How to Make Roman Shades with Fancy Bottom Hems

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Newsprint paper for hem design
Pencil, measuring tape
Tailor's chalk
Fabric, thread and hem trim as desired
Lifting string assembly
1/2 inch dowels and 1-inch dowel for bottom weight
Fusible web liner for hemline, from sewing supply stores
Steam iron and ironing board
Sharp scissors
Decorative trim, tassel or other highlight

Make your Roman shades unique by adding a decorative bottom hem below the stabilizing dowel. All it takes is precise measurement and a few additional steps to assemble the roman shade. Follow these guidelines to accent your roman shades with a fancy bottom hem. These shades will work equally well in either an inside-frame or outside-frame mounting.

Step 1 - Measure the Window

For an inside mount measure the window length from the top to the window sill or ledge. You need to include the depth of your decorative hem within this length, with a one inch finishing hem depth for it. Measure the width for correct horizontal fit of the roman shade.

Step 2 - Prepare and Partially Assemble the Roman Shade

Cut and sew the fabric to the finished measurements with one inch seam allowances down the sides, and a two inch hem at the top to attach it to the header rail. Leave side hems open for the depth of the hem plus two inches above the hem to insert the bottom dowel in a rod pocket.

Step 3 - Sketch and Cut Out the Decorative Hem

Measure and sketch the exact shape of the decorative hem on a plain piece of newsprint paper. Use the tailor's chalk to outline the hem contours on the bottom edge of the shade, and cut out the outline carefully. Prepare a second piece of fabric with the same depth and bottom edge shape to attach on the back of the decorative hem and to form the bottom dowel pocket.

roman shades

Sew the second piece of fabric, right side out, onto the back of the shade, matching the extreme bottom edge exactly. Sew the dowel pocket two inches down from the top of the backing fabric, insert the dowel and close the pocket edges. Leave the remaining three sides of the decorative hem open to insert fusible web interfacing.

Step 4 - Cut and Insert Fusible Web Interfacing

Use your pattern for the decorative hem to cut a piece of fusible web interfacing to the same contours. Insert it into the hem fabric and iron it on with a steam iron on the highest temperature Dry setting. This will stiffen the fabric and keep the hem from drooping.

Step 5 - Finish Edges of the Decorative Hem and Add Trim

Sew the side edges of the decorative hem closed. Press a narrow finishing hem around the contoured bottom edge and sew it together close to the outer edge of the fabric. Add contrast cord, braid, ribbon, beading, or a large tassel to trim the decorative hem.

Step 6 - Finish Assembling the Shade and Hang It Up

Add the lifting string assembly, velcro hook and loop top strips and hang the roman shade. It should fit perfectly, with the decorative hem clearly visible when the shade is open or closed.