BRAD     |     EMILLIE

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Being a crafty soul

Now that Nikolai is in preschool for 10 hours a week, I have finally gotten the chance to edit my novel.  And my goodness it's a slog!  Unlike blogging... writing a book requires complete sentences. And good grammar. Flow is also important. Narrative. Dialogue. Descriptions.  I'm not sure I'll ever actually finish it!

However, I do have a firm deadline.  Nikolai's preschool will finish for the summer at the end of June.  And the time I have to work on the book will vanish.  I have also been working on the business side of writing. I have formed (a rather small) writers guild. I am reading books about the industry. I've drafted a query letter. I am figuring out whether I'm better off approaching a small Canadian publisher, or going with an agent who would get more traction at a bigger publisher. 

So this is what is filling my time... every spare second of it. I am working against a tight deadline, and most of my daily life is generally filled with the domestic!

Our other time-based deadline was around putting black out curtains and blinds into the big bedroom.  Originally we went with a vinyl roller blinds... but my eco-conscious side balked at the idea of using vinyl next to my sleeping son.  Besides, even the cheapest roller blinds were quite pricey because of our large expanse of windows.  As it turns out homemade curtains are the cheapest option.

But we have this weird piano window in the bedroom.

And curtains would have seemed rather silly... so I opted to make a roman blind for this window.  I found a few rather incomplete sets of instructions on the web, with most of them requiring specialized hardware.  I also found a complete set of instructions, but it entirely lacked photos.  So I'd like to provide a complete set of instructions... with photos.

How to make a Roman Blind 

1. Measure your window. Cut a 1" batten to fit across the top. (generally it is nested inside the window casing, but I wanted to show off the stained glass, so we hung it above the window casing).

2. Cut your fabric so that it measures 2" wider than the window and 6" longer than your window. Then cut the lining fabric to be the same size. (I guess lining the blind isn't required, but it's definitely more posh!)

3. Fold and press a 1" hem into your fabric along both sides and the bottom of the blind, then fold and press a 1.5 " hem into your lining fabric.  Pin the wrong sides together and top stitch.  The top of the blind should remain un-stitched.
4. Based on the length of the blind, and how large you want your pleats to be, figure out how many doweling "rods" you will want.  In my case I used 3 rods, and spaced them 6 " apart.  Use 1/4" doweling for the rods and cut them to the width of your fabric.
5. Mark the location of your doweling pockets on the blind (I had 3 pockets, each 6" apart). Cut strips of a scrap fabric to run along the width of your blind, and 1" wide (to for the pocket). Sew the doweling pockets on to the blind at the marked locations.
 6. Hand stitch (ugh!) rings on the doweling pockets for the eye cord to run through. (I used 4 rings to cover the width of my 54" curtain). The rings need to be stitched in a row on each doweling pocket. (My curtain had 4 rings on each pocket, and 3 pockets, for a total of 12 rings.  Obviously it wasn't too hard to hand stitch!)
7. Wrap the top of the curtain around the batten, and use staples or upholstery tacks to secure the fabric in place.
8. Attach a screw eye to the batten in line with each of the rows of rings.

9. Tie some eye cord to the bottom ring in each row. Run the cord up through the rings in that row and through the screw eye on the batten.  The decide which side you want to have your cord pull on.  Run the eye cords through the remaining screw eyes, so that all of the eye cords meet at the side where your cord pull is going to be.  You could attach a separate cord pull, but I just braided the lengths of my eye cord to make the cord pull.
10. Hang the blind in place by screwing it into the window frame.  This is most neatly done if you can work underneath the roman blind.  I tacked my fabric onto the back side of the batten, so I was able to lift the blind out of the way in order to attach it to the window casing.

11. Attach a cleat to the window frame.  You should be able to keep your blind open, simply from the tension of the cord on the cleat.

1 comment:

Anonymous said... are amazing, Emillie......I'm in awe of you...Diana

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