6.12.2012

That Fucking Roman Shade

Let me tell you, this project terrified me. I'm a decent sewer. When I was little it was an annual tradition to design my costume for Halloween and then help my grandmother sew it. And now that I have a sewing machine of my own I've sewed our simple panel curtains and made a cover for our tile saw, but nothing too detailed. But this window was in need of a shade

You can imagine we weren't super big fans of the red rosin paper and blue tape shade (and I'm sure our neighbors weren't either, but at least we no longer have a plywood front door). Chris had been asking me about it for awhile, but I was scared by all the steps my Sewing 101 book said it took. So I kept putting it off.

Last Sunday I woke up and was supposed to go on a run, but that didn't happen. I figured I was lazy with one thing I was supposed to do, so I might as well check something off my list: sew that fucking shade.

For some reason I found the Sewing 101 instructions to be really confusing, so I spent about 30 minutes surfing around the internet for good directions. This achieved 2 things: I was able to procrastinate the actual sewing AND I was able to be productive looking for better directions

I found directions I really liked and although it required me to not use some supplies I had already purchased and buy other ones (for a waste of about $20) I felt a lot more comfortable with these instructions.

I don't have too many photos of the work because I was trying not to pull my hair out the whole time. It didn't actually require complicated sewing, things just really needed to be lined up well, measured out very accurately and put together in a specific way. I like panel curtains because if things are off by and inch or two, no one can tell the difference. But sewing a roman shade in a fixed window alcove required a lot more attention to detail

I used this fabric (which ties in nicely with our hutch hardware)

With a strip of leftover fabric from our front room curtains on the sides (fabric was 54" wide and the window was 72" wide). The gray was purchased as the liner, it's thicker and darker so we won't get glare on the TV.

I can't really explain what the hell I did, so this is definitely not a tutorial of how to sew a roman shade by any means. If you'd like to sew one I'd for sure use this site for help. I liked this one too. Sewing/constructing the shade took me 6+ hours last Sunday (yes, you read that right) and then another couple last week to fine tune things. Then this past Sunday afternoon we finally got to hanging it up

I was really not looking forward to this step (which is why it took a week to get to) because I was so afraid to discover I had messed everything up. But it was finally judgement day.

Most instructions call for angle brackets, but because of the weight of the shade and the wide span of the window we just decided to screw it into the "ceiling" of the little window alcove. And the result? (it still needs to be hemmed, but I wanted to do that after it was hung to get the length perfect)

I hate it. Well, I guess hate is a strong word. When we first hung it up I HATED it, but now that it's been 48 hours I just find it extremely distasteful. Let's take away the fact that it's all wrinkled so it needs to be ironed (despite my constant ironing as I was constructing it). On top of that I really don't like the color and pattern now that it's hung up in the room. And I really don't like the two stripes of the neutral fabric (the proportion is all wrong). But the part I hate the most is that it's just BOOM: wall then fabric

It looks so weird. Like the fabric is being birthed from the wall.

So the conclusion is.....I will sew another roman shade. Yup, $100 (fabric + supplies) down the toilet. Punch me in the face. I'm not excited about the prospect of sewing/constructing another shade, but I just find this one so objectionable that there's no way it's staying. Chris thinks the severity of my dislike is a bit extreme (though that's not really out of the ordinary) but he's not a super big fan of it either. Hey, sometimes you fail and you just gotta redo the annoying work again. Boo. But hopefully round 2 is more successful: I've done it before so it'll hopefully go quicker, I know mistakes not to make, and I have a better idea of what I want it to look like. Fingers crossed for round 2 success!

9 comments:

G said...

I don't post a lot of comments on blogs, but this warrants one - I think you're being way too hard on yourself. I like how the neutral panels blend with the wall. You could add a piece of trim to the top of the window to create a transition between the wall/fabric. If you really hate it, what about making 3 separate shades - re-use the wide one for the center window and just make 2 skinnier ones for the sidelight windows?

Cheryl said...

I tried taking pictures to send you of the ones I made - but we were getting ready to leave on vacation and they didn't turn out well and now they're lost among the vacation pictures.

It looks like you mastered the construction - you are right about it not being difficult sewing just tedious.

Maybe a clothes steamer that you can use once hung will help with the wrinkly look - but you may always have creases created by raising & lowering the blind.

To hide where the blind attaches to the window opening at the top I hung a flat 4" wide curtain rod and made a sleeve of the same fabric to slide over it. A cornice of some sort would work also to help with the wall birthing fabric effect.

To make the proportions more pleasing if you use contrasting fabic again - make the center panel the same width as the center window. If you use all the same fabric don't seam it right up the center of the blind - construct it like the blind you just made.

Sorry to hear that your blind didn't turn out the way you hoped - especially with the time & effort involved. Hope some of my rambling thoughts help give you ideas & encouragement for round two.

Deb said...

The titles of your posts always make me laugh out loud :)

I can't sew to save my life so color me impressed!

meryl rose said...

Thanks for all the help, support and suggestions. I already bought round 2 of fabric and I'm actually kind of excited for it to come to try the adventure again. Weirdo.

Deb - gotta keep it real :)

Laurie said...

I hate it when this happens - you spend all this time, energy and money and hate the results, but doing it over will make you happier. Personally, I don't find it objectionable, but I don't have to live with it! I made my poor husband re-hang the closet doors 3 times because they were 1/2" off -- and I knew I'd be unhappy everytime I looked at them, and that alone makes it worthwhile, right?!

Lisa @ Trapped In North Jersey said...

It doesn't look terrible, I think you're being pretty hard on yourself. On the other hand if you hate it no amount of suffering it will make it better. Good luck with round two.

meryl rose said...

I know, I'm being too hard on myself and melodramatic. It's just, bleh, I can't stand the way it looks. It has become one of those weird things. Every time I walk through to go to the front door I avoid eye contact. I hope the new roman shade turns out as good as your closet doors Laurie! :)

jenne said...

Meryl-
have you considered putting a valance on the top? or Maybe scalloping the bottom edge?
http://www.terrelldesigns.com/Galleries/Variations-on-Romans

Terrell Sunderman gave a talk at my quilt group YEARS ago, and her method of making roman shades is super easy and straight forward...that it inspired my mom to make roman shades for my brothers' rooms...
maybe her galleries will give you some inspiration?
http://www.terrelldesigns.com/Galleries

Good luck! :)

meryl rose said...

Thanks for the tips Jenne! I am actually planning to make a valance the second time around, so hopefully that helps things look better.