How to make -
Lined Roman Blind
WORKROOM METHOD
Step 9: Stab Stitch
Printable Worksheet
Printable Worksheet

MARK THE STAB STITCHES

  • With the blind laying fabric face down, smooth the lining.
  • Mark the positions to attach the rings/breakouts on the rod pockets. The position of the rings/breakouts will be where the headrail cords cross the rod pockets. Cords should be 10cm from the sides of the blind and evenly across at no more than 35cm intervals. (always use all cords supplied with a headrail kit)
  • There will be a stab stitch at each ring/breakout (also on heavy or wide blinds stab stitch between the rings/breakouts)
  • Mark and pin the positions of all your stab stitches.

Included in this video
  • An overview of where the cords cross the rod pockets on the back of a blind.

STAB STITCH

Now sew in all your stab stitches.

Included in this video
  • What colour thread to use.
  • How to achieve small and neat stab stitches.
  • How to start and finish the stitch.

Questions & Comments

Mary Eckstein

I notice the needle you used for the stab stitches is slightly bent. Is that done on purpose or is it just a 'favorite' needle for this purpose?

SewHelpful:  

That’s a really good question. I get through so many needles, possibly 2 or 3 a week, maybe more if I’m making a lot of blinds. They seem to get bent when doing a lot of hand sewing, possibly the heat of my fingers? Stab stitching really bends them as I keep the fabric flat and hit the hard table to enable me to bring the needle back through close by so I try and use a different needle for stab stitching. Having said that, sometimes they get sooooo bent that they have to be thrown away and I even break them sometimes.
So, in answer to your question, I do not have a special needle for stab stitching but tend to use the most bent one that I have and keep the straight ones for slip stitching as I normally have several on the go at once.
Cindy

Audrey Lindsay

Hi,

My blind is 212cm finished width. My rail has 6 cords. According to your video you say to allow 10cm for two outside cord positions and not to space the others more than 35cm apart.

So mine works out at

10cm + 48cm + 48cm + 48cm + 48cm + 10cm = 212cm for positioning my cords. Will this be okay?

SewHelpful:  

Use the number of cords that are supplied/recommended with your headrail kit. So if your kit came with 6 cords for that length it will be ok. We would space them as you suggest.

Lorraine

I am so glad to have come across your website and will definitely be signing up to your video to make my first ever Roman blinds. I want to follow your instructions for making pockets for the rods rather than using rod tapes which seem to be included with most cassette kits. Do you sell kits yourself, or, if not, can you advise who supplies you?

SewHelpful:  

We don't sell kits, we buy components wholesale from a trade supplier. Try Merrick and Day and you will find something similar.

Cath Sams

I'm using a Blind Kit with rod pocket tape and getting the headrail, bottom bar and fibre rods cut by the supplier.

Not entirely sure what length of rods to ask for.

If the finished blind width is, for example, 100cm then I think that:

the lining after folding should be 96cm

the headrail should be 99.5cm

the bottom bar should be 98cm

Should the rods be 95cm as they seem to be on the traditional method blinds - 1cm shorter than the lining width after folding?

SewHelpful:  

Yes


Marion

What size brass rings do you use

SewHelpful:  

We use 15mm diameter hollow brass rings


Kate Patterson

Brass hollow rings, or transparent ones? Which is preferable, or is it a matter of personal taste?

SewHelpful:  

No rules . We use brass hollow rings on all our blinds, except if we are making an unlined voile blind (see through) we would then use the clear plastic rings. 

Linda

I have slightly larger brass rings which I bought separately from my kit. The plastic rings in my kit are very small 7mm internal. I am reluctant to use these as I fear they will be come brittle and break at my south facing window. My brass rings are 18mm internal. I see these are bigger than you recommend. Will these bigger rings work please?

SewHelpful:  

Kits have breakout sytems nowadays and the rings can be part of the system, so we wouldn't recommend changing components of a tested approved beakout system.

With the systems we use the breakouts are at the bottom and the rings aren't part of it, so we use 12mm internal diameter brass rings at the other points. 

