Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Making Custom Valances- Easy as Pie- Part 2

Yesterday we looked at different types of easy to sew valances. Today, I am making a valance for my daughter's kitchen.  She wanted something tailored- "no ruffles, no gathers"- but with a shape.  Here is the shape we drew.

I knew that I wanted the center bump to be about twice the length of the two end bumps and I wanted the curves even so here is what I did:

The finished length of the valance was to be 62".  The curtain rod has a 2" depth so we need to add 4" to that length plus 1 extra inch to allow for the 1/2" seam allowances.  That means a total of 67".

I planned to cut the valance on the fold so I needed to cut a piece of freezer paper for a pattern that is half the length of the finished valance.  I made the paper 33 1/2".  I folded this piece in half so that it measured 17" and sketched the curve.

After cutting on the curved line and opening the pattern, it looked like this:

This pattern is then placed on the fold of the fabric and cut.

When the fabric is opened.....just the shape we wanted with even curves!

Next, I placed this piece right side down on a rectangle of the lining fabric that was slightly larger than my valance.  My lining rectangle was 69"x 18".  When sewing curves, I find it is easier to use a larger piece of lining and then trim off the excess after sewing,  I pinned the two layers together with extra pins on the curves to help prevent shifting and stretching. (no one likes shifting and stretching!)

Using a 1/2" seam, I sewed the top of the valance first.  For this valance we did not want a header. We wanted the rod at the very top of the valance.  I knew that the curtain rod was 3/4" so I measured down 1 1/4" from the top stitching and marked each end.

Beginning at the marks and back stitching to secure the threads, I sewed each side seam leaving a 5" opening on one end for turning.

Finally, I stitched the bottom curved edge being careful to keep it flat and removing the pins as I sewed.  After trimming away the excess lining, I clipped the corners and along the curves.  Clipping these curves assures that the curve will lay flat when turned.

I turned the valance through the opening and pressed it well.  To give the curve a nice crisp edge, I stitched 1/8"from the edge.
To create the rod pocket, I measured down 1 1/4" from the top seam and marked a line the length of the valance.  I stitched along this line, back stitching at the beginning and end.  This stitching should be just below the openings left on each end when you stitched the side seams.
I tucked in the excess at the openings on each end.  You can tack these down but I usually just leave them tucked inside the casing.
Finally, I stitched very close to the top edge (less than 1/8") so that the valance would hang well.
If you kook closely at the left, you will see the stitching
that creates the rod pocket.
That's all there is to it!  Here is the finished project.

 Tomorrow it will be in the mail to my daughter in Baltimore. Are you ready to start whipping up valances?


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