Baby Z’s Nursery; Window Valances


In a few previous posts, (listed in the related posts section under this post), we revealed the nursery set we recently created to welcome Baby Z (our new granddaughter) who made her grand debut on March 2nd. And in response to popular demand, we created this little mini-series where so far we’ve shared the construction details, and photos for the crib sheet, the organizer, the rocker cushions, and the crib bumpers. And now…

Next up– Window Valances

OK- so here’s the deal. I’ve never been a really big fan of curtains or drapes. Oh I like the way they look in other people’s houses, but for me, I just don’t care to cover up my window except for privacy concerns, and even then I generally rely on blinds to accomplish this. When I do opt for a window treatment, valances are my go-to favorite since they can add a splash of color and style without blocking the view or the light.
So… even though I know everybody’s windows are different, I thought I’d share my sketch here anyway because the dimensions of this type of window treatment can easily be adjusted to fit most any window. PLEASE NOTE: a 1/2″ seam allowance must be added to the measurements indicated below. curtainchart1

Here’s our cutting logic.

1) Since our windows were 36-3/4″ wide (from edge to edge of the side molding), and since we planned for our finished valence to extend 1-1/2″ beyond the molding (with an additional 1/2″ seam allowance on each side), here’s how wide we’ll cut our fabric; (37+1.5+1.5+0.5+0.5)= 41″ wide.

valence12) Since the long side of our curtain will be 22-1/2″ long and we want it to extend 2″ above the top window molding along with an additional 1-1/2″ at the top to form the foldover rod pocket (PLUS an additional 1/2″ seam allowance at top and bottom, the length of our long side will be; 22.5+2+1.5+0.5+0.5=27″tall.

3) Since the short side of our curtain will be 12″ long and we want it to extend 2″ above the top window molding along with an additional 1-1/2″ at the top to form the foldover rod pocket (PLUS an additional 1/2″ seam allowance at top and bottom, the length of our short side will be; 12+2+1.5+0.5+0.5=16.5″ tall.

FYI- As you can see above, I made a paper pattern according to these dimensions, then I folded my fabric, (in bright purple from the Laurel Burch Basics collection) wrong sides together so that upon cutting I’d get two mirror-image pieces. AND- Since I used this same pattern piece to cut out two mirror-image “block-out” lining pieces.

Now for the stripe accent pieces!

We cut the following pieces in the sizes and amounts listed below to make the stripes seen at the bottom of the valances.valence3

a) two 45″ X 6.5″ pieces from the  “Zany Zoo” from the Australiana collection.
b) two 45″ X 2″ pieces from the “Laurel Burch Basics- Bright Purple”.
c) four 45″ X 1.25″ pieces from the “Laurel Burch Basics- Mango/Gold”.

Let’s put it together!

valence41)  Press all four yellow stripes in half lengthwise (wrong sides together).

2)  Place purple stripe wrong side down on flat surface. Now align the raw edges of a folded yellow stripe to each long side edge of the purple stripe. Stitch in place 1/4″ from raw edges. Press both yellow stripes out and away from purple fabric.

valence53) Center this embellishment on your diagonal print fabric and stitch it in place close to the purple fabric edges.

4) Press over 1/4″ (wrong sides together) on the top AND bottom edge of the print fabric.
5) Now place your embellishment wrong side down on right side of valance so that the bottom edge is 2.5″ above the bottom edge of your valance. Stitch in place close to the top and bottom edge of your print fabric.

6) Retrieve your block-out lining and place it right sides together on valance aligning all outside edges.

7) Stitch 1/2″ from all 4 sets of raw edges, BUT leave an 18-20″ section along the top edge unstitched for turning.

8) Trim seams and corners, then turn right side out and press flat. Whipstitch open area along top edge closed.

valence69) Fold finished top edge over 1.5″ to lining side of valance. Stitch in place close to top valance edge to form a tube thru which to place your curtain rod. (This stitching WILL be visible on front side of valance.)

10) Now repeat the entire procedure to make a second valance that’s a mirror-image of your first, then all that’s left is to…

Hang ’em up!

So…Now it’s YOUR turn!

What questions or comments might you have for me?

And what do you think about this procedure? It will actually be fairly easy to alter the cutting angles and embellishments to achieve a completely different look,  and we’ll show you how to do just that in the next (and last) post in this series, so stay tuned for that.  🙂

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