I have purchased a passcode for lined Roman blinds however I have blackout lining and just realised you have a blackout version. Does it matter if I just continue to follow these instructions? I find the material doesn't iron that well but I have managed to make a crease.
Whichever method you follow you will need to buy some lining. contact us via the contact form.
You often mention using a ‘good quality’ lining fabric - can you recommend one (or perhaps just say what the fabric is made of: cotton / polyester mix)? If you want to make blackout blinds would you use a different lining fabric or add a blackout interliner?
There is a whole tutorial on making a blackout Roman blind using blackout or a blackout interliner on the website.
The current lining we use is cotton rich satin, crease restisant, 205gsm.
hello, i am using rod pocket tape. i don't understand how I measure from the instructions. do i measure up the position of the first rod pocket from the end of the final blind length? or from the unfolded hem?
it looks like from the bottom of the unfolded hem from the diagram but now I have folded up the hem the rod pocket measures too low.
See Step 1 - Unfold the hem
(Note we are rewriting the tutorial and the new method will leave the hem folded up when measuring to make it simpler.)
I've rotated my lining so that I don't have to join widths. Width is fine, but I am 2 cm short of the required length (once top and bottom allowances are added). Should I adjust this when doing the hem, or at the top? Or does it matter?
We would not have made it short like that. You'll have to use 2cm less lining for the hem at the bottom.
Please can you help me, Im trying to use roman blind pocket tape from Dunlem Mill, but it has no instructions or line to draw on.. just a central line that peels apart. Also please can you clarify as I have become a little confused about where to measure from, my blind layout is 19.7cm from the bottom of the blind to rod pocket, and also 19.7cm between each fold, so should I measure this plus 9cm to accommodate for the lining hem so effectively 28.7cm up from the bottom of the lining? Any help would be really appreciated as I an now totally stuck! Many thanks in advance, Caz
so should I measure this plus 9cm to accommodate for the lining hem so effectively 28.7cm up from the bottom of the lining? Yes
Thanks for posting a photo it makes it easier to see what we are talking about. We have never used tape like that and struggle to see any benefit to using it (tape usually has loops you can easily attach cord rings/breakouts to or use as rings in some cases), it would be easier and look better just to sew a traditional pocket into the lining (if your lining is long enough).
Hi, I have bought roman blind pocket tape from dunelm mill and there is not line to sew along, just a line in the middle that seems to peel apart, with a fixed back. Can you help me where to sew and which way up? Also Im slightly confused about where to measure from the bottom, my blind layout is 19.7 cm from bottom of blind to rod pockets and 19.7cm between the folds. So do I do 19.7cm +9cm from the bottom of the lining?
Thank-You for all your help in advance.
We have never used Dunelm Mill tape (were there any instructions with it). Generally you sew tape on with one stitch line (this stitch line needs to be at the rod pocket position you have worked out from the bottom of the blind) as this is the line the blind will pull up on. The tape we have used is sew along the top and it flops below.
For a lined Roman blind when making the lining. the first 9cm of the lining will be folded up as a hem. So the bottom of the blind will start 9cm up the cut lining panel. You then measure up your rod pocket distances.
So do I do 19.7cm +9cm from the bottom of the lining? Yes for the first stitch line
Hi. Found your instructions really helpful. Please can I ask you do you use glass fibre rods or wooden dowelling. And what width batten do you use in the bottom.
We use glass fibre rods which are not as thick as wooden dowels and
white coated aluminium rectangular bottom bar that is approx 25mm high
and 3mm thick. The glass fibre rods are very good but when cutting
them you need to be careful that you don't get any tiny splinters in
Thank you for prompt reply. Since I am not making rod pockets I am using rod tape. When I join lining to front fabric surely the seam allowances will effect the width of the blind. Do I need to allow more or less to front fabric. This has always been a problem for me I usually have to unpick and retry to get correct blind width . Is there a formulae for this. Thank you
You should have the width of the blind sorted in STEP 6 when you make up the fabric panel and fold in the 5cm side turns. This sets the width of the blind. The 5 cm folded fabric seam allowances (now on the back of the blind) give you the fabric to join the narrower lining panel to the blind (2cm narrower each side - with its own side turns). The lining panel is attached with hand slip stitching in STEP 7
extract from STEP 6
TURN IN SIDES & HEM
1. Place the fabric panel right side up and mark the 5cm side allowances with dashes of vanishing marker pen (or pins).
2. Turn the fabric over right side down and fold in the side allowances. Checking the width is the finished width of the blind all the way up and the bottom is straight and at a true right angle.
