It took me an evening and and afternoon to finish sewing the first shade, but I think it will go quicker now that I know what I’m doing. It wasn’t really hard, but it was kind of tedious and tricky to get everything exactly straight. The instructions can be downloaded off the WarmWindow website, and are pretty straightforward. As I make the second shade, I think I will cut the insulating fabric just a tiny bit wider (a quarter of an inch or so), because once it was all sewn together, it seemed to bow or shrink just a little from side to side.
I also made a valance using an extra crib skirt (I bought 2 on clearance for $10 at Land of Nod - couldn't resist the tiny embroidered neighborhood...). When pulled up, the WarmWindow shade hides behind the valence.
You can see the long magnetic strips going down the sides of the inner edge of the window frame (the part that screws in and holds the bottom sash in place). The shade has magnetic strips sewn into it, which cling to the window frame as you let down the shade. The WarmWindow instructions say that you can paint the magnets, so I may paint and shellac the magnetic strips on the frame so they blend in better. I ordered some aniline dye in an antique cherry color, which I plan to add to amber Bullseye shellac to get the right color. I'll shellac the sill and other worn places as well.
When let down all the way, the shade keeps the cold air out and the warm air in. It blocks light completely, so during the day you leave it open to let light and solar energy into the room, and at night you pull it closed to keep the heat inside. This light-blocking characteristic also might help us trick the baby into taking a nap during the daytime…