Cascade Blinds

Image of a finished cascade blindA cascade blind, or cascade shade as it is sometimes known, is a simple solution for a small window where curtains would be impracticable, such as a bathroom, kitchen or landing window.

If they are hung on wide windows the style of them can make the sides drape away from the edges of the window.

Cascade blinds can be lined or unlined, are very economical on fabric and can be attached inside or outside the window recess.

It is best to use a lightweight fabric as heavyweights do not give the desired effect.

The instructions below are for a lined Cascade blind.

Image of colour code key for diagrams

Requirements:

  • Fabric.
  • Lining.
  • Stick & Sew Velcro, the width of the finished blind.
  • Small curtain rings, 0.5" (12 mm) diameter approx.
  • A wooden batten, 1" (2.5 cms) x 1" (2.5 cms) x the width of the finished blind.
  • Nylon cord, 2 x (twice the length of the blind + the width).
  • 3 screw eyelets.
  • Wooden or brass acorn and a wall cleat.

Measuring and Estimating Fabric Quantities:

  1. Fix the wooden batten in the required position, either into the ceiling of the window recess or onto the wall above the window frame. This is dependent on whether you intend your finished blind to hang inside or outside the window recess. If the batten is to go outside the window recess then it needs to be at least 2" (5 cms) wider than the window frame or the window sill, whichever is wider.
  2. Attach the adhesive side of the Velcro to the front edge of the batten.
  3. Inside the Recess:
    Measure the length, from the top of the batten to the window sill and add 4" (10 cms) for hems. If patterned fabric is used, extra length will be required for pattern matching.
  4. Measure the width of the window adding 6" (15 cms) for side hems. Divide this width by the width of the fabric to be used and round up to the next whole number. This will be the number of widths of fabric required. Allow an extra 1" (2.5 cms) for each extra seam required.
  5. Outside the Recess:
    Measure the length, from the top of the wooden batten to 2" (5 cms) below the window sill and add 4" (10 cms) for hems. If patterned fabric is used, extra length will be required for pattern matching.
  6. Measure the width of the wooden batten and add 6" (15 cms) for side hems. Divide this width by the width of the fabric to be used and round up to the next whole number. This will be the number of widths of fabric required. Allow an extra 1" (2.5 cms) for each extra seam required.

Making a Cascade Blind:

  1. Cut 1 piece of fabric to the required size making sure that any pattern on the fabric is centred. If more than 1 width of fabric is required make sure there is a full width in the centre of the blind with part widths added to each side. Match the pattern, if required, across all widths.
  2. Place the fabric on a flat surface, wrong side up, fold 3" (7.5 cms) in at each side and 2" (5 cms) at the top and bottom edges. Mitre all the corners and press.
  3. Image refers to steps 5 and 6 of making a cascade blindCut 1 piece of lining to the width of the batten and the length of the finished blind, adding 1" (2.5 cms) to the length for hems.
  4. Fold 1" (2.5 cms) to the wrong side on all edges, mitring all the corners. Press all the folds. You should now have a piece of lining which is 2" (5 cms) narrower and 1" (2.5 cms) shorter than the fabric.
  5. Lay the fabric, wrong side up, on a flat surface. Lay the lining, right side up on top, positioning it level with the top edge and centrally across the width of the fabric. Pin the lining into position at both sides and bottom edges.
  6. Slipstitch the lining into position along the bottom and both sides. Take care not to catch the front fabric in your stitches.
  7. Pin the “sew” side of the Velcro along the top edge, on the wrong side, close to the fold and machine stitch it in place. Work both rows of stitches in the same direction to avoid puckering.
  8. Image refers to steps 8 to 10 of making a cascade blindLay the blind, wrong side up, on a flat surface. Mark the centre point along the top edge (A) and then mark the centre point of each half (B) and (C).
  9. Mark lines down the length of the blind at B and C that are parallel to the edges of the blind and each other.
  10. Measure and mark 8" (20 cms) intervals from the bottom to the top of lines B and C. Sew a curtain ring at the bottom of lines B and C and at each marked position. Stitch through all thicknesses making the stitches as unobtrusive as possible on the right side.
  11. Hang the blind by pressing the 2 sides of the Velcro together.
  12. Image refers to steps 11 to 13 of making a cascade blindInsert a screw eye into the underside of the batten directly above the rings on the blind and another at either the extreme left or right depending on which side you wish the blind to be operated from.
  13. Cut the nylon cord in half and tie 1 length to each of the ring at the bottom of the blind. Run the cords up through the lines of rings and along the screw eyes on the batten. Take both cords to 1 side, trim the ends level, thread them through the acorn and knot them to secure.
  14. Position a cleat at a convenient height at the side of the window and fix in place.
  15. Pull up the blind, winding the cords around the cleat in a figure of eight to hold the blind in place.

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