It sounds like you are trying to make your blind a different way
using a bag method. This tutorial shows you the way we make them
professionally in our sewing workroom.
If you don't know how to slip stitch and think using the machine is easier, watch the videos, I think it will surprise you how much better and easier hand stitching is if you are shown how to do it properly.
Hi, could you please confirm which is the right and wrong side of the lining for me. Is the right side, the side which faces the window and the wrong side the side which backs on the the back of the fabric? Many thanks.
I have made a couple of small roman blinds and I really struggle to get them square. I have used a set square but it still takes me forever to get the blind to look straight. Is there a special knack for getting the blind square. I find it just as hard on patterned material? I don't have a large table to work on either so I have to make do using the carpet in my lounge! Can you please help.
Getting your Roman Blind square is key to making a good Roman Blind. The
videos show some techniques on how to get the blind and lining square
and when to check it through the make up process.
Can I just check? When I sew the pockets for the rods do I keep the side turnings folded and sew over those too?
You keep the sides turned in but do not sew the ends closed as you still
have to insert the rods later. The videos show you how to do it.
Hi again, when you have more than one blind to make do you make the first blind, then the second or do you cut lining, facing material all at the same time? I just wondered how you approach it. Thank you.
Hi we do not have a set way, sometimes we may make all the linings up as
we wait for the fabric to be delivered. Other times we will make them
one at a time.
How do you correct the lining if the blind is not square? I cant take any more off the sides as the are already the right size. I can however take more off the bottom.
If you are following the video your sides should be parallel, it will then show you how to make the bottom square. If you have cut the width and the sides are not quite square the crucial thing is the lining is square when the side turns are folded in in the next step. So you have a chance to get it right there if it is a small adjustment. The lining you fold under is not used so it wont matter if it is a few mm short.
Alternatively it wont matter if you trim the lining a little more to get the panel straight and square at this stage and then make the side turns slightly less than 2cm in the next stage to compensate.
Sorry me again!!
Great answer to the above. Thanks!
I was also wondering how I cope with larger blinds. I am making 4 that are all over a metre wide and am finding it quite hard to measure. Do you have any tips?
The better your tools and facilities are the easier it will be to get good results.
A decent sized table that you can lay the blind out on with a straight edge and a true right angle at the corner is very useful. You can check the side and right angle of the blind against it. We purposely didnt use that method in the video as most beginners dont have one. A ply board covered with lining fabric layed on a smaller table is a relatively cheap way of doing this.
A long metal ruler and the large set square like the ones in the video are a great help as well. For making wider blinds you can buy even longer metal rulers.
Please can you tell me if I sew the tapes onto the lining before I attach it to the main fabric?. Great tutorials, so easy to follow your step by step instructions!!. Thank you.
You would make the lining up and attach the rod pocket tape to the
lining at the point where you would sew the rod pockets into the lining.
Then follow the rest of the instructions attaching the lining then to
the fabric etc.
I have cut my lining 2cm wider than my finished fabric width. The cuts are perfectly straight and square although 2cm wider than your instructions. I am afraid to risk cutting again and spoiling the straight edges.
Would it be ok to fold in 3 cm each side instead of 2 cm
Thank you for such brilliant tutorials the videos are great and very informative.
Should be fine with 3cm side turns rather than 2cm.
OOPS! Read all my next instructions last night, set to this morning and thought I'd done really well. Sadly not. Have sewn rod pockets on wrong side of lining!!!
Will I be able to work around this or will I need to unpick and sew on right side?
Many thanks again.
We wouldn't unpick we would start again with new lining as the hassle of
unpicking and the lines left in the lining mean it is just easier just
to start again.
Hi, I have just realised I have sewn my rod tape on at the bottom instead of the top. Will this badly affect my blind. Wondering if i need to unpick it,done it for all 5 pieces of tape!!
