Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Curtain With Attached Valance Tutorial

OK, as I said in my last post, I did indeed create a tutorial for the Purple Roses Curtains.  This is a very simple pattern. I do hope you enjoy it and share your completed curtains with me on Facebook.

First things first, lets talk some basics about where to measure your window and how much fabric to use.

Measure from where you will be hanging the curtain all the way down to where you want the curtain to end. Typically from the rod to just below the sill. You also want to measure side to side, again typically along your curtain rod.

Now you need to add inches for your hems and casing.

Add 8 inches to the length and 3 inches to the width.

For a standard gather add half the width to your total. So take your rod width and divide by two. Now add that number to your width and add three more, this is how wide your fabric needs to be.

For the valance you can decide the length you want it to be, there is no standard. I actually used fabric I had left over that I knew my mom liked. just remember it will be folded in half, and you want it to match the overall width.

Same with the lace, you decide how much lace you want peeking out from below. I did not add this to my over all length, but in hindsight it is something to consider, especially if you are using a wide lace such as I did.

Other things to consider:
The poof at the top of the curtain above the rod, I simply stitched an inch and a half below the top of the curtain, but you can certainly stitch lower if you would like a taller poof (I have no idea what the technical term is, lol). Just make sure the overall look you are going for is still going to be there.
Why Two irons? Of course you don't have to use two irons, but I like to for a couple of reasons. The first being that Steam a Seam can make a mess on your iron if it gets on it. The second is if you are working with two different types of fabric at once, it's handy to have a hot iron and a cooler iron so there is no waiting for an iron to heat up or cool down, just my opinion.
The Liner. Decide how heavy a fabric you want to use for the liner. I wanted these to be light and breezy for a small bathroom so I used a very sheer liner. Just enough to diffuse the sunlight a little bit. Of course you can choose not to use a liner at all, or you can choose a heavier fabric if your goal is to cut down on sunlight or provide a bit of insulation.
Hems. OK, I have to admit, I did not measure as I should have, so I made very small hems. It worked out for me because I was using a very light fabric. If you are using a heavier fabric, I would recommend using a wider hem (and Steam a Seam for that matter). Remember you added three inches, so you really could go with a wider hem if you would like.

OK, I think I covered everything!  If you have any questions, you can ask me in the comments or on facebook, or twitter, or email me at itssewjenny@gmail.com.

Here is the completed set I will show you how to make.

I know my ironing board is so stained up, you would think I might sew up a new cover!

Supply List:
  • Fabric for main body of the Curtain 
  • Fabric for the Liner 
  • Fabric for the Valance
  • Lace for the bottom 
  • 1/4 " Steam a Seam
  • Two Irons (if desired)
  • Pins
  • Sewing Machine
  • Matching Thread
  • Small Hair Bow

Simple child's hair-bow.  You could even make your own if you are inclined to do so.


Before you begin, cut your material in half to make two equal size curtains.
Place curtain and liner wrong sides together.


Working on the side of the curtain, flip both pieces of fabric in together about 1/4" and iron as you go. 

Lay a strip of Steam a Seam down and peel the paper off. (For the purpose of this tutorial I left the paper on in the picture so it can be seen. DO NOT iron the paper.)

Flip the fabric in one more time and iron. The Steam a Seam will melt and hold the fabric together.

Now you can do a straight stitch or choose a decorative stitch such as I did.


Back view

Front View



Repeat on the other side and along the bottom edge stopping before you sew the bottom.
 DO NOT SEW THE BOTTOM YET!




Once you have the bottom hem ironed in place, lay another strip of Steam a Seam along the edge as shown above and remove the paper

Lay your lace along the strip of Steam a Seam

Iron into place

Now Stitch into place

Back View

Front View

Now we will begin working on the Valance. 
Place a strip of Steam a Seam along the sides of the valance flip in, iron 

and sew a straight stitch


Fold the Valance in half and place the fold along the upper edge of your curtain

The open edge will be facing down

Pin in place

Using a straight stitch, sew into place


Your curtain and valance should now look like this, with a strip of curtain above the valance (iron seam flat).


Working with the Valance alone, place a stitch along the bottom edge of your valance. You can do a top-stitch close to the edge or continue on with a decorative stitch as shown below.


With the Valance hanging down over the curtain, sew a straight stitch through all layers as shown here and below. This creates the little poof at the top of the curtain, above the rod.



Taking care to move the valance out of the way, fold the flap of fabric up underneath its self to create the pocket for the rod (iron). I purposely left mine very wide as these were made for my mother and I wanted it to be easier for her to get the rod through without a struggle.

Sew a straight stitch across the bottom of the rod pocket.

Add the decorative bow to the front simply by clipping it into place. This makes it easy to remove for laundering.