My New Kitchen Shade

The old shade, which served me well. I loved the fabric, but it was faded.

Well, with my kitchen update a couple of years ago, I needed a window treatment update. I had planned to remove the existing Roman shade and make a new one using the existing hardware.

However, I really became enamored with the thought of having a motorized Roman shade.  Smith and Noble makes some really nice shades with motors and remote controls, but I had my heart set on making the shade myself.

I selected the fabric (three fabrics to be exact), so I set out to find the equipment to make a motorized Roman shade.

I love the colors of this Tommy Bahama fabric. The main color is perfect with the kitchen colors.

I had very little Roman shade experience. The guys who scraped the popcorn off the ceiling of my bath removed a Roman shade. When they put it back, they did it incorrectly, so I had to figure out how to correct it. I took it down, and fiddled with it until I made it work.

In order to make the new shade, I read several techniques on Pinterest and watched some videos on YouTube. My favorites were the very professionally presented videos at They sell fabrics, hardware, etc. for boats and home décor. They have some excellent videos on their site.

The length of the fabric was a bit daunting.

I watched a video on how to make a Roman shade with just the leech line and rings as well as one on how to use a roller clutch. I knew I needed the roller to house the motor. This was the way the Roman shade I repaired had been made, so I recognized the overall way it worked.

I had thought I would tweak how my shade would be made, but I was afraid that I would confuse myself so I stuck to the directions Sailrite offered for the roller clutch shade.  I preferred the fabric construction of the video that uses the leech line, but I knew that I needed the mechanics of the video with the roller clutch. 

I usually don’t pin seams before sewing, but this had to be even.

I purchased the Roman shade kit from Sailrite and the solar powered motor from The fabric came from Joanns (it was a Tommy Bahama print that my husband liked; I had been leaning toward a floral). My plan had been to switch out the fabric with the seasons, but the final construction doesn’t allow for that with any sense of ease. 

I had looked forward to the remote control feature as I am too short for reaching the draw string that was on the old shade!  When time came to add the motor, I realized that the roller had metal pieces inside that did not accommodate the motor.  All my effort and research was in vain, as I ended up with a looping cord for raising and lowering the shade.  I made it longer than the old one so that I could reach it!

Not my straightest stitching, but it is hidden.

Y’all won’t believe me when I tell you that it took me a year and a half from the start of sewing the curtain to hanging the curtain.   When I had all the sewing, cutting, sawing, etc. complete and went to hang the thing, the pieces included in the kit weren’t the size the kit said they were.  That meant the wood piece I had had cut was too narrow.  Sailrite was happy to make it right, but the part was on backorder.  It finally showed up!  After a few steps, all that was still to do was attach the curtain to the window frame.

Introducing my new, homemade kitchen shade!  It even works!

All is well that ends well as is the expression.  I am thankful to have a new window covering, that I can raise and lower without the aid of a stepstool.  Next time, I am going to save myself some time and money and just order one!

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