Panel track blinds are functional for larger windows. They move horizontally so they are ideal for use with a sliding glass door. The beautiful view out of your bay window can still be seen with the blinds half closed. They add privacy and elegance to any room. Panels that have designs or patterns add to the decor. Making your own panels lends never-ending possibilities to the design of your room.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Metal measuring tape
- Material for blinds (suitable materials: polyester/cotton blends, cotton, velvet or suede, rayon blends)
- Track for panel blinds
- Fabric scissors
- Sewing machine
- Drapery weights
- Straight pins
Measure the length of the window from the middle of the top trim and down to the floor. Measure the width from the middle of one side's trim to the middle of the opposite side's trim. (If your manufacturer's track is meant to installed inside the window frame only, measure inside the frame, side to side.)
The number of vertical panels you make to cover the area will depend on how many panels you want. If you want four wide panels, take the width of the window and divide it by four. If you want eight narrower panels, divide by eight.
Wash, dry and iron your material before you begin to sew, as fabric can shrink slightly. Choose fabric that is stain resistant, can be spot cleaned, and that does not have to be cut on the bias.
Lay out the material on a table. When you cut each panel's length, add 2 inches: 1 inch for the top hem and 1 inch for the bottom hem. When cutting each panel width, add 5 inches: 4 inches for the natural overlap of the panel blinds and 1 inch for hemming (half-inch on each side).
Cut out the individual panels using fabric scissors.
Cut pieces of cardboard a little shy of the width of your panels that will fit inside the top hem. The cardboard will be sewn inside the top hem of each panel to keep its structure so the corners won't become floppy. Make sure your sewing machine needle is sturdy enough to sew through cardboard without being damaged.
Flip the top edge of a panel over an half-inch, turning under the raw edge slightly. Pin into place and sew across the panel, creating a sleeve for the cardboard. Slide the cardboard into the sleeve.
For the bottom of the panel, flip the material up a half-inch (turning under the raw edge slightly), pin into place, and sew across the hem, leaving sides unsewn. Slide the drapery weight into the resulting sleeve.
Fold one side of the panel over a half-inch (turning under the raw edge slightly) and pin into place. Repeat on the other side of the panel.
Start sewing from the top of the panel to the bottom and then up the other side. This will capture the cardboard panel (top) and drapery weight (bottom) inside their hems.
Making the Blinds
Mount the track at the top of your window according to manufacturer directions. The track comes with a series of clips or hangers that slide into the panel tracking.
Slide the individual hangers or clips into the panel track, using the same number as you have panels. Attach each panel to a hanger or clip.
Use the track's side pull to make sure the panels slide smoothly when opened and closed. Reclip any panel that needs adjustment.
Hanging the Panels
Tips and warnings
- Use multiple colours or patterns to enhance the decor.
- Panel tracks can also attached to a ceiling so the panels act as a room divider.
- Measure twice, cut once.
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