Custom Roman Shade {DIYing it}

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In August we had all of the original windows from our 1960's humble abode replaced. This had been on our Marie Must Have Wish List since 1998! We couldn't be happier with our choices and we're amazed at what a difference it made not only to the exterior of our home but the interior as well. Unfortunately our blinds no longer fit in some of the rooms and require custom window treatments. Ouch!

One of my favorite windows is the Bay above the kitchen sink.  Finally I have a spot to grow herbs in pretty pots!  The challenge was what window treatment would work best in this opening.  After weighing all of our options we decided a Custom Roman Shade would look fabulous.  Until we learned how much one would cost.  Another ouch!

So what does a DIYer living on a budget do in these circumstances?  Figure out how to make one of course!

Sewing your own Custom Roman Shades with novice sewing skills

You can see from the photo below that we haven't trimmed up the new window yet. We have granite tiles on order to run along the bottom, sides, and ledge of the bay. I can't wait!

DIY Roman Shade for Kitchen Bay Window Open

In the Spring I replaced the drapery panels in our living room for a steal of a deal.  I went back the following day and bought the last two on the shelf and hadn't a clue what I was going to do with them.  Toss cushions, a runner, and/or some place mats?   

Sewing a custom roman shade using drapery panels

Our living room, dining room, and kitchen are open to one another and so those panels were perfect to use for the roman shade.  Heck I even had enough leftover fabric to make a faux roman shade and table runner for the dining room (which will be undergoing a makeover this winter.  I'm done with the brown-on-brown-on brown).

DIY Faux Roman Shade

I'm a self-taught novice at the sewing machine with limited skills.  The thought of sewing a roman shade scared the bejesus outta me so I went to my Go To Source for online classes.  I was thrilled when I saw Craftsy offered a course on how to make custom roman shades.  Even better, as an affiliate I was offered a free course in exchange for a review.  The timing couldn't have been better!

Sewing Custom Roman Shades - $29.99
from: Craftsy

Thanks to the Instructor, Susan Woodcock's easy to follow directions I was able to successfully make one for our Bay Window.  Woot woot!

It looks a little short in this photo but I've accommodated the height of the granite tile and trim which will be installed soon.

DIY Custom Roman Shade for Kitchen Bay Window Closed

The shade is always rolled up during the day and thankfully at dusk when it's rolled down you can't see the seam in the middle.  Because the window is larger than the width of my drapery panels I had to sew both panels together, which presented a few challenges when squaring the fabric and lining up the pattern.  It didn't help that I started this project well into the evening and the wee hours of the morning.  Why do I do this to myself?

Someone with more sewing expertise would have had no problem figuring it out but my tired thick skull needed to watch the video a few times until my light bulb moment finally arrived.  That's the great thing about Crafty's classes, you can pause and type notes as you watch the lessons.  It was helpful that I was able to watch the videos from my iPad which was conveniently sitting next to me on the sewing table.

After taking the class and successfully making my own I was confident enough in my abilities to make one for my friend's kitchen window.

DIY Custom Roman Shade for Kitchen Box Window Open

She had an extra drapery panel from her dining room.  Her kitchen window is adjacent to the dining room so it was perfect.  You can see in the photo below that I had enough fabric leftover to surprise her with a table runner.

DIY Custom Roman Shade for Kitchen Box Window Closed

Thankfully her panel fit exactly to the inch the opening of her window - love when that happens!  Unlike my panels hers was lined - one less step!

Turning a lined drapery panel into a custom roman shade

I was able to cut off the tabs from the top hem and reuse the hem for the bottom of the shade.  Happy dance!

Removing tabs on a drapery panel and reusing the hem for a roman shade

For a gal who didn't have a clue how to sew a Roman Shade I don't think I did such a shabby job and the bonus is that it didn't cost an arm and a leg!

Custom Roman Shades by a novice sewer

So are you feeling inspired and motivated to make one for yourself?  If so press HERE to be taken directly to the Craftsy Sewing Custom Roman Shades class.  It's easy to follow, has straight forward instructions, and you can watch it at your own pace.  You'll amaze yourself with your talents afterwards!

But if sewing isn't your thing, then how about Cake Deceorating, Knitting, and the list goes on.


I'm registered to take the Custom-Fit Slipcovers: Chairs class next. Looking forward to making a slipcover for our wing chair.

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