How to Make a Ribbed Roman Shade

Item # X-HT-300564

In our latest project for our 1987 Airstream Argosy RV Renovation Series, we're teaching you how to sew a ribbed roman shade. This RV window cover adds a touch of style and elegance to our camper. You can also use this tutorial to sew a ribbed roman shade for your home — the technique is the same. Let's get started with today's DIY tutorial.

DIY roman shade project for RV or home

Our roman shade design does not incorporate a lining fabric, so we chose a decorative fabric that looks good on the right side and wrong side. We suggest looking for a fabric that has the pattern and colors woven throughout the fabric, unlike printed fabrics in which the design is only printed on the surface of the fabric. Sunbrella upholstery fabrics are a great choice for this window application.

DIY roman shade project for RV or home

The Sunbrella upholstery fabric we chose for our Roman shade introduces color and vibrance into our RV bedroom and coordinates beautifully with the other fabrics.

This style of window treatment incorporates sewn sleeves, which are used to hold the ribs in place. The ribs create the sharp, even-looking folds when the shade is raised. This roman shade design does not require any fabric training — unlike some other roman shade styles — so the ribbed panels of your shade will fold nicely and look great as soon as you've installed the shade. Follow along with our video and make a ribbed roman shade for your camper or home. All the tools and supplies to make this window treatment can be found right here at Sailrite.

If you're interested in more window treatment DIYs, we have everything from roller shades and roman shades to curtains and drapes. Just search "window treatments" on the Sailrite website to find our DIY tutorials.

If you want to view more projects in our RV Renovation Series, click here!

Video Chapters:

  • Intro 0:00 min.
  • Measuring Window & Using Calculator – 1:08 min.
  • Cutting Decorative Fabric to Size – 4:14 min.
  • Sewing Hems on Decorative Fabric – 7:17 min.
  • Sewing Bottom Sleeve – 11:17 min.
  • Measuring for Rib Sleeves – 18:17 min.
  • Swing Rib Pockets & Rings – 29:10 min.
  • Finishing Top Edge of Shade – 39:44 min.
  • Building Headrail – 43:40 min.
  • Running Lift Lines – 47:29 min.
  • Inserting Ribs in Sleeves – 1:00:27 min.
  • Inserting Bottom Rod in Sleeve – 1:03:03 min.
  • Installing Roman Shade – 1:04:59 min.
  • Materials & Tools List – 1:08:05 min.

Materials List:

  • Décor & Upholstery Fabric from Sailrite – we used Sunbrella® Upholstery Fabric #48135-0005
  • Seamstick 1/4" Basting Tape for Canvas & Upholstery (36 yds.) #122065
  • Coats Dual Duty XP® Beige General Purpose Thread (250 yds.) #104976
  • Sew on Rings for Roman & Balloon Shades (Nickel) #104469-NKL
  • Nylon White Loop 1" #471100
  • Nylon White Hook 1" #467100
  • Standard Screw Eye #120034
  • Cord Lock for Roman & Austrian Shades (Small) #104468
  • Leech Line Dacron® 5/64" White #21207
  • Cord Adjuster Orb #120065
  • Plastic Lift Cord Condenser White #104470
  • Bell Shape White Wooden Blind Cord Tassel #106670
  • Roman Shade Plastic 1/4" Ribs (5 ft.) #104987
  • Micro Basting/Tacking Fasteners #121580
  • Bottom Rod for Fabric Shades 3/8" #104989
  • Rodding Splicer 3/8" #104988

Tools List:

  • Chalk Pencil Cartridge Set #121669
  • Clear Acrylic Ruler 6" x 24" #102400
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed® LS Walking Foot Sewing Machine #300500
  • Deluxe 5‑1/2" Magnetic Sewing Guide #103597
  • Scratch Awl Yellow #2354
  • Rawhide Upholstery Mallet #106423
  • Wonder Clips Assorted Colors (50 pack) #121902
  • Scribe All® Black Marking Pencil for Vinyl #121977
  • Tempered Cutting Glass for Hotknife #121915
  • Sailrite® Edge Cordless Hotknife 18V Package #122177
  • Screw Eyes or Eyebolts - Trade Size 212-1/2" (6 per shade)
  • Micro Basting/Tacking Gun #121579
  • Pencil, Quick Grip Clamps, Drill & Bits, Tape Measure, L Square, Marker, Left Roping Zipper Foot, Hacksaw, Scissors, Stapler, Staples