Tonight I am finishing the kitchen valence I started making last week. I found this adorable (albeit bright) pink, green, brown, and white fabric at Joann's a couple weeks ago. My Fiestaware dishes are also pink, green, and brown in nearly the same shades as the fabric so I thought it would be perfect for the kitchen. I am absolutely itching to get into my new house so I can put all my latest projects in their place (only 6 more days of waiting to go!).
The fabric I picked out was only 45 inches wide and to make a valence for a 33 1/2" wide window I needed a piece of fabric that was 52" wide. I figured this width because to achieve a ruffle in your valence you need 1.5 times the size of the window. Just divide the width of your window by half, then add that number to the original window width (33.5 / 2 = 16.75, 33.5 + 16.75 = 50.25 + ~2 inches for seam allowance). For a more ruffly effect just double the width of your window.
Anyway, besides all that math, what I had to do was cut an extra strip of my fabric to add to my 45" wide original piece in order to make it 52" wide. See picture below.
This might seem like it would make my valence look homemade but really with such a beautiful and distracting print it is hardly noticeable. Wait until you see the picture of it hung in my new kitchen (hopefully in about a week!).
Can you even see the seam from the other side (picture below)?
Next I folded the short edges of my large rectangle under 1/4 inch and then folded that 1/4 inch again. I ironed and sewed these edges to create a nice hemmed edge. Then I folded up the bottom edge 1/2 inch and 1/2 inch again for my bottom hem. See how I hemmed the side and bottom in the picture below.
The top is where things get tricky. Depending on what kind of rod you have to hang your valence you will fold the top of your fabric down different amounts. I chose a 3/4 inch rod that has a 2 inch clearance from the wall (meaning it will stick out a little over the window rather than sit inside the window frame). I bought mine for 98 cents at Walmart. A stronger more expensive rod would be appropriate for a window treatment that is opened and closed frequently or holding heavy drapes. My valence rod will be doing neither.
Because my rod is quite a bit thicker than a tension rod or even a circular more heavy duty rod I folded the top down 1/2" then another 2" and sewed it in place to create a finished hem. Then I sewed one more line right down the middle so there would be a ruffle on the top with the rod running through the fabric below it. See picture below if all these sewing lines sounds confusing. Basically I just made two casings, one for the rod and one above it to create the ruffle effect on top.
Can you see the two casings in this picture below? The top casing can be made larger if you want a larger ruffle on top.
And here is the finished product. Clearly it is hanging over my TV and not from my kitchen window... but it will be soon! Stay tuned for pictures of that coming in the next few weeks.