Balloon Shades • Window Blind Shades • Discount Window Shades
From Curtains, Draperies & Shades from Sunset Books
Balloon Shades Material
- Decorator fabric - plain or all-over prints work best.
- Lining fabric 1/4" or 1/2 " plastic rings
- Shade or lightweight traverse cord
- Shade pull
- Screw eyes
- 3/8" diameter sash curtain rod, brass rod or wooden dowel rod 1/2" shorter than the finished width of shade.
- Mounting board 1" x 2 1/4" shorter than the finished width of the shade.
- Staple gun
- Screws for inside mount or flat door mount or angle irons for an outside mount
- Small shade or awning cleat
- Polyester thread
Sewing Outside-Mounted Balloon Shades
- Tips for buying and preparing fabric to sew curtains are on the curtain fabric page, in the links section at the top of the page.
- If you have an odd number of spaces, join fabric widths as described on page 23 of this book; press seams open. Lay face fabric right side up; measure, mark, and trim a quarter-width from the width at far right. Pin and stitch this piece to the width at far left.
Press seam open. From this seam, measure, mark, and trim fabric a distance equal to return plus 1.5 inches. From right seam, measure a distance equal to half width; from this point, measure, mark, and cut fabric a distance equal to return plus 1.5 inches. Repeat on the lining so seams will align with those on the face fabric; trim 1 inch on each side.
If you have an even number of spaces, join all widths except one. Split this width and sew half to one side and half to the other; press seams open. From each end seam, measure and mark toward edge a distance equal to return plus 1.5 inches; cut fabric. Repeat on lining so seams will align with those on face fabric; trim 1 inch on each side.
- Fold over each side edge of face fabric 1.5 inches with the wrong side in; press. Repeat on lining, folding over each side edge 1 inch.
- Lay face fabric wrong side up. Place lining, right side up, on face fabric 1/2 inch in from side edges; lower edge of lining should be 3 inches above lower edge of face fabric. Pin together at side edges and stitch, making a 3/4 inch seam and continue stitching to lower edge of face fabric (match top thread to lining and bottom to face fabric).
- With lining still right side up, measure and mark vertical lines for rows of stitching and rings at midpoint of each full width. For a shade with an odd number of spaces, also measure and mark a line where return begins on unseamed side edge. Pin all seams and marked lines. Beginning at raw edge of lining at lower hem, stitch over marked lines and seams.
- Turn shade right side up and, on right edge, measure from line of return stitching toward center a distance equal to half-pleat loop; pin vertically down length of shade.
To form half-pleat, bring pin-marked line to return stitching. Pin layers together close to front and back folds. Repeat on other edge.
- Measure and mark same distance on either side of each row of vertical stitching. To form a full pleat, bring each pin-marked line to row of stitching; pin in place vertically near front folds so pleats "kiss". Space size must be as determined earlier; adjust pleats if necessary. Pin through all layers where pleats form folds on back.
- Turn shade lining side up. To hold pleats in place, edge stitch all folds from raw edge of lining to lower edge of face fabric, backstitching at beginning and end.
- At bottom edge, turn up face fabric 3 inches; press. Turn raw edge in to meet pressed fold and press again. Stitch lower hem close to second fold to form rod pocket.
- Turn shade right side up. On one edge, fold back return along return stitching. Then, fold edge of shade forward to meet return stitching, forming a 3/4 inch pleat. On the wrong side, hand-stitch pleat to lower edge of pocket.
- On right side of shade, measure finished length from bottom of hem and mark with pins every 4 inches across width. Measure and trim top allowances 1/4 inch narrower than board. Fold down top allowance, lining side in, along pin-marked finished-length line; press. Remove the pins. Press the pleats in place above the finished-length line.
To join face fabric and lining, serge or zigzag top edge.
- With pins, mark each ring position, aligning rings horizontally (rings will be sewn to side hem stitching and vertical stitching, but not return stitching). Place bottom rings at top of rod pocket and other rings 6 to 10 inches apart.
- Using doubled polyester thread to match lining, sew bottom rings at rod-pocket stitching line and other rings at markings with buttonhole stitching. Sew through the lining only, being careful not to catch side edges of pleats.
- Cover one end of the rod with masking tape and insert in pocket; slipstitch closed. For a 3/4 inch pleat, same as on other end; hand-stitch the pleat to lower edge of pocket.
- Follow steps 15-18 and 20-21, Flat Roman Shade, page 73 of this book, with these changes or additions: In step 15, fold and staple return portion of top allowance to each board end; in step 18, tie together lower four rings in each row to create pouf; in step 20, disregard reference to folds.