How to Sew a Topper for Roman Shades

Roman shades on four tall windows
What You'll Need
Large newsprint sheet for pattern drawing
Fabric to match existing shades
Fusible web liner for topper, available at sewing supply stores
Sharp scissors
Iron-on seam tape
Decorative trim, tassel or other highlight
Dowel or curtain rod to mount the topper

For many styles of Roman shades, a topper adds a touch of glamour and polish. Roman shade toppers in rich shades of burgundy, steel blue, or gold bring a festive note to a dining room for a special family dinner, and a more formal style to the living room. You can make your own roman shade topper based on a classic shape, or dream up one with your own creativity. Consult the tips below to learn how to design and sew the ideal topper for your roman shades.

Step 1 - Sketch the Design for Your Topper

Look at where you want to place it on the window. Choose a shape that is long and narrow, or shallow and wide. Be creative with the shape, contours and trimming of the bottom edge. Mark the measurements on the sketch and add one inch to each edge for hem allowances. Include an extra two inches at the top to attach a rod sleeve.

Step 2 - Cut Out the Fabric and Fusible Web and Iron Together

Carefully cut the drawn shape out of the paper and attach it to the right side of a double thickness of the fabric. Cut with sharp scissors along the outline to create a smooth-edged fabric shape. Use the pattern again to trim a matching shape in fusible web. Iron on the fusible web to the wrong side of one of the fabric panels.

Step 3 - Fuse Side Seams

clothes iron on an ironing board

Use iron-on tape to join the side seams of the fabric panel. Fold the rod sleeve together and seam it at the back side of the panel with iron-on tape. You can choose to sew the side seams and rod sleeve on the sewing machine. Add trim in the form of decorative stitching to the topper.

Step 4 - Add the Trimmings

Outline the bottom hem with a strip of sequins, velvet rope, fine braided cord, marabou feathers, or other trim. Place a large tassel at the center point of the topper. Add an overlay of sheer gold or silver fabric that allows the primary texture and color of the topper to show through.

Step 5 - Hang the Panel

Attach a gilded or wrought-iron rod with decorative finials to the wall above the headrail or batten of the roman shade, and slide the rod sleeve of the topper onto it. Place a slender dowel inside the rod sleeve, sew the ends closed and decorate the sewn ends each with their own tassel.

Step 6 - Other Options

On a group of windows that have matching roman shades, create a symmetrical range of toppers with the largest and most ornate one on the center window of the group. You could add a topper to just the center bay of a full bay window. Add top-down roman shades to the narrow windows by your main entry and cap each with a sophisticated topper.