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Old 03-05-2016, 06:51 PM   #1
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Low-Tech Blinds

I struggled a bit with commercial blinds for our trailer and ended up returning some cellular blinds that just weren't working for me. I'm also not a fan of mini blinds. A bolt of upholstery fabric in my sewing room ended up being the solution. This is what I'm making with it.


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These are two of the blinds which are completed. They are made with 2 kinds of fabric. The showy fabric seen is this photo is chenille in a teal color. There are RV curtain snaps in the lower corners that help keep them closed. They are secured above the window with self-stick velcro and self-tapping metal screws.


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These blinds are also made with only 2 pieces of fabric. One front piece and one back piece. The sides are cut into a curve. After the two pieces are fused together with fusible web, and given a trimmed edge, the curved edges are pressed to the back. The new straight side is top-stitched about 1/8" from the edge. When hung, the flaps are pulled to the side to hug the trailer's curved walls.


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Two sets of ties hold the blinds open. They can be rolled in either direction. If you have a fancy fabric on the interior side, I would recommend rolling the blinds so it is on the inside to protect from fading.

These blinds can be made with a finished top edge and secured above the window with the same snaps that secure the bottom. I was going to re-upholster the old cornices, but we really don't like them with the new blinds. I will be making snap-on trim pieces in a contrasting fabric.
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Old 03-05-2016, 07:27 PM   #2
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Good looking blinds! Really like the simplicity, clean lines and how you solved the curved side problem. Please post again with pictures of the finished blinds with trim. Thanks for sharing
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Old 03-06-2016, 06:36 AM   #3
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I like this idea much better than curtains. Much neater and cleaner looking.
Thanks for posting!
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Old 03-06-2016, 03:10 PM   #4
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Thanks for the positive comments!

The chenille fabric was initially for a banquette I wanted at the front of the trailer. (Gaucho was gone when we bought it.) But my husband wanted recliners. So using that fabric on the blinds instead actually solved 2 problems, because he wanted window coverings that are energy efficient too.

The lining fabric is dark blue cotton duck. Combined with the chenille, you get black-out blinds. We keep the blinds closed while traveling. Helps keep the heat out of the trailer a bit. Does make it tricky to find the trailer at night though. (If a campground is dark). The Fantastic Fan in the kitchen area ends up being a beacon.

This is a design that's totally customizable. Because of the chenille mine aren't machine washable, but that can change with fabric choice. Since there are no nooks and crannies to get into, a lint roller can get the job done too.
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Old 03-07-2016, 05:28 PM   #5
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I wish I knew something about making these what great job!


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Old 03-08-2016, 08:36 AM   #6
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Hi mccrosti,

I'm working on a blog post for these blinds and breaking down the steps with photos and descriptions. There is a bit of sewing, but nothing fancy. After fusing my front and back pieces together with fusible web and a hot iron, double folded bias tape is sewn on the edges to finish them on the bottom and sides. Bias tape is also used to make 4 ties for each blind. I do sew it closed to keep it from getting ratty when the blinds are tied up.
The snaps are like grommets. It's a two part piece for the fabric that gets pounded together. The other piece has a screw on the back and is drilled into the RV wall. They're the same kind of snap system used on the original curtains to keep them from sliding off the tracks.

When I have my blog post finished, I'll post the address on this thread.
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Old 03-08-2016, 08:46 AM   #7
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Starstream I would also be interested in your blog instructions. A non sewer with a machine and can usually figure straight lines and in need of some window coverings also.
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Old 03-08-2016, 08:57 AM   #8
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For those interested, I might be able to provide you with pattern pieces to make the task easier. I have a 4' x 400 yd. roll of pattern making paper I've been using to make my blinds. (Minus a few yards.) It has a grid of numbers and letters spaced an inch apart, so all I have to do is count out my measurements on the grid and mark where I want to cut.
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Old 03-09-2016, 03:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starstream View Post
For those interested, I might be able to provide you with pattern pieces to make the task easier. I have a 4' x 400 yd. roll of pattern making paper I've been using to make my blinds. (Minus a few yards.) It has a grid of numbers and letters spaced an inch apart, so all I have to do is count out my measurements on the grid and mark where I want to cut.
I'm interested Starstream.
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Old 03-09-2016, 10:31 AM   #10
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Hi Dingo Girl,

Here’s some information to help you determine what you need. First of all, how many windows do you want to do? Are any of them the same size? In our trailer, we have 3 with the same measurements. So, I only need one pattern for those windows.

All you would have to worry about measuring would be the front of the blinds. Here are the details to look for when deciding where to measure. Do you want your blinds to go beyond the frames which contain the window screens? Is any hardware protruding thru the frames, such as levers to open/close and latches to secure the windows? The curved flap on the side of the blinds was actually designed to accommodate the hardware on our windows, but had the side benefit of hugging the wall. You just want to make sure you’re measuring a bit beyond these items so the blinds cover them with some room to spare.

Whether or not an additional piece is installed above the blinds could either be a matter of personal choice, or a way to cover holes created by additional window treatments like cornices. My husband never cared for the cornices that came with our trailer. He wanted something far more streamlined. The old cornices don’t work with the new blinds anyway, because they were designed to go over something that sits out further from the wall.

As for curtains, the original panels that were still with the trailer are staying. (They are now dark blue.) They cover the big front windows and the back wall in the bedroom. I am removing the metal tracks with the tiny glides and replacing them with a flexible curtain track made by Curtains2Bedding. It’s a system designed for pleated curtains that allows them to be used in bay windows, around corners or curves.
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Old 03-10-2016, 03:32 AM   #11
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Thank you Starstream! Very helpful
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Old 03-15-2016, 05:32 PM   #12
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Perfect! And Perfect Timing, too. I just learned the way I was going to do the window covering for my '61 Bambi wouldn't work...and here you have given me a Great Idea! Can't wait to see the blog posting. Thanks.
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Old 03-16-2016, 07:54 AM   #13
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I have the remainder of my blinds finished and the photos needed to finish the blog post. Hoping to have it on the site by this weekend. (60% chance of rain tomorrow and Fri. will probably help with that. Won't be doing any work on the trailer while it's raining.)

I finished one of the "cornices" last night. Waiting for some chrome screw covers I ordered yesterday to attach above the blinds. I was going to use snaps, but the support inside is a little too thick.
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Old 03-17-2016, 10:23 PM   #14
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To keep a single blog post from being too lengthy, I'm breaking this project into three posts. Part number 1 is now live, and I'm hoping to have the second post ready within a week, if not sooner.

It can be found here:
http://thestellarlandyacht.blogspot....roduction.html
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