The main thing is that your stitch line is a single stitch line in the
correct place on the lining as this is the line the blind will be pulled
up from and needs to be in the correct position. By stitching the
bottom of the tape it will now flop outwards away from the blind when
the blind is down rather than just hang flat against the blind. We
haven't done this before so can't say whether the tape flapping out will
affect the blinds smooth operation. The tape we have used in the past
is rufflette and specifies sewing along the top as to whether sewing
along the bottom will really make a difference we don't know.
HI, I've just made my 1st lining as per the video...but have lots more fabric at the top than I think I should have.
Width of window is 70, height 142.5.
I'm going for 3 rod pockets. So when calculating the lining, from the bottom I have:
4cm, then 5cm, then 19.4, then 2 cm for a rod, then 38.8, 2cm rod, 38.8, 2cm rod, 38.8 and 6.5 for a headrail allowance...but instead of 6.5, i've got 11.7 left over..
I can't see where I've gone wrong in my calks...I've done a sketch out as you do in your videos...
can you point me in the right direction please? Thanks
Your figures and the length of your lining look exactly right. The extra
5.2cm is the 5cm heading allowance which you will need when you fold
the top of the blind over to form the heading in STEP 8. Don't confuse
headrail allowance which is part of the length of the blind and heading
allowance that you need to make the heading.
How do you measure the width accurately along the length when you have joined lining. You have the video showing how to get it straight with a short width using the set square but not for joined lining where the ruler isn't long enough to go across the who width to the other side.
In the workroom we use longer rulers for wider blinds. On much bigger
blinds we use very large TBars on our large perfectly square table with
hi there, thanks so much for the brilliant tutorial. in the section on turning in sides and hem point 1 in the text says have the fabric wrong side up and mark seams, then point 4 says turn fabric over to RIGHT side up. however in the video tutorial you say start with fabric right side up and mark in seams, then flip over to wrong side up... which is right? sorry if i'm not reading it right..
The video has extra information and extra steps that show you the techniques we use to mark the seams so you end up with the fabric facing wrong side up with the side turns folded in (step 1). If you read the text in step 1 it doesn't tell you to mark the seams it tells you to fold the seams.
TURN IN SIDES & HEM: In the video at 0:42 seconds the commentary says with the right side up. Instruction 1 says with wrong side up. I first did it with right side up as I was just following the videos. Lesson learned - also read the instructions then use common sense ;)
You are marking the side turns in the video at that point not folding them yet (the point in the instructions). There is a lot of extra information in the videos.
How do I calculate where to put the rod pockets?i know I need two but what distance apart should they be please
How to calculate the dimensions of the blind and the rod pocket
positions is covered in STEP 2. There is also a link to an online
calculator there that may also be of help.
I am going to try make my first blind for a window that is 132cm wide... to avoid joining lengths of fabric can I use 2.5cm seam allowances on the sides and have the fabric and lining join exactly along the sides...will this look ok?
We wouldn't do that, but understand why you want to. If you do it that
way, try and keep the lining a little bit in from the edges so it does
join right at the sides.
Making my first blind with your videos which are very clear. Wondered where your vanishing pen is from? I bought one in dunelm but it doesn't fade well at all and ironing the fabric with the pen mark still visible seems to set the ink in permanently. Maybe it's my lining fabric but thought I would ask, as I currently don't think I can get away with drawing straight lines across the lining fabric. Thanks
We use Hancocks Vanishing Pencils with Erasers on the end. Try Merrick and Day online.
I need to make some blinds that are just over a width of fabric, so I thought I would add 2 panels in contrasting fabric! Do I apply the same principle in that everything needs to be square & cut to size before I join it to the main fabric? When the panels are joined, do I then square it all again?
Where did u buy your really long ruler from that I can use across to widths of fabric? I can' t seem to find any!
Thanks for your help in advance.
We would make up the panel with the borders and treat it as one panel
trimming and squaring off. You will obviously have to take into account
the fabric needed for the side turns when calculating the width of the
fabric strips to join to each side.
We have made blinds with 10-15cm side borders, that size that came up well.
Try Merrick and Day for the 1.5m long T-Bar ruler, otherwise we do have a 1.8m ruler that is a plasterer's aluminium feather edge that we purchased from Travis Perkins builders merchants.
