Saturday, May 8, 2010

Sewing for Home Decorating; Curtains and Valances can be Fun

We're just about done working on the mobile home, and the latest sewing project has been some valances for the bedroom that has blinds.Valances can be in many designs, but the ones that are just straight across are easy to make.  They need to be twelve to fourteen inches in length, and the measurements are calculated just like drapes.

If you are interested in saving energy, valances are not energy-saving.

Start with the size you want--about 12 inches--and add the ten inches we discussed in the last blog.  Make sure the fabric is straight before you start the valance measurements.  The length before sewing should be 22 inches or even as much as 24 inches, and the width should be at least twice the window width.  The windows I am working with are 23 inches wide by 63 in length--but the length does not matter for a valance, except to make the look proportional.  A very long window may need a slightly longer valance, and a short squatty window can use a shorter valance. The valance should cover about a fifth of the window when completed, so a sixty-inch window needs about a 12-inch valance.

With the addition of ten inches for hem and rod pocket, you will have about 22 inches, and I use the total width of the fabric. This fabric is 45 inches, and for extra fullness, I want to sew two valances for each window.


Once you have the valance cut at about 22 or 24 inches, take a look at the selvage edges--the factory finished edge may be wrinkled or puffy.  I usually trim these edges for curtains or drapes, so the fabric will not be puckered or so they will hang without any pull on the sides.  Once the edges are trimmed, turn under about half an inch, then about 5/8 inch and press with the iron. Stitch each side with a seam and make sure it is not puckered.  Then, press the valance with five inches folded over at the top, and five inches folded over at the bottom, like we discussed in the last blog for curtains and drapes. Turn under half an inch for the raw edges on each end and press.

Stitch across the top at two inches down, and close to the turned-under edge.  This forms the rod pocket, with a two-inch ruffle at the top.

Make sure you have turned under the raw edge on the bottom, and sew the hem at 4 and a half inches.

C'est tout! as the Cajuns say--that's all--it's that easy!


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