Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Box Pleat Valance

 
 
 
 
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? 
 
 
 

 

If you liked this tutorial, check out my post on easy ring clip curtains. For more window treatment inspiration, check out my Custom Curtains board on Pinterest!
 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

27 comments:

  1. It looks so lovely. You did a great job.

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    1. Thanks Betty, I am learning! :)

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    1. Thanks so much! That pattern does pop!

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  3. Love the valance and I love the helpful tips... visiting from Debbie Do's

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    1. Thanks Cathy! Like I said, I'm kind of a rogue seamstress, so don't look too close! :)

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  4. Lovely! Where did you get your fabric? I'm looking for some valances for the kitchen and these look great.

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    1. Hi Lindsey,
      I got my fabric at a small local shop, but I did Google it and it came up online. Just keep in mind that it is not upholstery fabric, it is actually quilting fabric, but it looks great on my windows. It is Swirly Girls Designs for Michael Miller Clubhouse Pattern # sg5214 Pristine Paisley. It also came in red, beige and white paisley on a blue background.

      So glad you liked it, hope that information helps you track it down!
      Have a great weekend and if you do make curtains with it, please let me know~ or post them on my FB page! I would love to see them!

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  5. You did a beautiful job and you could have fooled me. Looks professional! Love the detail!

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    1. Thanks Roeshel~ Just don't look too close! :)

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  6. You did a fantastic job...I sold my sewing machine years ago due to personality conflicts....we hated each other! lol Now I pay people to do it because I stink at it.

    I wish we were neighbors! your valance is beautiful. Great job....

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    1. Hahaha Christine, you made me laugh out loud! I have the same relationship with my machine~ it is very temperamental and when it misbehaves, I put it away for months at a time! :)

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  7. Love your valance, the color is wonderful and the fringe is such a lovely finishing touch. Thank so much for joining Inspire Me. Hugs, marty

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    1. Thank you, Marty! I am usually not a blue girl, but the color really caught my eye!

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  8. So pretty! I love the fabric. Thanks for sharing at Silver Pennies Sundays. x

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  9. For somebody that hasn't sewn much you did one heck of a great job. Whatever works is my way. You used your common sense and to me that works. It looks like somebody that has sewn for long time, you did such a great job. Good for you for trying and see what you accomplished.
    I'm going to print this out so I'll remember. I've sewn for many years and I still do things sort of kittywompis as it makes sense to me. Have figured out how to do all kinds of things and it wasn't as I'd seen or read how to. So what? Many times I get a wild hair to make something so I go into my sewing room to see what I have and go from there. We live out a few miles from a town where I could get fabric if I had the money to buy it, so I usually raid my stash of fabric and trims first. Sometimes things don't turn out how I'd hoped but I learn from it and hopefully do it better next time. Keep up the good work.

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    1. Wow! Thanks for the ringing endorsement~ you've made me feel so great about my curtains! I have to confess that I actually accomplish most of my DIY projects in this manner. Trial and error, like you said! I have to say that I'm so jealous to hear of your sewing room! When I sew, I have to do it on my kitchen table and have it cleaned up by mealtime! Thanks for stopping by to read my post and taking the time to comment! :)

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  10. Kim this is a great fabric choice, it looks like it lightens up the window and gives it some love, awesome!! Thank you so much for linking up to our Get Your DIY On Challenge this week. next week is Fall Themed Wreaths, I hope you'll make it back and share with us! Have a great week!

    Mandy @ The Hankful House Blog

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    1. Hey Mandy, thanks so much for coming by to check out my valance! I'm so excited I actually had something blue to link up! What a cute idea for a party, love it and I think I do have a good wreath post for next week!

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  11. Hi Kim,
    Great job, your valance looks so professional and beautiful. I'm getting ready to tackle a valance for my kitchen where two corner windows meet and there isn't enough room for two curtain rods to be hung. About 17/18 yrs ago my husband and I made valances for the windows and used a curtain rod with an elbow connector which worked great but now I'm ready for something more contemporary. I found and purchased the fabric...Waverly Evening Scroll which was pretty pricy even at 50% off. Because one of the windows is so long and the fabric has a directional pattern I'll have to piece it together (seam) and I really wanted a very clean line so I thought if I did the box pleat it would hide the seam. Your instructions are very easy to follow so hopefully I'll be able to have the same results. Thank you for sharing these insturctions....so appreciate it.
    Cheers,
    Rochell

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    1. Wow~ I really like that fabric! Your windows sound lovely, but complicated! I am a total design junkie and that sounds very interesting. I would love to see the final product! I hope that my directions work out for you...I am not a professional seamstress by any means, I am really a wing it kind of girl! Good luck and thanks for all the kind words! :)

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  12. What a great job in the valance, and you solved a question I had...how to make a rod valance look like it's on a board. I have a few questions if I may:
    -Your photo shows the lining about half the width of fabric. Is that correct?
    -What exactly are you folding in half and sewing?
    - I'm confused about your sewing three sides together and turning through the small opening left. Don't you have the entire fourth side left open to flip it through? Or are you sewing three sides of fabric to liner and sewing 4th side (the top side) to within a few inches of the corner and then flipping through that opeing? So all four sides are sewn except for that small opeing left to flip it to right side. Do I have that right?

    Sorry for so many questions. I want to make a valance just like your gorgeous work and want to do it right. Many thanks for your help and congratulation on being so creative.
    Carol in Chicago

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    1. Hi Carol. I am glad that you like my valance, Thanks for the sweet words! I am sorry if my instructions were not clear. I think that all of your questions basically revolve around the liner...and there isn't one. I folded my blue paisley fabric in half, inside out and lengthwise, and sewed the three sides together, leaving a small opening to flip it right-side out. The fourth side was the fold.

      You could make the curtain with a liner or a coordinating fabric, but I am lazy! ;) Also, I liked that pretty blue and thought it would be nice to see from outside. So I just folded it to cheat my way to a pleasing liner...and one less seam!

      I hope that helps! Of course if you have any other questions, feel free to post them here or email me. My contact info is listed in the tab above.

      Thanks for popping by!

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    2. Thanks so much. I thought I saw a liner in the 2nd photo of fabric laying on the counter, but now I understand. It is basically self lined. Very clever. Many thanks for clarifying.
      Carol

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    3. So glad my answer was helpful, Carol. If you make the curtain, please let me know! I have a Facebook page and I would love you to post a pic there for me to see! Good luck and again, thanks for taking a peek! :)

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  13. You did a great job, Kim! The valance looks fabulous and I love your method instead of using the lining!

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    1. Thanks Cher-Ann! I am a lazy seamstress, doubling the fabric is the easy way out! ;) Thanks for popping by to check it out!

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