Your tutorial is very useful and I have made blinds with rod pockets as you describe. I also made rod pockets by stitching two rows of machine stitching 1.5cm apart through both fabric and lining after the two fabrics were joined. It worked well and was easier than stab stitching. The stitching does not show on the front because it is a highly patterned fabric. Can you foresee any drawbacks to doing it this way? (I have 6 more blinds to make!)
The drawback to that method for us is that you will see stitch lines
through to the front of the blind. You will also have to make sure your
stitch lines are totally straight which can be difficult with a large
blind that will have a lot of bulk that you need to pass under the arm
of the sewing machine when stitching.
However the main reason we dont make them that way in the workshop is because we think the hand stitched blind gives a superior more professional finish.
Hi, in the making rod pockets video, why is the the measurement of the first pleat section 20cm when the remainder of the pleat sections are 40cm?
With the blind pulled up, there is one flap hanging from the bottom rod
(section 5) that then stops inline with the bottom of the pulled up
folds. The blind then has to hang down and come back up before it meets
the next rod (sections 3 & 4) when pulled up, this is double the
length of section 5 to the next rod and so on. See digram .
Hi, I have joined two widths of lining fabric to make my lining panel. It is 193cm wide. It seemed straight and square before I joined the widths. When I sewed them together they were about a milimetre out at the bottom. I didn't think this would matter much. However when I measured up the hem lines the marks didn't meet. Looking again the bottom doesn't look quite straight. Can I take just a few millimetres or a cm off the bottom and then make the hem a little shorter, to keep the length. Does the hem need to be just big enough to hold the bottom rod? Mine's about 2cm. Most importantly, how would you ensure the bottom is straight? As in the video, by folding the fabric? The whole panel is very big for doing this accurately I think. Thank you in advance for your help. Rose.
You can trim it straight by a few mm with no problems. The 5cm heading
allowance at the top is more than you need so it can come out of that.
The method for making the bottom straight is in the videos. This works well with standard sized blinds. When making much bigger blinds in the workshop we would use a very big square edged table and very long Tbars to cut square. The videos show you the folding technique which we have found is the best way for getting the bottom straight if you are making at home and haven't got a large workroom table and Tbars.
Would I be able to have four rod pockets.I need 130 cm.drop and three seems too little and five too many but I think I read it should be an odd number for rod pockets.
The number of pleat sections
is an odd number, you can have any number of rod pockets. The number
you need and their spacing depends on how you want the blind to look
when pulled up. There are calcultors on the website to help you decide
how many rod pockets to use. Click on the tutorials link above and it
wll take you to the front page of the site with the link to the
STEP 2 in the tutorial explains how you manually calculate the number of rod pockets for your blind.
Hi there - couple of questions. 1. When joining widths of lining fabric, do you have a tip for ensuring that the rods go through where the lining has been joined? I have found that it can get stuck on the internal seam? Also, very different question, do you offer any advice on how to price jobs should someone want to make blinds for customers? Many thanks
After joining and pressing seams, tack them open where the pockets will
be, before sewing in the pockets. Then remove tacking after inserting
Look in our Blog there is an item about pricing.
I am using rod tape, and the instructions are to use a single line of stitching along the top of the tape. I am not sure whether to position the top of the tape along the rod pocket line I have marked, or if the actual stitch line should be along the line marked for where the rod pocket should come?
The stitch line for the tape has to be along the marked rod position line, because the blind will pull up on this stitch line.
Hi - apologies if this is answered above. The videos are amazingly helpful - just checking when sewing on rod pocket tape do you open up the side turnings or sew them with the lining's side turnings folded therefore sewing down the turnings? I sewed it before watching the videos and stitched it with the turnings unfolded so it wraps around with the turnings, is that right? When you say cut to the width of the lining plus 2cm for the side hems does that mean the exact same as the width of the lining? Thanks! Jules
No the tape does not wrap around the side turnings. You will see you
have folded the side turns in, in the Step above before reaching this
point. The rod tape is cut slightly longer because in STEP 9 after
inserting the rods, you fold the ends over and sew them closed to hold
the rods in.
