How to Make Austrian Shades

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Austrian shades add volume to a window. They are made in a way that allows them to remain scalloped at the lower edge and gathered even when in the lowered position. The fabric required to make an Austrian shade is greater than the amount to make a straight shade. The treatment looks like a curtain but is called a shade because it can be raised and lowered.

Things You'll Need

  • Light weight fabric
  • Lining fabric
  • Blind track
  • Austrian blind tape
  • Heading tape

Measure

Measure from top of the installed track to the bottom of the window frame. Add 20 inches. This is the fabric panel length.

Measure width of the blind track. Multiply by two. This is the width of the fabric panel. You may need to piece fabric together to form this width.

Calculate the amount of fabric needed to make the ruffle at the bottom of the shade. Take the length and double it. Add this number to the width. Double the sum. This is the total length of fabric required to make the ruffle. The width of the ruffle will be 3 inches.

Make the Shade

Cut one piece of fabric and one piece of lining fabric to the measurements. Join fabric as necessary, matching your prints. Press the seams open.

Make the ruffle by joining the strips together end-to-end. Hem the bottom edge of the strip once all pieces are all joined. Stitch two rows of gathering stitches (about a size 4 stitch) along the top edge. Pull treads together until you have achieved the fabric panel width measurement.

Place the shade fabric right side up on the floor. Pin the ruffle gathered edge to the edge of the fabric at about 1 inch from the edge. The right sides will be touching and the hemmed edge of the ruffle will be pointing toward the inside of the panel.

Continue to pin the ruffle in place, going around three edges. The top will not have the ruffle. Adjust gathers as necessary to help distribute them.

Stitch between the rows of thread, one half inch from raw edge. Remove the gathering stitches.

Lay the shade right side up on the floor. The ruffles will be facing toward the center. Place the lining wrong side up on top of the shade fabric. The raw edges of the lining fabric should match the bottom and side edges of the shade.

Pin and sew around three edges about 1/2-inch from the edge. Turn and press.

Cut four Austrian blind tape sections one inch longer than the length of the shade. Stitch one on each side edge of the shade with the first loop positioned at 2 inches below the top of the shade. Evenly space the remaining two and stitch.

Stitch heading tape to the wrong side of the shade at the top.

Tips & Warnings

  • You will need to piece fabric strips together to form the length of the ruffle.
  • Heavy fabrics are not suitable for Austrian shades.

References

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