Let me preface this post with the announcement that I did not exactly have “fun” making these roll-up shades. We needed them, I knew I could do it, I was determined to do it, I kind of wish we could have had someone else do it, but now they’re done, I’m happy about it. I’m not particularly excited about making more, but I probably will. Now that my complaints are out of the way, let’s move on to what I did, shall we?
Since moving into our place in Austin, we’ve done a lot of painting (jog your memory here and here), and there’s still more to do, but we needed a break. Only one room of our house had shades when we moved in, and they were gross, so we took them down when we painted, which left us with completely uncovered windows (hi, neighbors!!). Our “temporary” solution (that sadly became a little permanent) was to tape up white garbage bags in such a way that the windows were operable and let light in while also giving us a little privacy. Oliver even devised a roll-up-able roman shade-like design, making us even lazier about getting real shades up.
So, for the last almost four months we’ve been the crazy people with trash bags in the windows. Our bedroom is the room with the most windows, and is the closest to being complete, so I decided to tackle those windows first. We already had curtains on those windows (re-used from our last apartment), but they are quite sheer and needed an additional layer to give us privacy from the street, not to mention they were in desperate need of hemming. I was going to simply line them, but that required a lot of yardage, so I decided to just make easy roll-up flat-panel shades to cover the windows themselves. I carted myself off to the fabric store one Saturday in search of cheap-ish linen. Of course, I got all inspired and came home with a completely different idea: a burlap panel on the front (to coordinate with our DIY headboard!), lined with a lovely floral fabric (on clearance!) on the back, that was visible when rolled up and added an element of surprise.
Great idea, except that these things weren’t going to make themselves. Oh, how I wish they would have! The fabric sat around for a while (like, three months), until my parents’ first visit was about a week away. I was determined to have at least one room look normal for them, so I busted out the sewing machine and got to work. I don’t have any “during” pictures, because I was in such a frenzy trying to get them done, but allow me to try an describe what the house looked like while I was working on them: tornado-meets-sweatshop. Despite the muss and fuss, they turned out quite nice. I love the subtle, casual droop that occurs when the panels are rolled up.
While I had all the machinery and doo-dads out, I hemmed the drapes, so we no longer have a messy, dust collection problem.
When the panels are down and sun streams in, the rose pattern on shows through the burlap – a happy accident!
The operation of it is easy. I made “cords” out of leftover rose fabric and used them to hang the panels from basic white cup hooks that we screwed into the mouldings around the windows (three for each panel, to keep them from sagging). I also made cords for the ends, which secure the panels in the rolled-up position:
I can safely say I’m really satisfied with how this room is turning out. Now, I just need to get myself geared up to work on the living room and second bedroom.