I made this cute little valance yesterday in all of maybe 30 min while the kids napped. I used left over fabrics I had in my collection and have a cute new look in my little toilet room! :) Here's how you can do the same.
One little note - please read completely through this tutorial before you begin. The math part will seem super confusing - but I promise you it's NOT hard to make this valance. The math is probably the hardest part and it's simple addition!! :)
First thing you want to do is measure your window. There's quite a bit of simple math in any sewing and this is no exception. You'll measure the width of your window. And you'll measure how far of a drop you want your valance to hang. For example's sake we'll say that your window is 24" wide and you want a 12" drop. (How far down you want it to hang.)
You need your valance DOUBLE the width of your window to get a ruffled look. If you want it straight flat just use the width plus your seam allowances. (We'll get to that in a bit.) So for our 24" window we would need a 48" wide piece of fabric. Write your window measurements down as you go. You'll thank me later! :) You will be placing a hem on each side of the valance and that takes about 1/2" for each hem. So you need to add 1" to your fabric. So now your total width (what you'll cut your fabric) is 49". I hope you're still following me - I ramble. :)
Now for the drop. If you're using one fabric it'll be a tad easier, but in our example we're using two. We want a 12" drop. You'll have a hem on the top and bottom so we'll add 1". (1/2" for top 1/2" for bottom) We're now at 13". The top of the valance will be folded over 3 1/2" to create a curtain rod pocket and a small ruffle on top of the rod. So that is 7" (3 1/2" folded is 7" total fabric) So now we are at 20". That would be your cut measurement if you're using 1 fabric. You'd cut your piece 20" by 49". BUT in our sample we added a strip of fabric near the bottom.
So here's were it gets a little more confusing - I wanted 4" on the bottom but the seam allowance is 1/4". So if you're being super precise you would cut 4 1/4" x 49" for your bottom strip but I just kept it at 4". So you've just added 4" to the bottom you'll need to subtract that from the top fabric. We would cut our top fabric 16" x 49" and our bottom strip 4" x 49". (It will be 1/2" shorter due to the seam allowance but I was fine with that on mine. If you are not you'd cut your's 16 1/4" x49" and 4 1/4" by 49".) If you use a 1/2" seam allowance you'll need to adjust your math for that as well.
Okay now that we've got the math out of the way we'll start with the HOW-TO part. :)
Supplies you'll need -
- Rotary Cutter and Mat OR Scissors and fabric pen
- Iron & Ironing board
- Sewing Machine
You can use scissors and a ruler to cut or a rotary cutter, mat and ruler. I prefer to use my rotary cutter and mat so I'll be showing you that way. If you use scissors you'd use your ruler and a fabric pen and cut along that line.
Begin with prepared fabric - pre-wash and dry. Then iron it back to smooth fabric. You don't want to cut with any wrinkles in fabric. Cut off the selvages (the ends that have writing from the manufacturer or sometimes they just have little holes).
First you want to square up your fabric for a clean line - then using the ruler and mat figure our your width and cut.
|Square off fabric so you're working with a straight edge|
|Cut to your pre-determined measurements|
Iron a hem along the LONG side (49") of the main fabric (in my sample its the white fabric). You do this by folding fabric up 1/4" and ironing - then folding it up again 1/4" and ironing.
To sew the hem down you sew very close the the folded edge as shown in the sample below.
After you have the hem on the top you will add the colored strip to the bottom. To do this you pin right sides together. The right sides of the fabric are the pretty sides. You will be pinning the strip to the unfinished edge of your main fabric. (the end you did not hem.) As pictured.
Use as many pins as you need. More pins will help keep the fabric from slipping. Make sure you take the pins out as you sew. Never sew over pins. It's bad for your machine and you could break your needle. (Talk about frustrating!!) :) Sew together using a 1/4" to 1/2" seam allowance. (I used 1/4".)
After they are sewn together iron the seam down.
You will now create a hem on the small strip. Hem the same way you did the top of the main fabric.
Now hem the short sides of your valance so all 4 sides are hemed.
Okay now you're ready to create the curtain rod pocket. Fold the top of the main fabric down 3 1/2". **Note - if you have a large/wide curtain rod you will need to adjust your math so your pocket is wider to enable the girth of the curtain rod. Use your ruler as you fold down and iron in place. You want to make sure it's 3 1/2" the whole way down. It will look funny if it's uneven.
Iron and sew like you did the hem. Very near the edge.
Once you've sewn it down you will bring that same piece back up and sew about 1" to 1 1/2" from the folded top. This will create the ruffle on top and the pocket for the curtain rod. See below picture.
When your finished it should look like this on the side -
Clip any loose threads (or if you're slightly OCD like me you've probably been doing this as you go along) and hang it up to enjoy!! Happy Sewing! :)
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and it inspires you to make your own! :)