Blinds!

I have just returned from a wonderful holiday exploring Myanmar (Burma) with Charlie. I had planned to write this post while I was over there but I ran out of time…I suppose that is a sign of a busy / exciting holiday!

As much as I love going away, I have to say, I really am a home bird and I just love home more! I realise this could sound ungrateful- I have been extremely fortunate to go to some fabulous places and experience a range of different cultures and beautiful countries, but I tend to find it rather anxiety inducing. I have been trying to work out the reason for this for many years and can only surmise that I feel anxious spending so much money in such a short space of time. Regardless- the holiday was actually fab, and I had to most wonderful travel agent, who even took the time to travel with me…

Anyway…as I was saying- the last three years living with Charlie has been so much fun decorating and curating our little flat together. We both quite enjoy interior design and have managed to make changes as and when we have been in funds / time. Finally, after three years, the time came to actually put up blinds and curtains in our sitting room! The result certainly feels a lot more cosy and has ‘finished’ the room. I was definitely up for the challenge of making my own blinds, and as luck would have it, Charlie’s mother happens to make blinds and run her own interior design business (http://www.elizabethwalkerdesign.com/). Therefore, a lesson was planned!

As with my eternal preaching on this blog, it was considerably easier than I was expecting (I did have a great teacher, though!). However, I think the reason I have not attempted blinds before on my own is the fact that the cost of the fabric is so much more than the cost of clothing fabric, so I was never keen to just take a punt using a Youtube video.

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The finished result…how it came about below:

Materials required:

  • Main fabric (a little larger than the window)
  • Lining
  • Interlining
  • Baton for the top
  • Thick rod for the bottom of the blind
  • 2 x thin rods of blind middle
  • Eyelet tape (not entirely sure of the name!)
  • Blind cord
  • Wall cleat
  • Acorn

The most important element, as with everything in life, is the preparation! So, the first thing you must do accurately is measure the width of the windows and required drop of the blind. I am the type of person who is really lazy when it comes to things like this, but I have learnt the hard way before, and it really is essential to check and double-check.

The next stage involved measuring out the main fabric to the required size adding an additional 5cm to the sides and length for the seam allowances. You must also cut the lining and interlining (no need for the excess).

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Charlie measuring the baton to cover with fabric and then velcro

Then lay the fabric wrong side up on the table and put the interlining then lining on top.

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Enclosing the lining and interlining in the main fabric

The next stage was a good challenge for me. It involved ironing a crease in the main fabric to enclose the lining and interlining and then hand sewing the seams closed to make the edge of the blind. My hand sewing is seldom practised, but it is worth doing this way for neatness.

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Lots of pressing involved

We then set Charlie the task of covering the baton head with fabric using a staple gun and then covering one side of this with the base part of the Velcro.

The construction of the blind involved marking on the positions to place the rods.

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Marking the position to insert the rods

The eyelet tape rod holdings were then machine sewn in place, as was the top part of the velcro to the top of the blind. We then inserted the rods and the bottom baton and sewed this closed (again by hand).

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Machine sewing in the eyelet rod holders

We then measured out the spacing of the blind strings. We marked three points to put in eye hooks- one at the edge of the top baton, then two evenly spread across the blinds. We then pulled a single string from the bottom of the blind, through the corresponding holes in the rod holding and then through the eye at the top. After this we pulled the string from both lines up and through the edge eye and pulled enough string through that we were able to pull up the blind with enough cord. We then tied this off at the bottom of the blind and temporarily tied the two cords in a knot so that nothing fell out of place.

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Measuring the points for the fixings for the top baton and hammering them in

Finally we measured up the place for the wall screws on the top baton and fixed this to the wall. We attached the blind to the velcro and attached the acorn to the blind cord  previously tied in a knot and then put the bracket on the wall. The velcro makes the blinds remarkably easy to hang, which is a delight.

I have been told to advise that making a blind in this method is not child safe as per the regulations of 2014. However, since I am not yet in possession of a child and these blinds are for my sitting room as opposed to a children’s bedroom, I am content with this. I will be sure to take care with children around if this is ever the case!

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In situ

More blog posts on the way, and a very special thanks to the wonderful Liz for helping me with these blinds- our home is so cosy now that I find it impossible to find somewhere I feel more content…maybe that is the actual reason I struggle with travelling!

LS x

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