Monday, June 7, 2010

Window Valance Tutorial

Let's do the window valance next. Window valances are a fairly simple sewing project. You can make them easy or difficult by how fancy you want to make it. Today, I'm going to show you an intermediate valance, but also provide instructions on how to simplify it for a beginner valance. The one I'm making has 4 different-colored squares and a coordinating trim. Remember that you can modify this to your own taste/preference. Let's get started:

As a general rule, you want your valance to be double the width of your window. The window this valance was made for was 58" wide, so I'm going to be making this 116" wide. I used a 1/2" hem on each side, which will add 1" on each side, and 1/2" seam allowances, so now I've got a width of 121". The amount of fabric you will need depends on how long you want your valance. My customer wanted this valance to have 2" above the rod, and then hang down 14" below it. She also wanted all the seams to be hidden, so we had to use this same amount of fabric on the back of the valance. This meant I needed the main part 32" (2" above + 2" for the rod + 12"below [only 12 because 2 of the 14" will be the trim], then doubled). So these are the cut measurements:

- Cut 4 squares 33" x 30.25" (33"= 32" + 1" for seam allowances, 30.25"=121" divided by 4).
- Cut 3 5" strips of trim fabric. The width of the fabric is about 44", so I took my desired width (121") and divided by 44", which was 2.75. Rounding up to the nearest whole number and I got 3. Always round up. If you got 3.15, cut 4 strips. The 5" measurement I got because we are doing a 2" trim. Double it for the back side and add 1" for seam allowances and you get 5".

Are you with me so far? If you don't care about seams on the back side of the valance, you just need to add a top and bottom hem. Ex: If I wanted my valance 2" above the rod and hanging 14" below, I would cut my main parts 17.5" x 30.25". (17.5"=2"+14"+1" hem + 0.5" seam allowance). Trim would be 3 strips of 3.5". (2"+1" hem +0.5" seam allowance).

If you are going to make a valance with only 1 fabric, you need 3 yards of fabric to get the desired window width (121"). However, if you are doing the hem option instead of fabric on both front and back to hide seams, you would only need 1 2/3 yd. Then you would cut three 20" panels. (20" = 2" above rod, 2" rod, 14" below, 1" top hem, 1" bottom hem).

All right, I hope all those calculations made sense, let's get to sewing now.

*All seams are 1/2" seam allowance!!

1. Sew your squares RST (right sides together) along the 33" side, or 17.5" side if doing the hem option). Finish seams with serger or zig-zag stitch. Press seams. If doing the hem option, stop here and go to step 2. Fold in half lengthwise WST (wrong sides together) and press.

2. Sew trim strips RST along short sides. Finish seams and press.

3. Grab both your main piece and strip piece now. Unfold the main piece and sew the strip piece to it along one of the long raw edges RST. You probably have some extra trim fabric, so go ahead and cut off the excess. Line up the other long raw edges of both strip piece and main piece and sew RST. Finish seams and press.

4. Now we need to hem our sides. Fold fabric down 1/2" towards the wrong side of the fabric and press. Fold down another 1/2" and press again. Stitch. Turn the whole thing inside out. If you were doing the hem option, hem your top and bottom (long edges) the same way.

5. Measure 2" down from the top of the valance and mark all along the the width of the valance. Stitch along this line. Then measure 2" down from that stitch line and mark. Stitch along this line. You just created the where the rod goes, and guess what? You are all done! Hang that valance up and see how much nicer your window looks! For the rest of the crib bedding tutorials, click below

Blackout Drapes
Crib Bedskirt
Appliqued Throw Pillow
Crib Bumper
All-Star Baby Quilt
Diaper Stacker


  1. All the items you made for the nursery turned out so cute! I hope they love them!


Where I am no longer blogging, this blog is for reading purposes only. I am afraid I just can't keep up with it anymore, therefore, I may not be able to reply to all comments. Thank you.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts with Thumbnails