6: Make up the Face Fabric Panel
Printable Worksheet
Printable Worksheet

CHECK & PRESS YOUR FABRIC

Included in this video
  • Why we mark the bottom right side of the fabric
PLAIN, STRIPED and PATTERNED FABRIC are treated differently at this stage Select your fabric type.

PLAIN FABRIC - CUT & MARK THE SIDETURNS

  1. Cut the plain fabric to the FABRIC CUT WIDTH (Finished Blind width + 10cm)
  2. Check the 2 sides are cut straight and parallel
  3. On the right side mark a 5cm side turn down each side in vanishing pen.
  4. Cut the TOP of the fabric straight and at a true right angle (6cm trimming allowance in Fabric QTY for this)
  5. Check the fabric is at least the length of the FABRIC CUT DROP (Finished Blind Length + 16cm). The panel will be trimmed it to the correct length later in the process when making the header.

STRIPED FABRIC - CUT & MARK THE SIDETURNS

  1. Decide where you want the stripes to be placed on the blind.
  2. Cut the Striped fabric to the FABRIC CUT WIDTH (Finished Blind width + 10cm), making sure the stripes are in the correct position on the panel.
  3. Check the 2 sides are cut straight and parallel
  4. On the right side mark a 5cm side turn down each side in vanishing pen.
  5. Cut the TOP of the fabric straight and at a true right angle (6cm trimming allowance in Fabric QTY for this)
  6. Check the fabric is at least the length of the FABRIC CUT DROP (Finished Blind Length + 16cm). The panel will be trimmed it to the correct length later in the process when making the header.

PATTERNED FABRIC - CUT & MARK THE SIDETURNS

  1. Work out where you want the pattern to be on the finished blind.
  2. PRO TIP: The position of the pattern is more important at the top of the blind than the bottom.
  3. Cut the fabric panel to the FABRIC CUT WIDTH (finished blind width + 10cm) so the pattern will be in the correct position horizontally on the blind.
  4. Keep the pattern central and in the correct postion by removing fabric from each side.
  5. Check the 2 sides are cut straight and parallel
  6. On the right side mark a 5cm side turn down each side in vanishing pen.
  7. Decide on the pattern where you want the TOP of the blind to be and draw a straight line in this position across the blind at right angles to the sides. Make sure there is at least 7cm of fabric above this line (heading allowance). Check there is at least (blind length +9cm) of fabric below the line.
  8. You have a pattern repeat to achieve the cut in the right place at the top of the panel.
  9. Note You have more than 7cm above "TOP of blind line" this is normal with a patterned fabric, you trim it off later when you form the heading in STEP 8.

PLAIN, STRIPED and PATTERNED FABRIC are now treated the same.

TURN IN SIDE TURNS

  • Place the fabric right side down and fold in the side turn allowances of 5cm either side.(pin and press).
  • Check the width is the finished width of the blind all the way up the length of the panel.
Included in this video
  • How to deal with linens and fabrics with movement

ATTACH VELCRO TO THE TOP

  • Place the fabric right side up
  • Mark down from the top of the panel 7cm which will be the position of the bottom of the velcro.
  • Draw a line in vanishing pen to mark the bottom of the velcro. Note this line marks the top of the blind - you will have marked this already if you have cut patterned fabric and may have more than 7cm of fabric above the line (you will trim it later when making the header).
  • Cut a length of velcro slightly longer than the width of the blind.
  • Open out the side turns. Machine stitch the velcro onto the fabric in line with the line of vanishing pen and above it. (Stitch the bottom, top and sides of the velcro - do not stitch onto the side turns)
Included in this video
  • How 2cm velcro differs from 5cm velcro

CUT FABRIC TO LENGTH & MARK THE HEM

  • Place the fabric wrong side up
  • Fold the side turns in and pin in place.
  • Fold the velcro over at the top and pin in place. This fold is the top of the blind.
  • Trim away any excess velcro from the sides of the blind.
  • Turn the fabric over and press the top fold.
  • Remove the side turn pins
  • Measure down from the top and mark in vanishing pen the finished blind length and the 9cm hem allowance across the width of the blind.
  • Also mark 4cm up from the bottom of the hem allowance to mark the first fold in the hem.
  • You will have 3 marks, one marking the bottom of the blind, one marking the bottom of the hem (where we cut the panel) and one 4cm up from the bottom of the hem.
  • Draw 3 lines across the width joining up the marks.
  • Cut along the bottom line.

