Before measuring for your blind, decide whether you want the blind to hang inside the window against the frame, or on the outside wall. I used a blind kit which had a ready-corded heading rail and attached to the wall with plastic brackets. It gave a professional finish and was easy to fit.
I got mine from Roomserve and I would recommend them for the quality of the product and their level of customer service. Some blind kits come with tape that can be used in place of the rod pockets made from lining stitched with plastic rings but I think using lining to make rod pockets gives a better finish and prefer to finish my blinds this way.
As an alternative to buying a kit, you can make your own top batten by covering a piece of wood with fabric, stapling hook tape to the face and using screw eyes for threading the cords. If you choose this method, you will also need a wooden cord pull.
Measure the width and length required and note down the measurements. A builder friend of ours always says “Measure twice, cut once” which is good advice when measuring for a blind!
1. Cutting Out
Iron both the lining and the fabric before cutting out. For the fabric, add 15cm to the finished length to allow for the top and bottom hem. Add 8cm to the finished width for the side seams. For the lining, cut to the exact width of the finished blind and add 15cm on the length for the top and bottom hem. If fabric needs to be joined to cover the width, have one full panel down the centre, with strips either side, to avoid a centre seam.
2. Joining the Fabric and the Lining
With plain fabrics, I mark the top with two crossed pins so I remember which way is up. Fold the fabric in half from top to bottom and mark the centre line with a pin at the top and bottom. Repeat with the lining. With wrong sides together, pin fabric and lining together. The work will not lay flat at this stage as the lining is narrower than the main fabric. Stitch down each side seam, taking a 2cm seam allowance.
Turn through to right side and lining up centre pins, iron out from the centre to the seams. You should have a 2cm border of fabric on each site on the back.
3. Working Out How Many Folds and Rod Casings Required
You want to have equal folds when the blind is drawn up, with an allowance on the top section of 5cms (or the width of your headrail). The bottom section is generally half a section with one 1cm added. I generally have the seconds between rod pockets somewhere between 20-25cm although they can be wider apart depending on the drop. I worked out the folds for my blind as follows:
Finished Length = 116cm
Variation = 6cm
Total to divide = 110cm
110cm divided by 4 1/2 drops = 24.44 cm
1. Top section = 24.44cm + 5cm (head rail allowance) = 29.44cm
2. Second Section = 24.44cm
3. Third Section = 24.44cm
4. Fourth Section = 24.44cm
5. Bottom Section 12.22cm (half drop measurement) + 1cm (ease) = 13.22cm
This equals 115.98cm so 2mm can be added to the top or bottom to reach the finished length.
4. Making Pockets for Stiffening Rods
Make casings for the rods which will stiffen the blinds by cutting strips from lining fabric to the finished width of the blind by 9cm wide. Press each strip in half, then in half again. My example required four casing pockets.
5. Making Bottom Hem and Marking Position of Rod Pockets
Start by making the bottom hem. Press up by 1cm along the bottom line, then fold over again by 4cm, pin and stitch along the edge. (This depends on the width of the bottom batten being used to stiffen the bottom of the blind). Once this is completed, measure up a half section from the bottom edge to mark the casing position. In my example, you would measure up 13.22cm. Pin a line, then turn 2cm of casing under, and line up the top edge of the casing with the line of pins, pin the casing in place, then remove the pinned line. Measure up a full section, in my example 24.44cm, mark the line with pins, followed by pinning the casing in place as above. Repeat up the blind until the last section which will be 5cm longer, in my example 29.44cm. Mark top edge with a line of pins. Stitch the four casing pockets in place, then measure from the bottom edge to the top as a final check of measurement. Adjust the pinned line at the top edge if required, then press over seam allowance, trimming if necessary. Pin hook tape at top and stitch in place.
6. Finishing the Blind
Next you will need to insert the battens and rods into the pockets. If the batten and rods are too long, mark with pencil then use a small hacksaw to trim. Watch out if they are made of fibreglass as the small fibres can prickle your fingers! Once trimmed to the correct size, slide the bottom batten into the hem casing and stitch to close at either side. Then slide the rods into the casing pockets and again stitch at either side to close. Once all the rods are in place, stitch plastic rings on the pockets.
You will need to stitch on each pocket at even intervals to thread the cord through. I had four cords to pull up my blind so I needed 16 plastic rings in total, with four on each pocket.
Attach the blind to the top batten, make sure the blind lies flat, then thread the cords through the appropriate rings, tying securely on the last ring and trimming the excess. Fit the blind according to the manufacturer’s instructions.