In “Our House” I’ve been working on lightening up the living room color scheme. I showed you how I changed the covering on the Pottery Barn bench ottoman and now it’s time to show you how I made the window treatments.
I purchased the fabric from Ballard Designs, it’s a printed linen type, (not sure if it’s actually linen, or just looks and feels like it).
For the style, I wanted a playful, sort of French styled window treatment.
So the valances I designed to make, have pleats with a fabric covered button detail, as well as two coordinating types of trim. The trim detail worked out to be a good way to bring just a hint of darker color up on the windows. Even though I’m ‘lightening’ it up in the living room, dark elements will remain, so I must meld the light with dark accents to make it look like a plan.
Here are the steps I did in making these valances:
First, I had to determine the finished length and width of the valances. (I was working with 4 windows: two small and two large) then I needed to determine how much extra would be needed for making the pleats. To make the pleats in the valances, I used this super easy ‘pleater tape’, it has little pockets that you slip the pleater hooks in, like you see here in this picture.
Here you see how I got an exact measurement for each window. With the finished valance width on the tape measure, I pleated the tape, then undid the pleats and measured how much tape I used to get the finished width, that told me exactly how wide to make the valances, allowing for the gathering needs of the pleats. (That way when I re-pleated them when they were all sewn together, they’d fit perfect on the rods, or so I hoped.)
(I won’t bore you with all the details, but I worked it out on paper, drawing up my pattern etc. if you have questions figuring yours, ask me and I’d be glad to help you.)
Then with that information and knowing what the pattern repeat of the fabric was, I could order my fabric….Whew! Finally…
Once the fabric came, and I had all my supplies: drapery pleater tape, drapery pleater hooks, button forms for making custom fabric covered buttons, and 2 trims, which I purchased at JoAnn Etc. I could start constructing…and a straight line is crucial. The first cut is the hardest, the rest are simple. So take your time and be tedious about being sure the pattern is absolutely even across.
This fabric had a straight across match, so I could simply lay the first panel, that I so carefully measured and cut, right on top of the fabric to be sure the following 7 panels I needed to complete the valances would all be exactly the same.
For the front of the valances I added this trim detail in between the top header and main body of the valance. Here I’m starting to pin the 3 layers together to sew them.
For sewing these layers together I switched to a zipper foot and put my needle all the way to the left, so the stitches would be super close to the cording, leaving the flange part of the trim in the seam allowance.
After I sewed the cording between the top header and the main body of the valance, and had the pleater tape sewed to the lining, (I determined where the placement of the tape on the lining should be by how far from the top I wanted the hooks to be) I then pinned the front of the valance to the back lining.
I left an opening on the bottom edge to turn the finished valance right side out; I put double pins at both ends of the opening to be sure that I didn’t sew it shut.
After the valances were pressed, (I pressed in the raw edges from the opening I left to turn it right side out, and stitched it shut when I sewed on this fringe) I pinned on the ball tassel fringe.
I also topstitched the pleater tape bottom edge to the face of the valance fabric right in the seam of the cording trim, without this step, the pleats won’t pleat the front of the fabric.
The fringe is dark and the lining is light, so I put in light bobbin thread and dark brown top thread in my sewing machine, so both top and bottom stitches would be hidden.
Then I put the hooks back in the pleater tape, carefully placing them where I wanted the pleats to be located.
This shows you the front of the pleat with the hook in before I stitched it and put the button on it.
Here’s one done and hung up on the existing rods. I’ll give you a better view of them when they’re all done and up, in a couple days…now back to sewing…
I appreciate you stopping by.