FORM THE HEM

  • Place the fabric right side down
  • Unpin the top and unfold (allows you to unfold side turns later when making mitres)
  • At the bottom, fold up the 9cm double hem (4cm + 5cm) along the line that marks the bottom of the blind and press.
  • Press to form the hem.
  • Fold mitres into the two bottom corners of the fabric panel.

  EXTRA INSTRUCTIONS

If you are using 2cm velcro rather than 5cm velcro stitch the vecro on as in the instructions above. You will have 5cm of fabric above the velcro. Depending on whether you are using bucram or not any excess fabric will be trimmed off later in STEP 8.

Questions & Comments

Ann

Thank you for the tutorial, it is great. I am using combined blackout lining (which I now regret!) and have sewn the rod pocket tapes on. I have put the combined blackout lining on the fabric and l am now about to turn in the side hem of the blind. However I am concerned I will then not have access to the sides of the rod pockets as the side of the blind will be covering them? Do I put the rods into the combined lining BEFORE turning in the sides of the blind? Thank you.

SewHelpful:  

Are you following the videos? There was one in the "USING ROD POCKET TAPE" dropdown at the bottom of STEP 5 when you attach it to the lining. The rod pocket tape should not be attached to the combined blackout lining (that is sandwiched inside the blind using this method).

Daisy

Thank you for very informative tutorial. When using the combined blackout/ interliner and you 'Herringbone stitch the hem to the blackout' will pin holes of light show through or as it hangs below the windowsill that becomes ok. Bit confused as I am trying to avoid pining and pin holes.

Many thanks

SewHelpful:  

You have to herringbone the lining in place - there is no other way although you are very welcome to try.

Later in the make up process you will have to stab stitch through all the layers to join them together, otherwise the blind will not pull up properly. This will create tiny spots of light if the blind is down in daylight.

There is no other way to make the blind that will make it usable and made to a high standard. Your only option is to buy a blackout roller.

Annette

Hi

I am using a patterned fabric which has rows of elephants, and each row is going ever so slightly downhill.

Should I cut following the grain of fabric or the rows of elephants?

Many thanks, Annette

SewHelpful:  

It is always so frustrating when a fabric is not printed straight - particularly when the pattern is very regular and you’re making a blind as there is no hiding the “drift”.

I have returned fabric to manufacturers in the past for this very reason as it can ruin a finished blind.

You have to cut straight to the side edge (if you cut straight to pattern along the top, the elephants will be on the wonk down the sides). I have “pulled" a fabric into shape before for a pair of curtains but I would not do this for a blind as it may not stay where you pulled it and the blind could twist back when made.

Can you live with this “drift”? If so, cut straight with the edges. If not, return the fabric to the seller. Sadly, there is no way round this problem other than choosing an alternative fabric. You have my sympathy as this is one of my pet hates with fabrics.

Good luck and please send us a photo of the finished blind. Cindy

Vic

Hi, really helpful set of tutorials, thank you. My next blind will be over two metres wide, so I'll need to join the lining fabric and face fabric, which I think I understand how to avoid too many hems overlapping, but how would you recommend joining the interlining? Would I simply machine sew them together down the centre? Or is there a better stitch to avoid an overlap? Thanks very much

SewHelpful:  

For interlining, to avoid bulk we butt the interlining panels up against each other, herringbone stitch then together. Then lay a strip of lining down  the join and straight machine stitch it down each side.

Note for blackout we would lay one panel over the other then straight machine stitch.

Lucy

My herringbone stitch seems to be visible at the very bottom of the blind - is that to be expected?

SewHelpful:  

No you've made them too deep.

Jane Morgan

Thank you for your great tutorial, this is the third Roman blind I am making. I noted that from one of your photos you made a blind using Peony & Sage fabric, Falling Feathers in the Duck Egg colour way. I am slightly colour blind and am having a problem finding a matching Duck Egg thread, would you be able to advise what one you used please as I am beginning to pull my hair out!

Many thanks

SewHelpful:  

I'm afraid we don't know which one we used and haven't got any of that fabric in the workroom. You'll need to take a sample of the fabric into a haberdashery shop with a range of threads and I'm sure a staff member will be able to help you colour match.

Ida

if you are stitching through the combined blackout/interliner in all these places - my past experience with this fabric is there are many pinholes of light showing through at every stitch. In my innocence in making a previous blind with interlining I lockstitched it as for curtains. If I did this locking just the fluffy layer would it hold it still?

SewHelpful:  

No the front face fabric will sag and not pull up evenly. You have to stab stitch through all the layers.  

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