How comfortable with sewing are you? Would you like to a quick and easy project that you can do yourself to create a window valance/ruffle out of any fabric you find? Here you go! There are only three lines of stitching in this project. Very little measuring, and gorgeous results.
This project actually started almost two years ago, when I painted our current kitchen a pale ice blue we had left over from painting a bedroom. To try something different, I painted the ceiling of the kitchen a deep, high-gloss navy. You can see just a little bit of the ceiling in the finished curtain picture below. As much as I adore the contrast in the paint colors, trying to find a ready made curtain for the kitchen has proven impossible. Lots of kitchen curtains are to frilly, not the right color, too white, so on and so forth. Did I mention too expensive?
So, when I brought home this fabric from Sewing Club and was trying to figure out what ‘it’ wanted to be, I decided it would be perfect for my Mom’s kitchen. She didn’t love it as much as I did, and then… I figured out it would be a great fabric for MY kitchen! Yes, sometimes it does take an extra time around the block for me to figure something out, LOL!
With my trip the end of this week I needed to make this project quickly, and with the minimum of measuring. And since straight lines are not my forte, a design that does not rely on those would be fabulous. Here is the tutorial based on my quick project. It took me about one hour, including breaks for Ms. Diva, to complete.
– Piece of fabric, selvage to selvage (the edges of the fabric that feel thicker and don’t fray) The piece I used was 3/4 of a yard, 44″ wide.
– Coordinating Thread, bobbin loaded with same or matching thread
– Spring loaded curtain rod (These are awesome! Under $10, they fit in any window opening or between cabinets like I used here.)
– Something to measure with that is stiff.
– Pinking shears, great for many projects as using them keeps fabric from fraying.
Before beginning your sewing, wash and dry your fabric with your normal laundry. This way you can just take down the curtain and throw it in the wash when you are doing your Spring/Fall cleaning. You won’t have to worry about the fabric shrinking or drying ‘weird’.
Start by ironing out your fabric. Starting every project with freshly ironed fabric will give you better results.
Match up the rough edges (the ones that are fraying) and sew together with the ‘right sides’ together (the bright side of the fabric). Sew using the standard straight machine comes with. If you want to, you can lengthen your stitch to 3.0 mm.
After you finish the first ‘seam’, trim the excess using your pinking shears. Cut the excess to about 1/4″ from the seam. By using the pinking shears the fabric won’t continue to fray when you wash it in the future.
Next we want to iron out the seam. At this point you don’t want to press any lines into the fabric you don’t have to. The trick to ironing one seam for a tube, without pressing all the edges is to line up your seam down the ‘middle’ of the tube. Iron the seam, pressing the fabric edge in one direction (left or right). Pull the fabric from both sides of the seam to make sure the fabric is smooth.
Turn the fabric tube inside out. Move the seam until it is about 6 inches from the top edge of the tube. Now iron both edges. Try to keep the seam the same distance from the top edge along the entire length. Perfection isn’t necessary, but the straighter the better.
Looking at the plate of your sewing machine, most machines will have a mark showing 1″ from the needle position. Line up the top edge of your fabric at that line, and start stitching using the same straight stitch you used earlier. (this is the one step I didn’t get a photo of, ugh!!!)
Grab the curtain rod you are using. The one I used is about 3/4″ wide. So, I measured 1.5″ from the line I just stitched. Make sure it will work with your rod by laying them out with the rod on top. Then line up the fabric under the sewing maching foot, and see if your machine has another handy mark to use to line up your fabric while stitching.
If your machine does not have a mark, you can add a temporay line by placing a strip of tape, and marking your line with a sharpie. Make sure the sharpie has completly dried before you place your fabric back under the sewing machine foot.
Then stitch your last seam keeping your fabric lined up with the mark.
Thread the finished curtain onto the curtain rod, and you are ready to place your newly finished, completly gorgeous curtain!
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