Austrian Blinds are best described as a cross between blinds and curtains. This is so because they act like blinds but in terms of texture are closer to curtains. Austrian blinds have a number of cords that when pulled on will draw the bottom of the blinds up creating a scalloped look. It is this folded and unique look that differentiates them from other window treatments. Making these blinds is not an exceptionally difficult do-it-yourself task; however, the process is one that takes a lot of time and is best left until you have enough to complete the project.
- To start, use a batten or Austrian blind track to take measurements. Hang it by the window, measure the distance from the top of it to the bottom of the window then add 20 inches. This addition is necessary so that the scalloping at the bottom of the fabric is present when closed. Batten is a thin strip of material, usually made from wood, steel or plastic but almost any solid material can be used. The width should be measured and doubled so that the blinds can be full. All materials will use these measurements.
- Frills are a popular feature of any classic design. Use strips of a ruffled fabric 4 inches wide to achieve each strip. These should be able to go around the bottom and sides of the blinds so make sure they are long. Use twice the length of the fabric and one time the width to arrive at a final number. You can determine the amount of strips needed by dividing the ruffle’s total length by its width. The shade material’s width should also be divided using the fabric’s width to determine how many panels are needed. Times the total length by the number panels needed and the figure received is the total length of fabric the job requires.
- Cut the ruffles then follow with the fabric and lining materials as is necessary. Stitch together your panels to form the total width of the blind, seams should be pressed open. Make one big ruffle but joining all the ruffles cut together.
- The seams for the body and ruffle can be a standard ¼ inch. Press ruffle seams flat with an iron. While pressing it down (with your palm), fold it under by another ½ inch, press with iron and sew.
- Place 2 rows of gathering threads at the top of ruffle and bring the size down around the sides and bottom of the blinds. Make sure the size is the right fit.
- With the main fabric stretched out on a flat surface and laying right-side up, pin ruffle onto fabric. Start 1 inch away from the top right hand corner and make sure main fabric’s right side is facing the ruffles’ raw side. Use the gathering stitches to make sure ruffles are even.
- Once the entire ruffle is pinned, use a machine to sew the areas between the gathering stitches and remove them (stitches) when done. Return material to the flat surface right side up, ruffles should be to the inside of the main fabric, wrong side up. At this point, place lining on top with the right side facing ruffle, the lining’s wrong side should be showing.
- Pin raw edges of ruffles, blind fabrics and lining together and stitch around bottoms and sides. Turn it right side out and use and iron to remove wrinkles.
- When hanging, double the length and add the width of the blind measurement to cut blind tapes from nylon cords. Attach the bottom right blind tape to the loop of the tape on the right-hand seam. Weave the cord through all the loops in the tape. Repeat the process with all the tapes. Use grip tape to fasten the blind to the batten. Screw-eyes should be fastened under the batten for blind tapes to be run, cord should be threaded left to right and gathered with an acorn. At the halfway point a cleat should be installed to the side of the window. (Reverse the instructions of blinds if it will be hung from the left side).