How to Make Your Own Insulated Roman Shades

roman shades
What You'll Need
Measuring tape and pencil
Sewing machine
Fabric and lining
Interlining for insulation: cotton quilt lining, mylar sheeting, or light polyester fleece
Thread, needles, pins
Dressmaker's shears
1.8 mm nylon cord, plastic rings, fabric tabs
2-inch twill tape for dowel sleeves
1/2 inch wood or plastic dowels
1-inch diameter dowel, cut 1/2 inch shorter than finished width
Velcro strip, hook and loop
Purchased headrail, metal or wood

To improve your home's energy efficiency, consider hanging insulated roman shades. In both hot and cold weather, insulated shades, fitted inside the window frames, will keep out excess heat and chilly winds. As well they darken the room for comfortable daytime sleeping. Here are guidelines on how to make insulated roman shades.

Step 1 - Measure the Inside Window Frame Dimensions

Measure the length and width of the window pane and add 1 inch to the width of each long side for hemming, 2 inches at top for velcro fastening, and 2 inches at the bottom for a dowel sleeve. Purchase and install a metal or wood headrail.

Step 2 - Cut and Sew Together the Fabric, Lining and Interlining

With the dressmaking shears, cut the front fabric and lining to the measured dimensions. Trim the interlining to 1 inch shorter in width and 4 inches shorter than the lining. Fold and press down a one inch hem for the lining, and insert the cut interlining material into it.

Stitch the lining and interlining together all around the edge. Pin the lining and insulation to the fabric's wrong side at intervals 1 inch above where you want to insert the horizontal dowels. Sew the lining to the fabric only across these lines, and remove the pins.

Step 3 - Attach the Dowel Sleeves

Measure how many folds you want in your roman shades, and mark their locations on the back of the shade to place supporting dowels. Cut tape to the width of the shade plus two inches, and hem one inch at each end. Sew the twill tape sleeves on with a 1/2 inch seam allowance across the back of the shade.

Slide in the dowels and loop-stitch the sleeve ends shut by hand. Make a two inch hem at the bottom and slip the one inch dowel into it. Sew both ends of this dowel pocket closed by machine.

Step 4 - Fasten on the Lifting Rings and Add Strings

Make a fabric loop 3/8 inch in diameter and 1 inch long, for each lifting ring to attach. Slip on a plastic ring and sew them on by machine, just below the dowels. They will form three columns, from four inches above the bottom to two inches below the top: One column down the center of the shade, two others spaced equally from it at two inches in from each long edge.

Align them horizontally with the dowels and vertically. Measure cord to three times the total length plus width of the shade, and slice into three equal lengths. Secure a cord to the bottom ring in each column and pull it through all the rings. Attach the shade to the headrail with velcro, and test the shade's function.