Crafts, Kitchen

Making a Roman Shade and Pillows

We have been really fortunate to have a lot of company come to visit us this summer. Earlier this week, Pat’s sister Laura was in town and she shared her sewing skills to help me make a Roman Shade. (Yes, this is the same sister who helped build the board and batten walls!) During her college years, Laura worked at JoAnn’s, and she has given me a handful of lessons over the past 10 months. These projects would not have been possible without her expertise!

Roman Shade

We basically followed Martha Stewart’s pattern and used a beautiful fabric I found at called Richloom St. Moritz Caribbean. Martha’s instructions are really great, so I highly recommend following her tutorial. I would rate this craft as medium difficulty, but I am a very novice sewer. Fortunately Laura could take the lead on this!

One of the lessons I have learned over the past year is that “sewing” primarily involves measuring, folding, cutting, ironing, and pinning. Getting to actually use the machine is really fun, but as it turns out that is only a small part of the process. Pat kept asking “When are you guys actually going to sew??”


The other big project Laura helped with was building a window seat in the kitchen. (More on that soon!) Eventually we would like to cut a piece of foam to fit that space, but in the meantime, I wanted to use that beautiful fabric again in the kitchen. I had two old pillows from Pottery Barn whose inserts were still in good shape, but the cases had seen better days.

Laura measured the size of the pillow case and determined that we would be making 16×16″ pillows. This is the easiest type of pillow to make and I now feel totally confident in making more pillow cases like this! No zippers or buttons, and not even any hand sewing! Basically you make three panels: one for the front, and two for the back, making sure the two on the back overlap by 2-3 inches. Measure, cut, iron, fold edges, iron again, pin, sew panels! Line up panels, pin together, sew inside-out, trim edges, remove pins, turn inside out, and – voila! Pillows! While the Roman Shade took about 5 hours to make, we knocked out two pillows in under 90 minutes.

Stay tuned to see them on the actual window seat. First, we have to finish that! Waiting on some poly to dry.