Monday, March 31, 2014

Valences - the reveal and a tutorial

So, the fabric we got a good deal on came in from Hancock's all wrapped up and ready!  I pulled out the fabric... and realized we didn't have a good plan for what to do with it.  Advice: know what the heck you're going to do before buying ridiculously expensive fabric.

I set out to figure out what to do.  One of the things we'd thought about was some valances with movement.  I thought I'd see what it would look like if we highlighted the circles on the pattern.  I cut out a trial piece and pinned it to the shade in the window.  This was sent to hubby, who hated it.  

Next plan.  I really wanted just very tailored valences to highlight the pattern, the whole reason we splurged on the fabric.  Hubby wanted something a little fancier.  He showed me a picture, so I set out to recreate it.  Here's my mock up:

It bothered me.  I hate the way the fabric goes in on the sides on the bottom.  Everyone thought I could just change the width of the fabric.  I did some research online, though, and they all looked like the above.  Nope.  Not happy.  So, Winston and I sat down to do some more thinking.

Trav suggested that I do rolled valences like we had in our old house.  To make those, I had lined toile with a faux suede fabric and rolled them up, tying them up on either side with ribbon.  This seemed like a really good compromise.  We headed out to Joann's and bought some fabric.  Hubby came up with the great idea to only use the sueded fabric on the roll and use the lining fabric I had already purchased on the area that wouldn't be rolled up.  This was good because the fabric wasn't cheap AND because you'd still see white/off-white from the street.  I mocked this up when we got home, and neither one of us liked it (yay seam ripper...).  We were starting to feel like Goldilocks.  However, we did finally agree to do a very tailored valence with a 4 inch strip of suede across the bottom as an accent.  And so begins the tutorial.  

In this case, I used the measurement of the width of the window plus hems and the length of the valence plus allowances for the bottom hem and top pocket.  So, I would normally press the bottom up an inch and then another 3 inches, but the suede was so heavy I didn't need to and literally wouldn't have been able to.  My machine grumbled loudly at its density.  I ended up turning it up once, about 1.25 inches.

With the bottom hem ready, it was time to do the first seam there.

Next, I pressed the side seams.  There was a bit of an issue on the width of this particular shade, so my side seams are really little.  However, I'd recommend turning it in 1/4 to 1/2 inch and then another inch in the second turn.  

In order to make sure it was perfectly straight and even, I measured from the center of the valence out to the sides.  

Once the side seams were pressed and pinned, I folded over the top.  These particular shades are going on tension rods that are terrible.  We plan to get new tension rods, so I made that pocket fairly large.  That got pinned, and the whole panel got put to the side.  Next, I hemmed and trimmed the lining.  I turned it up about an inch and then about 3 before sewing the hem.  

That liner then got pinned into the back of the panel.  

I then sewed up the side seams and across the top to form the pocket.  When I got to the transition from the side to the top panel, I just left the needle in the fabric, picked up the foot, moved the fabric, and put the foot back down.  

And with that, they were ready to hang!  

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