When we say cut the tape to the width of the lining plus 2cm, we mean the width of the lining (as it is at that point with the sides turned) in plus 2cm. I'll adust the instructions to try and make it a bit clearer.
Not sure what I’ve done, hope you can help. I have made up my lining panel as per instructions the the calculations for 3 rod pockets and 7 pleats. But when I’ve attached the lining to fabric panel the rod pockets are not correct. The 1st one is fine, 2nd should be 49.2 but is 40 and 3rd one should be 82cm but is only 72cm. Are you able to tell me where I’ve gone wrong please?
The error could be in the calculation or not measuring each time from
the correct position. Either way you will have to make the lining again.
I am currently making a roman blind that is 250 centimetres wide. I have found your tutorials and videos very helpful. But just have a question I hope you can help me with. Will 4mm fiberglass rods be ok, or, should I use something more substantial. I have made rod pockets as described in the tutorial. There is 3rows of rod pockets.
We would use 4mm rods. It is the number of rings and their spacing along the rod that is more important.
Thank you very much for your reply. The kit I purchased has 6 cord drops. Do you think this is enough for a blind 250 centimetres wide.? If not what would you advise.?
Our advise on this is a bit hidden, it's in STEP 8 when you set out the
rings and stab stitches. We would use the number of drops the blind kit
advises for the width you are making. The reason being that kits now
have breakouts that will release under a certain pressure. So we would
make to the number of drops the kit has been designed for.
FROM STEP 8
"Rings should be 10cm from the sides of the blind and evenly across at 30 to 40cm intervals.
(If you are using a blind kit make the number of rings across the same as the number of cord drops in the kit. - Space the rings accordingly)"
I have calculated my folds and rod pockets and made a diagram like yours, my question: if my first rod pocket is say at 11cm, then on my diagram the line at 22cm is down as a fold does that mean that my second rod pocket is at 33cm from the bottom? sorry a little confused, thanks heaps
Go to the standard folds roman blind calculator on the website and enter your figures in. After calculating, it will draw you a diagram where it says blind layout that shows the position of the rod pockets and folds relative to the bottom of the blind. Hopefully that will help confirm your figures.
ROMAN BLIND STANDARD FOLDS CALCULATOR LINK
I am replacing "relaxed" roman shades on three windows, partially because the folds always needed adjustment when they were raised. As a result, I am nervous about these new ones folding neatly. Have you ever tried placing a rod pocket at each fold (I have 9 pleat sections, so that would be 8 rods total), with rings being sewn on every other rod? I am using a typical weight cotton fabric. Thanks for any advice you can offer!
If the rod pocket tape is only sewn to the lining and not sewn through to the face fabric as well, how do the folds pull up neatly without sagging or ballooning
In STEP 8 you stab stitch the layers together
I have used an invisible marker pen on the right side of my blind. This was a few days ago and it's still visible. Will I definitely vanish, albeit eventually? I hope so, otherwise the finished blind will look a mess! I have had the pen about 2 years. Does the ink become permanent after a time?
The pens we use have an eraser on the other end so we can just remove
the marks immediately rather than letting them fade away. We have never
had a pen last 2 years because we use them so much so I cant say
whether they change over time.
I plan to do small eyelets on the rods in place of rings. Ive seen a department store do this and it looks neater/stronger.
I'm not sure 2.5cm will be enough rod allowance though. Any suggestions ?
2.5cm will be no where near enough. You'll probably need nearer 5cm.
Make up a sample pocket and test to see what is the best size with the eyelets and rods you have. They turn out better if you sew a line half way down splitting the flap into 2 pockets. The one nearest the blind to put the rod in, and the second outer pocket to press the eyelet into.
Some people put buckram into the pocket to stiffen it (more work), others say a good lining works well enough.
When we tried it we had problems with the eyelets we had not gripping the lining well enough and the odd one coming loose (which then spoils the whole blind) so we didn't persevere with the method.
I have calculated the number of folds I need which is 5. I am a little confused as to how many rod pockets I need. Is it the same??
We dont calculate a number of folds.
If you look at the diagram, we chose a number of pleat sections, the number of rod pockets is the number of pleat sections minus 1, then divide that number by 2.
Have a look at the online calculator and there is a further diagram that shows how the pleat sections hang.
