Last week I updated my master bathroom with a few small accessories, this valance being one of them. Today I am sharing how I made it. I am careful to warn you though, I am not any kind of expert sewer. All of my stitching prowess can be attributed to one semester of middle school home economics, one super crafty aunt, one seamstress grandmother and a very generous and patient friend. I never use a pattern and I can assure you that there are going to be some experienced sewers out there cringing at my methods, but they work and my bathroom looks great! Ok, enough of my disclaimer, you have been warned, on to how I did it!
Obviously the first step was measuring my window. It was 30 inches wide, so I grabbed one yard of fabric. Of course there are many exceptions to this rule, but generally I have found that if I have at least one and a half times my window width, I'm good. Next I decided on my style. For this style I had to have enough width for the window itself, the rod projection and 5 inches for each pleat. I also had to leave 1 inch for seam allowance. I cut my fabric to 44 inches wide. I wanted it to be about 14 inches long, so I cut it to 15 inches leaving room again for the seam and the rod. I also took into account that my fringe would add about two inches.
I am not a huge fan of white liner. There are places in the house where I have used it, but generally, I like seeing the fabric from the outside. I just folded my fabric in half and sewed the open three sides, leaving a 1 and 1/2 inch opening at the top.
Then I turned the fabric back to the right side, by pulling it through the opening I left.
Next, I laid my fabric out to mark the pleat placement. I wanted two pleats. I found the middle of my fabric and then centered the pleats in the space from the end of the fabric to the middle mark. Each pleat was made by folding the fabric over and then back. I ironed the pleats to mark their positions.
I sewed the fringe on next.
Now, most box pleat curtains are mounted on a board, but I am not a fan of boards. They are way too permanent for my fickle nature. So I made a loose rod pocket. I anchored my pleat with a few stitches across the top, so it wouldn't slip. Then I folded the entire top of the curtain over about 1 and 1/2 inches and sewed it almost all the way across. I stopped my stitches about 2 inches from both sides of the pleats. This allowed them to hang more naturally. If I sewed all the way across it would be tight. I did not want it to look shirred on the rod. I still wanted the illusion of a board.
Here's my finished product! What do you think? I'm certainly no perfectionist, but I like it. Does winging it pay off or do you think I need lessons?