Val

What are the dimensions for the bottom aluminium bar please. I can work out the length [2cm shorter than bottom pocket] but cannot find any reference to the other dimensions. Thanks

SewHelpful:  

The aluminium bar we use in the workshop is 25mm x 3mm. Many blind casettes come with a bottom bar  (which you usually find laying in the top) in ours they are 20mm x 4mm.

Petra

Step 5 on this page: when and where do we mark positions of the rings on the backs of the rod pockets?

SewHelpful:  

You would have marked the position of the rings in the previous page (STEP 8) when you marked and sewn in the stab stitches.

Margaret Craig

Hi, what is the diameter of the Rods you use please. I am looking at 4mm. I am concerned about the rods bending or does the number of cords you use ease this problem. thank you for your valuable help. I have 2 blinds to make soon and will definitely use your tutorial again.

SewHelpful:  

We use 4mm fibreglass rods and they are fine (even on wide blinds). As you say the number of cords negates the problem of bending.

Some cheap blind kits come with thinner rods, that size rod is fine on a light blind but we find 4mm is much better for the lined and interlined blinds we make. 

Jackie

How do you insert the rods when you have sewn the pockets(lining) to the main fabric. Should I have left each pocket open and sewn around them or do I cut through the lining

SewHelpful:  

The rod pocket ends should be open at this stage. When you join the lining to the fabric in STEP 7, you slip stitch the lining to the fabric (Not stitching the ends of the rod pockets). It's all in the videos. 

Pam

I am making a blind 143 cm wide and relatively heavy with blackout lining and 180 cm long. How far apart should I position the rings to pull up the four rods

Many thanks

SewHelpful:  

STEP 8 gives guidance on the number of rings across the blind and their spacing see (stab stitching). If you are using a chain pull system make sure you use to number of cords supplied  and space appropriately as with the new breakout systems, each cord can only take so much weight before breaking away.

Kate

What do you use to cut the fibre glass rods with?

SewHelpful:  

We now use these cable cutters to snip the rods. You can buy the from Screwfix



Suzette Bradbury

Do I attach the rings above or below the rod pockets since the stab stitches start above but end below?

SewHelpful:  

The stab stitches do not start and end below the rod pockets -see video on how to stab stitch. The videos also give a detailed close up of how and where to stitch the rings on.

Liz

I'm ready to sew on the rings. Do I attach along the seam of the rod pocket or at the top of the rod pocket? And, do I go through all layers? Thanks!

SewHelpful:  

You sew the rings onto the rod pockets not the seam, the videos show you in detail how we stitch these on.

Kathy

How important is it for the rings to be exactly in alignment vertically? I have tried to do this but not 100% sure they are. Would it be advisable to hang the blind temporarily and use a plum line to ensure this or is it not really that important. Thanks

SewHelpful:  

Your blind should be square and you should be able to measure in from the side to get all your rings in line with each other. 

Jemima

Is there a way you can make the rods and bottom bar removable so that the blind is washable? Maybe leave the rod pockets open at one end of something?

SewHelpful:  

You can always unpick and re-stitch. and with rod pocket tape the rods can be slid in and out without unstitching.

That said we would never wash a blind so always stich every thing in, in our experience they are never the same after. Different shrinkage rates between the lining and fabric are likely to cause it to pucker and it will most likely shrink and not be the same size after washing.

Anna-Marie

Hello, I have made a pair of curtains and have now nearly finished a blind, all with your instructions so thank you.

I have come up against a problem however. I have a very wide, lined blind. The lining wasn't wide enough so I sewed on an extra panel. It means I have two little internal folds in the rod pocket and no way of getting the rod through. I noted your tip on using a second rod to avoid having that problem at the edge.

Can you advise?

Many thanks,

Anna-Marie

SewHelpful:  

The flaps inside a join on a rod pocket can be a pain. You generally have to push down on them to try and pop them into an open circle shape then pass the rod through. You quite often have to fiddle about to get the rod through the hole and not stuck in the flap.  Coming from the other side with another rod can help.

If you have completely blocked it up by pushing against the flap you may have to snip it open on the rod pocket join, get the rod through then sew it back up. In future you could use bonda web on the pocket seams when making. Thats what we now do and will be including in our new instructions.

