Wednesday, October 2, 2013

How to Turn Your Bedskirt into a Beautiful Valence!

Bedskirt to Valence
A friend asked me to whip up some curtains from a new bedskirt she did not need.  I had never EVER attempted curtains before, but accepted the challenge!

This is what the bedskirt looked like when I got it.  The great thing about this project was that it already had a hem on the bottom.  This would have been super super easy if there had not been those pleates.  You can see them in the picture above.  I decided to use my seam ripper and detach the white material from the striped material.  (Okay, I confess, I first just ripped the white part off!  I thought I was so clever.  But, just a teeny tiny bit of the white was still attached to the curtain.  It just bugged me!  I soon realized that it would be best to use the seam ripper and start with a nice clean edge.)  It WAS time consuming, but worth it.   Just put in a movie (or in my case Word Girl) and it will be over before you know it. 

This is what the top and sides looked liked after being detached.

For the sides that needed hemmed, I just folded it over ~1/2" and pinned.

I then sewed a 1/8" seam allowance.

In order to make my pocket/sleeve that would hold my curtain rod, I decided to use the existing material that made up the rest of the bedskirt.  I made a guess, based on the width of my rod, how long my material needed to be.  The length is based on the length of your curtain.  If it is too long, you can always cut or fold under the excess. 

I pinned it to the wrong side of my curtain along the top edge.

I then sewed a 1/8" seam allowance along the top of the curtain edge

To give the top a more professional appearance I folded it over ~1/2", pinned down on the reverse side (b/c you will be sewing on the other side) and then sewed.

You can see above, that I sewed on the 'right side' of the fabric.  The top will be showing so you want it to look really nice. 

Use that first line of sewing as a mark for your second line of sewing and then sew another line of topstiching. 

Now for the hardest, and most important, part of the entire project.  If you do not take care when doing this step, your curtain will not hang straight and all your time will have been wasted!

In the picture above, make note of how I am using my ruler to mark exactly where I want the bottom of my sleeve to be.  This type of ruler works nice b/c you can push it up flush against the top of your curtain in order to create a straight line on the bottom of the sleeve.  For my curtain, 3 1/2" was the perfect length for my sleeve to enable the rod to fit in nice and snug.  Once you make this determination just fold the excess material under and then pin.  If you have a lot of excess, I suggest you take the time to cut some of it off.  Move all along the top of the curtain until you have the entire sleeve pinned.

Once you are for sure the bottom of your sleeve is straight, take it to the machine and stitch.  I just used the edge of my foot as my guide.

You can see in the picture above that my valence rod fits nice and snug!  So satisfying!

It also hangs straight!  I was so proud of my first one!  I could not believe I had just made my first curtain and it actually looked like a curtain! 

My friend needed four of the valences for her bedroom.  One was for the door....

While 3 were for windows around her bed. 

Bedskirt to pillows

I had some extra material so I decided to make a couple of pillows to match!

*Be sure to iron your curtain fabric before you begin.  The white mesh material that makes up most of the bedskirt is not iron proof.  It will melt onto your iron!  So be careful!  I barely touched it and it left a huge hole in one of my curtains and I had to remove the entire piece and start over.  You cannot even iron on any of the curtain fabric if the white mesh material is directly behind it.  The white mesh material will adhere to your fabric and you will no longer have an opening for your rod!  To avoid this you could use any other material to make the sleeve for your rod.

*If you make the valence sleeve too wide, it will not bunch up nicely.  If you make it too small, you will not be able to fit the rod into the sleeve.   So take your time and measure right the first time.

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