CT: Finding someone to make shades from fabric

zen4dMay 3, 2012

I recently purchased fabric and wanted to have a roman shade made for a l window 118 inches wide. The store wants to charge $1000, and I was wondering if anyone can tell me how I might go about finding someone who does this type of work, not directly through a store?

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Annie Deighnaugh

That's a very large shade and probably will break strings rather than operate at that width. Can you break up the shade into smaller ones?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 3:56PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

That's a very large shade and probably will break strings rather than operate at that width. Can you break up the shade into smaller ones?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 4:01PM
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woodsy_1 Zone 5b Illinois

I used to make window treatments as a business, and the $1K quote you received is not out of line. Not only is there labor, but there is the lining, all mechanisms, etc. that go into the making of a quality shade. That width also requires upgraded materials to ensure it will open and close correctly. If you skimp, they'll never look right or operate properly.

Annie is right. Shades that wide are very heavy. Unless the window is one solid pane of glass, you should consider separate shades. They can be mounted on one headrail for an almost seamless look if that is your preference.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 5:27PM
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There are people out there that make window treatments from a home-based business. Sometimes a fabric store has a board for tradespeople to advertise, but you don't really know their quality of work. A better option is asking friends, co-workers etc, especially if you have been inside their homes and admire their window treatments.And another option could be a Parade of Homes for builders or charity home tours. Sometimes the trades advertise in these cases. Hope I gave you some ideas.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 7:02PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

You could try making them yourself...you can get DIY kits or look on line for instructions. If you don't sew, they can be done without sewing using glue gun or heat n bond iron stick um.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 9:39PM
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ditto on the coments to split or go with a different window treatment.

I had custom blinds made for a wide window. They are so heavy that I rarely raise them up and always worry the mechanism will break when I do.
I really like an unobstructed view so this is not ideal.

Is it really just for the look vs function?
Then have a mock roman shade made.

Good luck and please post your outcome.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 7:49AM
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I left out one important detail. It will be sort of a faux shade. It faces my backyard/pool area and will never be lowered. So it will sort of look like a roman shade but will only be 15 inches long.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 10:22AM
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So what you want is really a faux roman shade valance. In that case I'd say $1000 for labor is way high! If you sew at all this is definitely something you could make on your own.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 1:35PM
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I'll second trying DIY. The very first thing I ever sewed myself was a roman shade. It even works and has pulls, rod, etc. I still use them today in my den.

118" is going to be very heavy though. Most roman shades (if it has a straight bottom) has a weighted rod in the bottom so that the fabric hangs nicely.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 2:43PM
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I would look at Etsy -there are lots of people on there who custom make window treatments.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 3:17PM
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I'm a seamstress and have made just such a shade. I advertise on CL's Creative services and also post my business cards at Hancock Fabrics. You might check both those places or any other fabric store you have in your area.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 3:20PM
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If you google "mock roman shade instructions" you will find quite a few sites with step by step instructions.

Here are a few:




    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 6:13PM
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BTW, what does "CT" mean in the subject line. I'm usually pretty good with acronyms, but I'm stumped.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 11:22PM
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With only 15", why not staple a faux shade on a board with one fold below. Cover the back side or repeat same. Not knowing what the window looks like, there are still many hardware options for attaching.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 7:44AM
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CT = Connecticut??

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 8:01AM
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What kind of window do you have? I have Roman valances on my back windows and French door. I have about a 10" drop.
One of the windows is 10 foot wide, that window we did
in three sections.
If you can sew a straight line you can make them yourself.
The layout is the part that takes so much time. They also
need to be lined. We have metal rods in the pockets.

Making valances is a lot less work than full Romans.
I had full romans on the back windows but like you didn't
need them for privacy, so the next time we made them
we just made valances.

Making one shade for a 10 foot window is a lot more difficult than three smaller shades... that's why your quote was for 1,000.00.

Are you considering making them yourself? And most
importantly, can you make three for your window?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 8:45AM
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This is the 10 foot window, the middle shade is 6' and
the two end windows are 2' each. The two side windows
are 18" each and the end window is 28" (in the second pic)

Because it is a box window, I didn't like looking
into the ends of the shades on the two end windows,
so we made small jabots. Which we followed suit on
with the 28" window.

We put a chocolate welt along the top and on the bottom
of the shades we put a tiger trim...the jabots are lined
with the chocolate fabric.
Everything is mounted on a 1' x 3' board. the shades are
made with rings and cords so that when we installed
them -- we could adjust them up and down until we found
the drop we wanted...which is about 9 to 10 inches.

This is the 28" window -- on the end.
we also made them for our french door with a matching
lambrekin, (not pictured)

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 9:24AM
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Thank you everyone. Yes, CT is Connecticut. I wish I could make them myself, but I'm afraid I have neither the talent, nor the time to learn. I will take all your suggestions, and thanks for letting me know the cost was on the high side. Since I had never purchased Roman Shades, I didn't know what to expect. I did have my curtains made by this fabrics store, and they did a beautiful job. I want to make sure the Shade is just as professional looking. I will keep looking for someone.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 7:44PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Did you buy the fabric in The Barn? They can be very expensive now. In the old days, old man Lief used to actually sell the fabric by the pound...can you imagine? Used to be a lot of good fabric stores in CT, but a lot of them have vanished. I now go to Osgood Textiles in MA when I need a serious fabric shopping fix.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 8:15AM
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I think that you should ask for the price of having a valance made, since that is what you want, not a full roman shade.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 11:51AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Oh...I missed that she only needed a valance, not a full shade. Those can be made very long without worry, and as a valance it should be a lot less expensive than a full shade.