Elaine

I have purchased a manually aporated blind kit and I have used rod pocket tape for my Roman blind. However, I can't seem to work out how to attach the flat pieces of plastic strips onto the rods which are inserted in to the rod tape

SewHelpful:  

Not sure!!

Usually the rods go in the rod tape and the clips clip onto the loops of the rod tape.

Pat

Hi I've made the roman blind but cannot see where to sew the rings on. Do,I sew rings on the rods and folds or just the rods?

Many thanks

SewHelpful:  

The rings are attached to the rod pockets (Item 5 of the instructions on this page). See the diagram in STEP 8 also.

Angela

Is it necessary to insert a bar at the bottom? Is it just a case of style and taste rather than necessary. When I made roman blinds years ago I did not have a rigid bottom and it always appeared to hang OK to me.

SewHelpful:  

We insert a bar to give the blind weight when it pulls down and hold it's shape. You are free to make it how you like though.

Rachel

When I have used sew in rings in the past I have found that over time, they have torn away from the fabric. To avoid this I wondered about using clip on rings. Have you any experience of these? Or do you have any advice about the tearing?

SewHelpful:  

I’m sorry we have never used clip on rings so can’t advise on them.

We hand Sew on all rings and breakouts in the workshop and have never had problems with tearing. It could be you are putting too much weight on each ring ( not enough drop down cords). Or your lining may be thin and not a good enough quality. Use a thicker cord and sew around the rod if you are having problems.

Angela Cott

Hi I'm thinking of using wood dowel for rods could you recommend diameter for a 100 x 120cm blind?

Or is it a flatter shape rather than circular? Thanks

SewHelpful:  

We stopped using wood dowel a very long time ago. I can’t remember the diameter I’m afraid. 

Carol

What diameter should the wooden rods be. I can't seem to find glass ones here in New Zealan

SewHelpful:  

I don't have access to the workshop this week, but off the top of my head I think the fibre glass rods are 4mm diameter. So anything that size up should be ok. We haven't used wooden ones for years, you may find they come a little thicker than the fibre glass. They are only for holding the shape of the blind when it pulls up and hangs down.

Rose

I am thinking I will use 5 strings to take help with the weight. Do you agree? I have checked and actually only have 4 rods in my Roman blind kit. Also I have cut the lining so couldn't factor in any more rod pocket allowance. My pleats will be 15cm. I'm guessing the smaller they are the bulkier it will be. Hopefully these will be long enough? Does this sound like it will work?

SewHelpful:  

You need to use the number of strings supplied in your kit. They will have breakouts and disconnect with a certain weight on them due to child safety rules, so you musn't use less than in the kit or else they might start disconnecting under the weight of the blind. The mechanism should be geared as well to be able to cope with the weight, it should tell what weight it can lift.  

The smaller the folds, the more there will be  and the bulkier the blind will be when pulled up. Your figures sound ok but we have no idead how thick it will be pulled up as we have never made a blind out of a blanket before.

Phena

Thanks for your tutorials. I purchased the videos for making lined pencil pleat curtains and I am so happy with the result. Now am working on roman blinds. My finished width is 122cm with a drop of 215cm. Would you advise using wooden rods or do you recommend fibre glass rods. Thanks in advance

SewHelpful:  

We use fibre glass rods for all sized blinds in the workroom.

Julie

I have read the safety advice on your site and the kit I have purchased. My kit has provided rod tapes and cord breaks which hook into the tape. I want to use these but would prefer to make rod pockets as per your video. The space between the rod pockets will be 32cms in my blind. Is it possible to attach the cord breaks by sewing or would you advise using the tape provided. This is the first time I have made a blind but have made curtains using your video and would prefer to stick to one set of instructions.

The pencil pleat curtains I made following your instructions have turned out brilliantly.

SewHelpful:  

I'm afraid we can't offer any advice on that. You will need to talk to the person who sold you the kit and ask them.

Caroline

Can the blinds be made without rods, if so any advise in doing this

SewHelpful:  

With no rods the fabric would sag between the cord pulls, it would not be a roman blind.

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