I am enjoying following your instructions. I want to use thermal lining and rod pockets. I have pressed the lining and so it does lay flat BUT when I sew the tape on it slightly puckers. Have changed needle and experimented with tension. Will it matter and if so any thoughts on how to counteract this?
This can happen
the main thing to do is try and maintain tension in the top and bottom layers as you feed them through the machine. If it still puckers try and pull it out flat after you have sewn it.
I really like your tutorial and have read from start to end to see if I can find this answer, but could I just clarify on my rod pocket markings. I have done the maths and am happy with it. I am doing 2 pockets and know I need to measure from the line of the bottom of the blind each time, my first pocket is at 23cm and 2cm, do I need to mark the next pocket 46cm from the base of the blind or 48cm to take into account the 2cm I lost in th e pocket?
Thankyou for your advice
You will see in the instructions in STEP 5 you measure the first, SEW IT
IN, then measure the next one, SEW IT IN and repeat until all your
pockets are sewn in. You will not have to add the 2cm to the distance
you measure up to the bottom of the next pocket because the first pocket
sticks out from the lining and doesn't contribute to the length of the
The video explains it and demonstrates what to do.
I'm not sure about your measurements. If your first pocket is 23cm from the bottom of the blind wouldn't the next pocket be 69cm from the bottom of the blind??
It is 69 and my diagram says so!!! I have sewn the first pocket so just wanted to be sure
Just to clarify: in your question you have been talking about measuring from the bottom of the blind.
The instructions and the videos in STEP 5 are based on our method of
measuring from the bottom of the lining panel when sewing in the rod
pockets which includes 9cm for the double hem so if you are making up and measuring from the bottom of the lining panel 69cm would not be correct for the second rod pocket measurement.
It is all fully explained in the videos.
I am wanting to make a small blind for a recess - just 62.5cm long. I would like to have 2 rod pockets and 5 pleat sections to try and maximise the light available when it is pulled up. The online calculator recommends a top section of 17.7cm deep and the other sections being 11.2cm deep. Will the mechanism work with folds of this depth and is one mechanism preferable to another with small blinds?
That size of pleats should be fine. Most mechanisms are pretty similar
in dimensions with regard to their depth. If you use smaller rings on
the back you may be able to make it pull up a bit tighter.
I am making a cascading roman blind with 3cm cascades.
Do I mark the rod casings in the middle of each section as they are different measurements.
You form the rod pockets the same as for a normal roman blind, but your spacings will be different.
Hi, I am making a blind using a rod tape and have as indicated in the instructions sewn the top of the tape on the line measured from the bottom. I know this may sound a little silly, but do I need to sew the bottom of the tape as well? Sorry if the answer is in the tutorial, I can't seem to find it.
The tapes we have used only require one line of stitching (no stitching
at the bottom as well). That is because you only want the rod to pull
at one point along the blind when you pull it up. If you had stitch
lines top and bottom it would be pulling on the blind over a wider area
and possibly wouldn't fold as neatly.
Strangely, after your instructions stressing the point of measuring from the bottom of the cut fabric when calculating rod pocket placement, your online calculator at step 2 doesn't do this, making it very easy to miscalculate this step.
You are right it is easy to miscalculate, but this is the reason why it is the way it is.
In STEP 2 of the tutorials you are calculating the dimensions of the blind and the rod pocket positions in relation to the bottom of the blind. The calculator calculates the rod pocket positions from the bottom of the blind, the same as the STEP 2 calculation. This is also what anyone just using the calculator and not following the tutorial would be trying to do.
As you say in STEP 5 when making the lining we measure from the bottom of the lining (which includes the hem allowance) to mark the rod pockets. (I'll see if I can highlight this more in the instructions)
The lining is made differently for a lined and interlined blind as they have different hem sizes and positioning on the blind. Therefore the calculator would only work for one type of blind if we were to make it calculate rod pocket positions relative to the bottom of the lining panel rather than the bottom of the blind.
Hope you can help! I was meticulous in squaring my lining befor marking and cutting but i’ve Pressed the edges after turning them in and have gone to mark the hens and it’s all out of square - how can I get it back true?
Did you use steam when you pressed it? it sounds like you have shrunk parts of the lining.