DIY Roman Shades, Choosing Fabric

I've been super busy sewing my first Roman shades. And not just any Roman shades, but Top Down/Bottom Up Roman shades for the living room. I spent a ton of time reading all about how to make them on Terrell Designs. With 3 down and 2 more to go, I thought I'd start with the fabric selection. Tomorrow, I'll show you lots of pictures of me making the shades. And of course, the final product.

Ideal fabric: coral or orange, crisp, bold, 100% cotton, under $15 a yard.

First, was the Asian-inspired cherry blossom print (above). This fabric was so gorgeous and soft, too. Almost too luxurious for shades. The blossoms are red and I really want to stick with a coral orange color. The price is nowhere near $15 a yard, either.

By the way, the local Calico Corners let me check out these large swatches for a couple of days to test them out.
Next up is Kalah Spice. It's labeled as "rust" so it didn't show up on my "orange/coral" online search. In real life it looks more like a dark orange. It's beautiful, but the background is sort of tan and I was hoping for something a little more crisp, like orange and white. I love the pattern, though. Really, love the pattern. The price ($29.99 per yard), even with the 20% off sale, is still way over my ideal price.
This is Aviary by Thomas Paul in tangerine. I almost skipped this sample because of the price ($37). It's way over ideal-price even with the discount, but the colors are perfect: a dark orange on a cream background. The pattern is also great. It reminds me of the block prints I've been working on. This was a fabric my husband liked when I showed him the picture online. It's also the only fabric under $50 that comes close to my ideal color and print. It really stands out among the swatches. It's bright without being obnoxiously bright. Not too traditional, not too modern. 
This swatch is pretty, but too raspberry. I think it would clash with our color scheme. But the price is right at $15 a yard.

The colors on this one were beautiful, but maybe the pattern is a little too traditional? The price is closer to what I was hopping to spend, but still over budget.

With one hour left before the store closes and the sale is over, we made a decision....
The tangerine bird fabric is the winner! I went way over my ideal price, but we've been saving up for a couple of months. Even with all the fabric and hardware I bought to make the shades, we're still within our budget. The custom shades I'm about to complete are way cheaper than having them made for us. They're even cheaper than some not-quite-right, semi-custom shades I looked into. By semi-custom, I mean they are made to fit our windows exactly, but there's a limited selection of fabric choices. Not to mention, I made curtains for the dining room with $2 a yard burlap (more on that later), so I think that evens things out a bit.

Check in tomorrow for lots of in-progress pictures and a picture of a finished shade (OK, almost finished)!
By the way, I purchase hardware for roman shades from Online Fabric Store. They carry flat pulleys, cord and cord lock pulleys. 
Wood for mounting boards and dowels can be purchased at home improvement stores like Lowe's or Home Depot. 


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