Monday, June 6, 2011

Chocolate Valances

I thought I'd show you how I made our valances. These will be going on all the downstairs windows (since all the rooms are open to each other)--dining room, study, living room, and at the sliding door for the eat in kitchen.

The first step is to measure your window. I have both 3' and 6' window (and door) openings to cover. You will double your width for your fabric, so for a 3' opening you'll want 6' of fabric (or 2 yards, as 3'=1 yard).

(My actual first step was to look for sales on valances. I couldn't find what I wanted at a price I was willing to pay. It cost me a little more to make the equivalent of 6 of the ones I had priced [2 for the longer spaces] for the cost of one of the ones I liked. This isn't always the case, so you might want to shop around first.)

Now to buy your have a choice. For me, making four valances, it made sense to buy a full 4 yards of fabric. Alternatively, you can buy a smaller yardage and cut it into strips to be stitched into a long valance. If you do that, you'll probably want to put one width in the middle and then two smaller pieces on the sides...

Thus. It looks better than a seam in the middle.

You'll also need to buy fabric to line you valance. (*Note the widths of these fabrics may be different, so keep that in mind when planning how much to buy. And I used more of the lining fabric to make the rod pocket.)

If you want to wash your valances (and bought washable fabrics), wash them now so they don't shrink to different sizes once they are all stitched together.

Now to cut. I cut my valances to 18" tall and 6' and 12' wide respectively.

Place the fabric with right sides together.

(I'm showing this with a white fabric to show contrast--I actually lined with brown broad cloth.)

Stitch on the two short sides and one of the long widths. I don't bother with pins for this, but you can use straight pins if you prefer.

Turn your valance right side out.

Turn the bottoms of your fabric in and pin the pieces together. Stitch across the
pinned width.

The valance itself is done, but it needs a rod pocket to hang from. The simplest version would be to turn down several inches and straight stitch across, but this causes you to loose some of your height (or you have to spend more on fabric).

I chose to use more of the lining fabric, which was $2.99/yard as opposed to the front fabric, which was $8/yard, to make myself a pocket.

To do that I cut 5" tall widths of fabric. I pieced them to be 6' and 12' respectively. Turn the ends under and stitch.

Place the rod pocket 2 1/2" from the top of the valance.

I double turned the widths under (so the raw edge is protected) and pinned them.

Stitch at the top and bottom of the rod pocket.

Place on rod...Imagine this hanging over a window! :)

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