I made mock hobbled roman shade valances form my breakfast nook. No strings involved. DH mounted a board for me to which I attached velcro so these are just stuck on the edge of a board.

Sorry the first pic is dark..the 2nd shows the actual colors better.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 3:31PM
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I was wondering where in CT you live. You can send me an email if you wouldn't mind! I am in Fairfield County too.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 3:35PM
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Dawn, did you get the email?

Annie, I live in South CT, Fairfield County, but I may be going to MA in the summer. If so, I'll be sure to stop there. Thanks.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 7:23PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Zen4d, check out discount fabrics in Bridgeport. It's across the street from red lobster on main st. He has a big selection and reasonable prices. He has some nice silks and dressy fabrics too. He might know someone who could sew your valances at a reasonable price.

And I'm guessing you know chintz and prints in newtown...

But hixbie is gone, home fabric mills is gone, fabric place is gone, that one on kings highway in Ffld is gone (I got a lot of fabrics for my house there too)......

Osgood is in west springfield not far from the Big E fairgrounds....but please note they are closed on Saturday, open Sunday.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 7:38AM
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Annie, I know I have arrived unfashionably late to the post but I was searching roman shades and I came across your pics for your shades and I fell in love. I have a few questions if you don't mind. What does "hobbled" mean? I can see velcro-ing to a board on the top but how do you keep the folds so neat? I am looking for a stationary shade and yours is perfect for what I need.

And be still my heart, are those Napoleon bees on the ribbon? I personally hate bees IRL but Napoleon bees speak to me for some silly reason - maybe I come from royalty in another life!!! So by any chance do you remember where you got the ribbon?

BTW, another CT girl here, but I am in Guilford, east of New Haven. There was an old fabric store I went to with my mother each week(in the sixties so I am dating myself). It was so much fun in haggling for the remnants - I don't know who enjoyed it more, the guy or my Mom. Every time we went she sewed another dirndyl skirt (with pockets of course) for me to wear to school the next day, for about $.50 worth of fabric. Miss those days with her. I cannot believe how many of the older stores are gone. Progress I guess, but that depends on how you define progress.

So Annie, I am looking forward to hearing from you. TIA.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 6:54PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Hi Lynn, So glad you like my valances.

They are actually just valances. They do not operate. They are a mock roman shade. The folds are actually stitched down with the fold from the row above covering the stitching. They are called hobbled because rather than have the folds fall one on top of the other like in a regular roman shade, the folds are staggered.

Below is a how to on hobbled roman shades, but rather than use the ring tape, you just stitch the fabric across where the rings would've brought the fabric together.

The bee ribbon is not ribbon, but fabric which I cut and folded and used stitch witchery to hold the raw edges down on the back side. I didn't even stitch the loop of fabric together, but pinned it on the back once I got them just where I wanted them at the right length.

I got the bee fabric at discount fabrics on Main st in bridgeport, across the street from the red lobster. Exit 48 off the merritt pkwy and head south...


Here is a link that might be useful: Hobbled shades how to

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 10:15PM
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I am psyched now because I actually have some Napoleon Bee fabric I bought years ago - I just have to dig it up and see if it is the right family of color I need. If not, I may be making a trip to Bridgeport - only about 35 minutes for me. Too bad it is the opposite direction from the casinos. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 11:16PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Fabric shopping way more fun than casinos! We were by you earlier this week on our way to goodspeed for the matinee. Lots to see and do in CT!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 9:18AM
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Annie, I have been forced out of lurkdom to ask for a few more details about your hobbled roman shade valances. I absolutely love the look. I looked at the link you provided but have a few more questions. It looks like you have an "outside mount" to your valances. Can you describe what you did about the mounting board? Did you wrap it with your valance fabric? Did you mount it on your window trim or above it? Also, did you put the dowels in your pleats? Finally, do the sides of the valance wrap around the ends of the mounting board to return to the wall or do the valance edges terminate at the ends of the board? TIA for your help.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 9:59AM
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Late to the party also, but i would try Etsy also. I had some valences and window treatments done there several years ago and they were stunning. Unfortunately the woman I had is no longer doing it.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 11:50AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Thank you, Iluvberners, so glad you like them. The valances are velcro'd to a board that is about 2-3" wider than the window trim, mounted with L brackets about 6" above the window trim. (These proportions I do by eye to get the look I want.) The board does not stick out very far from the wall so the return is fairly short...maybe 1 1/2". The velcro and valance does wrap around the return at the top. But the fabric has a fairly heavy hand so it just lays flat out once it's away from the board. So long as the end of the board was covered, I was happy with that. There are no dowels in the valance. As I said the fabric has a lot of body and didn't want to pleat going across, so I had to find a way to make a flat valance. The fabric did like to fold up though with a nice rounded roll, so that's how the valance design came about...the design and the fabric need to cooperate for best result. I was just very careful not to crease the fold when I was working on the valance. I wanted it to have some softness to the folds.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 1:30PM
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