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Simple Sew Roller-Shade From Ikea Emmie

Check, and check!

Finally, this long-overdue to-do item has been checked off the list!  I mean, seriously, I only wrote this post about my ideas for these window treatments back in May, 2011.  But, like I always say ... better late than never, right?

A lot changed over the past year when it came to my game plan for treating the windows in the bay in my dining room.  At first, I thought about learning how to make Roman shades from scratch, then I thought about trying the Roman shades from mini-blinds idea I've seen other bloggers do -- but when I stumbled upon the inexpensive Emmie roller shade at Ikea, I knew it was the way to go.  Not only was it the easiest plan on the table to execute, it was also the least expensive!  Talk about a win-win situation!

In case you're wondering how this simple-sew Emmie modification went down, here's a step-by-step tutorial for your how-to curiosities...


Two of the windows in my dining room measured 17"w X 59"h, and the other two measured 23"w X 59"h.


Cut your boards 1/2" smaller than the width of your windows.  I cut the two boards for the 17" windows 16.5," and the two boards for the 23" windows 22.5."


I like to stretch fabric out on the dining table for sewing projects like this, that way I can use the edges of the table as guides for straighter cuts.  

Place the board in the center of the shade to determine the correct width...

Measure a cutting line, and a fold line...

Shown below, my cutting line (marked purple) and my fold line (marked blue).  The cutting line will allow for your hem, and the folding line will represent where the finished edge should be once your fabric has been re-hemmed.  I wound up taking off about 2" from each side of the shade, and I cut the length to 65" so I would have enough fabric to create a pocket loop at the bottom to hold the weight rod.

Trim your fabric along your marked cutting line...


Before I went too much further, I set my sewing machine to a zig-zag stitch, and sewed along my cut edges to prevent the fabric from freying down the road...

Next, I used the fold line as my guide to hem the edges.  I decided to go with a rolled hem (shown below), pinned in place and sewn down the center of the fold to hold the hem in place...


Sew the hem on the vertical edges first, rather than sewing the loop for the weight rod at the bottom. I learned this the hard way ... and after unpicking an entire shade, I can tell you that the finished look is better when you sew the loop at the bottom last!


Included in the Emmie shades will be a plastic weight-rod designed to keep your shades in place when installed.  You will need to cut these plastic rods down to size.  To make this easy, use the pieces of scrap wood you cut earlier as a measuring guide...


Sorry, I forgot to photograph this step ... but if you've seen one project staple-gunned, then you've seen them all.  Center your shades in the center of the boards and secure with staples every few inches.


Mark took care of this step, so unfortunately I don't have any photos here either ... but, he did use about 2-3 drywall screws per board to secure the boards to the top of the window seal.


One of the reasons that I chose the Emmie shades was because the rolling mechanism was already sewn into them.  This was a plus because it meant wouldn't have to figure out how to lift the shades myself.

Basically, the shades are sewn with two rows of button-holes at various intervals up length.  Two ties are also included with each shade to slip through the holes and wrap around the roll to hold it in place. It's a simple solution, but for windows that we rarely use for sight-seeing, they're perfect!

Now it's time for some photos...

And how about a few before photos?

... and let's be honest ... most of the time (behind the scenes) the windows were treated like this ...

Yep, that's wrapping paper, LOLCISE!  (In case you're wondering, that means laugh out loud cuz I'm so embarrassed!)

On a less embarrassing note, it looks like Zach has found a new favorite place to hang out...

I'm just glad they're finally done so we don't have to worry about peepers anymore!  They provide the perfect balance of privacy and natural lighting, so you won't hear any complaining from this girl!

What about you?  Has anyone else been working on a simple-sew home improvement project?  I'm not a talented seamstress, so I'm always on the lookout for sewing projects that just require a few hems.

PS...did you catch the latest Style Mooch of the Country Living cottage-style porch?  And how about my solution for organizing mail, and Jana's latest thrifting adventure?  Hope you didn't miss it!

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Reader Comments (1)


I want to buy these for my bay kitchen window, that has very weird dimensions. Ikea ones are almost perfect, but I'll need to add a little on the sides. You cut a bit off, so I think adding won't be a problem either, what do you think?

Also, how do these work? I would like to have an option to roll them down on hot days, and easily roll them up. I cannot tell the mechanism behind these from online pics...

Thank you for answering,

May 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarty

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