This project is ideal for using up remnants of cotton-print fabric.
You will need
Size This blind has been designed to fit a small window; the finished panel measures approximately 145 x 89cm. However, you can make it to fit any window by following the same technique (see the instructions below).
Before you begin Prewash all the cotton print fabrics separately to remove any starch and also to ensure that they are completely colourfast. Place a small piece of white cotton with the coloured fabric and see if any colour runs; if so don’t use it, you don’t want to find on its first wash the colours bleed into each other.
NOTE A 5mm seam allowance has been included in all measurements. Use a ruler and dressmaker’s pencil to mark the fabric accurately before you cut.
1 From the cotton print fabrics cut 15 squares each 13 x 13cm for the centre blocks.
2 For every block cut a strip of fabric from a contrasting print each 6cm wide. Cut this strip into two pieces 13cm in length and two pieces 23cm in length. Continue cutting strips in this way until you have cut enough to frame each block.
3 Place the block and strips in a pile for each framed block and pin them together to avoid getting confused by the different pieces.
1 With the right sides of the fabric together and working a 5mm seam allowance, join a 13cm strip to the top of the block. Now join a 13cm strip to the bottom of the block. Press seams open.
2 In the same way join a 23cm strip to one side of the block and press; repeat for the other side. This finishes off your framed block, which should measure 23 x 23cm. Trim to size if necessary.
3 Continue in this way until all 15 blocks are completed.
4 Arrange the finished framed blocks on a flat surface into five rows of three framed blocks. Make sure that you do not place the same prints next to each other. When you are happy with the arrangement, number each block on the back with the dressmaker’s pencil.
To calculate the size of your blind
NOTE When calculating the placement of the squares, keep in mind that there should be an uneven number of rows of patchwork. Either adjust the size of the patchwork squares or use a wider or narrower lace to achieve this.
1 Measure the window to be covered by the blind and calculate the fabric needed. Measure the width that the final blind will be and add 16cm to the measurement for side hem allowances. When measuring the length, keep in mind that a 19mm-wide (rounded off to 2cm) wall batten will be placed at the top of the window to attach the blind. Measure the length, starting where the top edge of the batten will be, down to the desired length. Add 1.5cm at the top edge and 7cm at the bottom edge for hem allowances, giving a total of 8.5cm added to the length measurement.
2 Cut the backing fabric according to your measurements. Draw the following lines on the white backing fabric with the marking pen: 1.5cm down from the top edge, 8cm in from the two vertical edges and 7cm up from the bottom edge. Measure the area within this frame and calculate how many squares will fit into it, allowing space in between the squares for the lace.
To make the Roman blind
NOTE The final size of the blind and the number of patchwork squares needed will depend on the size of the window it will cover. Use the general instructions above to calculate the amount of fabric you will need.
1 Draw a grid to mark the positions of the patchwork squares on the white backing fabric with the marking pen.
2 Sew the patchwork squares according to the instructions and press a 1cm hem to the back around the outer edges.
3 Cut, pin and sew the lace strips onto the blind first. Depending on the size of the blind, the lace may be wider than the spaces between the squares. This does not matter, as the edges of the squares will cover the edges of the lace. Trim the edges if necessary.
4 Pin and sew the squares into position using a top stitch.
5 Hem the vertical edges by pressing and sewing a 4cm-wide double folded hem.
6 At the top edge, press a 1.5cm fold to the back. Pin and sew the soft strip of the Velcro onto the back side of the blind, 2mm down from the fold. Cut the 19 x 12mm batten the same length as the width measurement of the blind. Staple the hard strip of the Velcro onto the batten.
7 Hem the bottom edge by pressing and sewing a 3.5cm-wide double folded hem. Cut the 19 x 6mm batten 1cm shorter than the width measurement of the blind. Insert the batten into the hem casing; sew up the open ends by hand.
8 To make the casings for the dowels, cut strips from the same white fabric as the backing, 3.5cm wide and 2cm longer than the width measurement of the blind. At the two ends, press a 1.5cm hem to the wrong side. Set your overlocker to a 5mm wide stitch. Fold the strips in half down the length, wrong sides together, and overlock the raw edges to form a casing. Pin and sew the first casing onto the back of the blind, halfway between the bottom two rows of patchwork. The ends of the casing should be 5mm in from the edges of the blind. The next casing (and following casings, if your blind is longer than ours) is placed with two rows of patchwork between it and the previous casing. Cut the dowels 1cm shorter than the width measurement of the blind and insert into the casings.
9 Sew two rows of Roman blind rings along the top edges of all the casings, 15cm in from the side edges of the blind.
10 Screw in the eyes along the bottom edge of the wall batten in line with the rings on the blind. Screw in another eye at the end of the batten where the pull cord will hang.
11 Tie the cords to each of the lower line of rings and thread each cord through its line of rings. Attach the blind to the wall batten and thread the cords through the eyes and then through the one on the end.
12 Let the blind hang down and gently pull each cord to ensure there is no slack. Make a knot in the cords at the eye on the end of the batten and tie the toggle to the ends of the cords.
13 Attach the cleat hook to the wall at the desired height on the side where the pull cord will hang.
Text and image source: Ideas magazine