A few months ago, I decided that I wanted new curtains/drapes for our bedroom. Steve and I LOVE sleeping in the absolute pitch black, so up till now we’ve just had some black out curtains up that we bought a few years ago. They were so long and skinny, though, that we had to use 3 panels to cover the window adequately, and I had to trim them so they would fit lengthwise.
So, I decided to move on to homemade curtains that had a sewn-in blackout material panel. I also wanted to do a small valance that would let light in during the day but still cover up the mini blinds when they were pulled up. Plus, I think a valance looks pretty, and we have a double curtain rod anyway.
I measured the curtain rod rather than the window to get the width that I wanted, then added another inch or so for seam allowance. I didn’t want a flouncy/ruffly valance, and it was also convenient that a flat one is easier to sew and arrange! I didn’t really measure the length (height?) of the valance because I just made it out of a scrap from when I cut out the main curtain material. However, this length ended up being perfect, as it just barely covers the blinds during the day when they are pulled up snugly.
Here is how I constructed the valance. I have a Janome Magnolia machine and used stitch size 2.
1. On one long edge, fold fabric under to create a 1/2 inch hem.
2. On all the other edges, fold fabric under twice to create a 1/2 inch double hem. This will keep everything tucked in neatly, and prevent fraying from use and washing.
3. Sew all hems with a 1/4 inch seam allowance (this is the width of the presser foot on my machine; double check yours).
4. Fold over the single hemmed long edge 2 1/2 inches so that you now have a sleeve to put the curtain rod through. Sew with a 1/4 inch seam.