DIY Hobbled Roman Shades

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Sewing machine
Steam iron and ironing board
Fusible web fiber, 1/2 inch wide for side hems
3/4 inch flat moulding strip for bottom dowel, cut one inch shorter than final width
Fabric, at least twice as long as desired full length
Twill support tape
1/2 inch plastic lifting rings
Thread, pins, scissors
Fabric glue
1.2 mm nylon cord, cord acorns
Purchased precut head rail, installed

The unique, stair-step appearance of hobbled roman shades adds a touch of tailored elegance to even the most casual room. They are most suited to crisp woven fabrics in solid colors, stripes, and geometric patterns, and move best outside the window frame. Learn how to make hobbled roman shades yourself from the directions provided below.

Step 1 - Make a Diagram of Your Hobbled Pleats

For a hobbled shade with 12 pleats, 4 inches wide each, the shade will need to be 12x4x 2 inches long, no matter the window height. Adjust the number of pleats in your diagram to cover your window and extend 1 pleat width beyond it.

Step 2 - Measure and Cut the Fabric

Measure the total length of your shade plus 2 inches for the top and bottom hems. Add 2 inches to each side for the side hems. Cut the fabric with sharp scissors, press in and sew a 1-inch finished hem on each long side. Press down an additional 1 inch per side to attach to the fusible web.

Step 3 - Add the Fusible Web to Stiffen Edges

Press the fusible web onto the back of the shade fabric 1.5 inches in from the sewn side hems. Fold the side hem over 1 inch so it overlaps the fusible web. Press and sew down the new side hems. Sew down the bottom hem and insert the precut flat dowel, and handstitch the edges firmly closed.

Step 4 - Mark the Twill Tapes for Creating the Hobbled Pleats

Cut five twill tapes the full length of the extended shade. Sew two of these to the hemmed long sides for stability. Mark three of the twill tapes for the hobbles and rings. Divide the center of the shade between the two outer edges into three equal sections. Pin the three twill tapes to the top of the shade at these divisions. Mark the tape for the lifting rings, 8 inches apart. Mark the tapes again at 4 inches between each ring mark, to form hobbles.

Step 5 - Handstitch the Twill Tapes to the Shade

Stitch the twill tapes to the shade at each pleat mark, folding up the pleats from top to bottom. Ensure the ring marks are visible between the pleat stitches.

Step 6 - Attach the Rings to the Twill Tapes

Pull up the twill tape at each ring mark and sew each ring to the twill tape. Ensure they are aligned both across and from bottom to top.

Step 7 - Connect the Pull Cord to the Rings

Cut 3 pull cords so they measure the full length plus the full width of the hobbled shade. Knot each cord securely to the bottom ring and lock with fabric glue. Slip each cord up through the rings to the top and pull through the headrail to one side.