I’m bringing you a “twofer” in today’s post – a tie-up shade tutorial and a ready-made version!
So, a few months ago, I made three linen shades with my mom for my studio. I did the cutting, pinning, and sewing, and she did the ironing. With the two of us working together, we were able to get three done quickly, but we didn’t have time to finish the remaining three before she left. I’ve been dragging my feet since January, feeling like the project would eat up a couple of days of my time. I finally got to work on them and finished all three in about three hours! It’s so ridiculous how I can build projects up in my own head when they really won’t take that long.
Anyway, while I was stalling, I spoke with Decor Steals about making a reproduction shade for those who don’t sew or who just want to have one ready made. So, we collaborated on that and they are available for sale today!
Before we get to the tutorial for the DIYers, here is the ready-made version…
Since my studio windows are huge, we made these to different measurements, so they will fit most standard-sized single windows. You can also double or triple them up for larger windows.
They are made out of a poly-cotton blend for a gauzy, linen look. The rod pocket is 1.5″, which is designed to fit on a standard tension or cafe rod. I really like these on tension rods, since they are super easy to install and the window frame isn’t covered. Each shade measures 70″ wide x 60″ long and they can be gathered tightly on the rod for smaller windows or can be spread out to cover wider windows. They are pretty forgiving when it comes to size. (My window is 36″ wide, as a reference.) The length is also pretty forgiving, since they would be tied up most of the time.
(These are not going to provide full privacy, since they are see-through. I would add a roller blind underneath if you need that. They are great for light-filtering, though!)
The ties can be adjusted and styled in different ways for different looks.
Here is a video showing how to style the shades, in case that sort of thing doesn’t come natural to you…
If these will work for your home, you can purchase them today from Decor Steals HERE.
Now, for the DIYers, here is the full tutorial showing how the make them yourself! These are pretty simple to make and, if you can sew a straight line (relatively), then you can make these.
Here is a pattern for the curtains and the measurements I used for my smaller studio windows, but you can adjust the measurements fit your window. I would suggest dividing the length into thirds, as I did, with the top of the blind being 1/3 and the bottom being 2/3. This seemed to be a good visual ratio. (At least to my design eye!)
For my shades, I used bleached 7.1 oz heavy linen (57″ width), purchased from HERE for $8.83/yard. Don’t be fooled by the term “heavy”. It’s not a think or heavy fabric and is still gauzy, see-through, and light-filtering.
For the measurements above, here is what you’ll need to cut…
- Top of shade (this will be doubled over, so it’s twice the length, plus seam allowances) – 42″ long x 62″ wide
- Bottom of shade – 62″ x 57″ (full width of fabric bolt)
- Ties – Cut four pieces that are 4″ x 32″
The cool thing about cutting linen, is you don’t have to cut it. Just cut a slit at your measured mark and tear it. It will tear in a straight line! You will get some fraying and snagging, but you can clean that up when you iron and it makes the project go much faster than having to measure and mark everything on white linen. It does take a bit of muscle, though, so you’ll feel it if you’re working on three shades (as I was)!
Once your pieces are cut, hem the left and right sides of the top of the shade. (Leave the top and bottom un-hemmed.) The sides are the 42″ long sides of the fabric panel.
If you’ve never done a double hem before, here is how I do it…
Fold over the fabric edge once, about 1/4″.
Fold it over a second time, so the raw edge is hidden….
Press the hem with a hot iron to crease the folds.
Sew it, so the hem is secured. That’s it!
Once the sides of the top of the shade are hemmed, you need to repeat that on the bottom piece. Hem the left and right sides.
Since the bottom piece is the bottom of the shade, the bottom edge needs to be hemmed as well. There is usually a little bit of excess fabric at the corners once you have hemmed one side…
So, we want to get rid of that. Just snip a corner off with some scissors…
And double fold the bottom hem. With that bulk cut off, you’ll have a nice corner…
With the top and bottom pieces of the shade hemmed, we need to prepare the ties. I know this looks like a pile of toilet paper at this point, but they will look like ties when we’re finished!
I did get a little lazy on my ties. I really didn’t want to hem all of the ties, so I opted to just leave the edges raw. Yes, there will be some fraying, but I’ve had three finished shades in my studio since January and they haven’t shed at all, so I’m not too concerned about it. You can certainly hem yours or even just stitch along the edges if the raw edge isn’t your thing.
Since the fabric was torn instead of cut, they do look a bit snagged and frayed, so all of the ties need to be ironed and they’ll look much better!
Here’s how they look ironed and finished…
It looks like a raw, linen ribbon.
Now, you have all of your pieces ready to assemble. Since this part was the trickiest bit, I decided to make a video showing how to finish them off…
And they look so good! They are perfect for my studio and it’s so nice that I can sit at my drafting table in the evenings now without being blinded by the setting sun!
In addition to bringing some function to the room, they add texture and softness to the space.