How to make Austrian blinds

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A slightly different version of the blind, which is really closer to a curtain, is the Austrian blind. These graceful blinds pull up from the bottom using a series of cords to create an interesting scalloped bottom. You can make Austrian blinds yourself without too much difficulty, though it is a time-consuming process.

Materials and preparation

Hang the batten. Measure from top of the batten to the bottom of the window. Add 50 cm (20 inches) to this measure so the fabric is scalloped at the bottom even when closed.

Measure the width of the batten. Double the width measurement for fullness in the blinds. Use these measurements as the basis for your blind fabric and lining material.

Find the length for the frills. To add a single frill, which is the classic Austrian blind design, you need 10-cm (4-inch) wide strips of ruffle fabric that are long enough to go all the way around the sides and bottom. Add two times the length and one time the width of the fabric to determine how long your strips need to be. Double the number so it ruffles.

Divide the total length of the ruffle by the width of the fabric to find how many 10-cm (4-inch) strips of fabric you need. Divide the width of the shade material by the width of the fabric. You may need more than one panel. If you need 1.8 metres (72 inches) and your fabric is 90 cm (36 inches) wide, you need 2 widths.

Multiply the length measurement times the number of panels required and add 10 cm (4 inches) for every length of ruffle necessary. The result is the length of fabric required.

Cut the ruffle first, and then cut out the amount of fabric and lining material necessary to make the blind.

Assembling panels

Stitch together any panels you've cut to create the proper width for your blind. Press open the seam. Join the lengths of the ruffles together to make one long ruffle. Use 6-mm (1/4-inch) seams on both the body of the blind and the ruffle. Press the seams flat on the ruffle.

Press it down and turn it under again 13 mm (1/2 inch). Press it and sew. Put two rows of gathering threads in the top of the ruffle and work the size down to fit around the bottom and sides of the blinds.

Lay the main fabric on a flat surface with the right side up. Begin 2.5 cm (1 inch) from the upper right corner and pin the ruffle on to the blind with the right sides facing and raw edged together. The ruffle will be on the inside of the fabric. Adjust the ruffle for evenness as you pin, using the gathering stitches.

Sew all the way around between the gather stitch rows once the ruffle is completely pinned. Remove the gathering stitch when you're finished stitching.

Return the material to the table and lay it right side up. Leave the ruffles toward the inside of the material with the wrong side is up. Lay the lining on the top of it with the right side of the lining facing the ruffle and wrong side of the lining material showing.

Pin the raw edges of the lining, blind fabric and ruffles together. Stitch around the sides and bottom. Turn right side out and press lightly to remove any wrinkles.

Completing the blind

Start to measure the completed blind. Begin at the top and measure down to the ruffle. Add a couple of inches so you can line the loops up properly. Cut two strips of Austrian blind tape this length. Lay the curtain on a flat surface with the lining side up.

Pin the first strip with the outside edge on the left side ruffle seam and the first loop 5 cm (2 inches) up from bottom ruffle seam. You need to have an extra 13 mm (1/2 inch) at the bottom to turn under for neatness and the same at the top. Trim away any excess tape. The strip should end 2.5 cm (1 inch) from the top once the 13 mm (1/2 inch) is turned under. Repeat the process on the right side ruffle seam.

Place a tape measure on the inside edge of the left side Austrian blind tape and measure to the inside edge of the right side blind tape. Divide the remaining area into sections that are no smaller than 30 cm (12 inches) or larger than 50 cm (20 inches) and that come out even. For instance if the distance is 1.2 metres (48 inches), you could space them 30 cm (12 inches) apart and have 4 panels (three more strips of blind tape), or 40 cm (16 inches) and have 3 panels (adding 2 more strips).

Mark the point at the top and the bottom to begin each section. If the distance is 30 cm (12 inches), mark a spot every 30-cm increment from the inner edge of one tape to the other at both the top and bottom. Draw a line vertically to match the top and bottom.

Use these marks to pin on more sections of Austrian blind tape, making certain to line the loops across. Use the same procedures as you did on the first two.

Fold down the top edge of the blind 2.5 cm (1 inch) and press it. Lay it aside and get the heading tape. Make knots on the left end of the heading tape and free the cords on the other side. Butt the heading tape against the fold you pressed on the blind and pin.

Turn the raw edges of both the blind and the heading tape under one inch at the side seams, allowing the cords to hang freely on the right. Stitch the heading tape down on both the top and bottom. Adjust the cords on the heading tape so the blind fits the batten. Secure the ends with a rubber band.


Use the measurements for the length, double and add the width to it to cut the pieces of nylon cord for the blind tape.

Attach the nylon cord to the bottom right loop on the tape on the right hand seam. Work the cord up through the loops in the tape. Repeat this process on all of the tapes.

Attach the blind to the batten with grip tape.

Screw eye screws under the batten to line with the blind tapes. and thread the cord through from right to left. Use an acorn to gather them.

Install a cleat to the side of the window at the halfway point.

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