I love a challenge!
This valance from Country Curtains was my challenge because this is what the client was shown for her master bathroom window. This is where it gets tricky, because the designer told me it was a Kingston valance.
Two very different valances.
Hence, here’s where the whining comes in!
The valance above is a rod pocket valance meaning it hangs from a rod, and the Kingston valance is a board mounted valance. These two types of valances are constructed totally opposite from each other.
I love making Kingston valances. I have been making them for years now and can basically do them in my sleep. I have Joan Willis’ Patterns Plus pattern for these and my poor pattern has been cut into quarters as I use her pattern as a starting point and alter them to fit the project. Her pattern is the best out there and I highly recommend it!
This is the Country Curtains valance I got to use a pattern. Before I ripped it apart, I put it on a rod to get a sense of the fullness and length before and after being shirred on a rod. This is supposed to be for a window width 24″ – 50″ wide. Yeah, right. No way would I use it for a window over 36″. Of course, I knew that before I even shirred it on. It is a ready made curtain for a certain market and that is fine. It’s just not for my customers.
My challenge was to adjust this for a window that measures 62″ wide, with a length of at least 18″ – 20″ instead of the 15″ it measured. I also had to add another swag since we want 3 swags for the opening and this valance has two.
This is my pattern piece under the Country Curtains piece I cut apart. Note the difference in size. Where you see the sides of the pattern left and right, this is actually the center of the bell. The bottom is actually straight unlike a Kingston where the bottom is shaped. I gathered this swag section up to find out where I needed to insert a hidden seam so that my bells would not have a seam down the center. AAAAGGHHH!!!!!!
That would look just lovely now, wouldn’t it?
This is the pattern piece I made showing the diagonal line on the left where the seam is to be placed so that when it is gathered on the rod and dressed out, it won’t be noticeable. I then cut on this line so that now I have strictly a swag pattern and then made a separate pattern for the bell.
This is the pattern for the bell. You’ll note that I cut it in half and spread it out because my pattern repeats need to match both vertically and horizontally.
These are the cut pieces. The bottom is the bell with a return on each side and above it are the two single bell pieces which are sewn between the swags.
This is the swag piece.
This is what the valance looks like when all pieces are sewn together. You’ll note that all repeats match and are lined up. Interestingly, unlike the Kingston, the left side where you see all the shapes is actually where the rod pocket sleeve is attached. The bottom is straight and where I will attach the trim. I then cut out the lining. I always railroad the lining for long valances like this because I hate seams and hate seeing seams when the light shines through them. I don’t care if this is based on a Country Curtains valance, it is a custom valance and that’s what I do.
This is a beautiful pleated trim from Fabricut and the fabric is from Thibaut. Usually I insert the trim in the seam, but this was so pretty on its own and I liked the way the pleated edge stood up nicely so I decided to topstitch it on the front.
After that, I made the facing for the rod pocket and attached it to the curved edge which is now my top so that when I gather it onto the rod, it will look fabulous!
It actually took more time planning and pattern making than the actual sewing together. Once I got past the whining/wine-ing, it wasn’t that bad.
I will post a photo of the finished valance when I install it this Monday. Stay tuned…..