A new blind

Way back when I was maybe 3 months pregnant my mum gave me a cool piece of fabric that looked perfect for the nursery window. But I kept putting off the idea of making a blind… Partly because I was tired, partly because I’d never done anything like that before and partly because I hadn’t bought the rods and things I’d need to make a roman blind. Now, with a nearly 5 month old, who will be moving into the nursery in the not too distant future, and a bank holiday weekend when my husband Mark could look after Mr E lots, seemed a good time to try to get it done.

I’d ordered a roman blind kit from arcadia, as I’d looked online at buying all the bits separately and it just seemed too complicated and too expensive. The kit was pretty expensive too and I did wonder if I should just scrap the idea and buy a blind, but Mark encouraged me to go for it. So, on Saturday, straight after the first feed of the day I headed downstairs and dusted off Sissy, ready for a day of sewing. 3 hours later I had finally managed to iron the fabric, make a mini test one to check i’d understood the first set of instructions correctly, and cut the blackout lining to size. It is always pretty scary cutting the fabric, and i’d never cut anything this big so I struggled to know where to put it and how to cut it. I had to keep putting down my sewing table to create enough floor space to lay it all out. And even then I cut it whole it was folded in half as I thought that was safer than trying to move a half cut piece of fabric and still get a straight line.

After lunch (mine, not Mr E’s!) I was ready to start sewing. Poor Sissy needed some adjusting to get the tension right but we got there in the end.

I got the sides sewn together and pressed out and was pleased to discover it was the right size. I kept going, adding velcro to the top, and at this stage I noticed black coming through the stitch holes. Although the blackout material is silver on one side and white on the other I later discovered there’s black inside that was getting pushed or pulled through by the needle which was a shame but I couldn’t stop it happening. My sewing wasn’t particularly straight either but I figured it would have to do.

Then it was time to add the rod tapes. I did better at sewing in a straight line but I made a big mistake when I’d sewn two of the tapes on and moved onto the third. They only need sewing along the top, which was their right hand edge. But then I turned the blind round for the third tape so less of it was scrumpled up between the needle and the rest of Sissy. Annoyingly I was then in the habit of sewing down the right hand edge, and I’d done nearly the whole of it before I realised my mistake. I sewed the correct edge and then set to unpicking my mistake, which has left little pinprick holes in the blackout fabric, and took significantly longer than sewing it in the first place!

There was a huge sense of relief to discover that the rods actually went in!

The final job of the day was cutting the bottom of the blind to size (scary) and folding the bottom up to create a pocket for the bottom strip. But then I decided to wait until Mark had put up the fittings to check the length and adjust before sewing. That was a job for sunday!

I was super frustrated to discover that the blind was rather too short… And having cut the fabric I didn’t have much to play with, but I did what I could, sewed it up and then added the rods and hand sewed the ends up so they can’t fall out.

Finally it was ready to hang, and mark finished sorting the chain mechanism this morning. It’s all done, it’s marginally too short in the middle… Presumably because I didn’t quite fold the edge straight while ironing… The two ends touch the windowsill but the middle goes up a millimetre or two. And it’s frustrating that that’s what I’ve focused on rather than the fact that I made a blind from scratch that looks cool and matches the yellow theme of the room with the painted wall and the watford football kit! And that I got it finished on the weekend we had designated four the job. I knew it would never black out all of the light because the mechanism means it hangs away from the wall, and I’m not sure even a bought blind would have managed that. So I’m working on feeling proud of my achievement, but I’m not entirely there yet.

I’m pleased with how neatly it folds up, but disappointed there are headless chickens as the main feature
It’s darker in the room, but still quite a bit of light sneaking in
You can see the pinprick from the unpicking just below the third rod line!