Thursday, July 5, 2012

Living Room Drapes

The first year we were in our house, we agonized over our existing downstairs curtains.  They were well-made and performed adequately, but the style was hopelessly outdated and not exactly our taste.
So I began a tireless campaign of searching for the perfect curtains within our budget.  We wanted matching curtain panels and valences, but couldn't seem to find any in a pattern we liked.  Finally, I purchased some beautiful and budget-friendly panels from JC Penny during one of their many sales.  I settled on a deep chocolate brown, solid color, fully lined.  But of course, there were no valences to match such a simple panel.  Sigh....

So I jumped in feet first and purchased double the number of panels I actually needed so that I could create my own valences out of the extras.  I really wanted valences because I like the look of the pinched pleats at the top.
However, when the curtains are open, you get a clear view of an ugly curtain rod.  Enchanting....
Since I really didn't want to tackle learning how do pinched pleats if I didn't have to, I figured the extra expense of the additional panels was justified.

I measured a few inches down from the ceiling and hung the valence curtain rod at that height.  I then measured from the curtain rod to just below the top of the window.  I now have a measured length for the valence.  I then took an extra panel and measured from the top down to the desired length.  I think I really should have allowed an extra 6" for the hem, but in reality I only allowed about 4".  I then ironed a crease to start the hem at 2", then another crease another 2" up from there.  I then folded up the hem into the 2 creases and hand-stitched the top of the hem in place.

I then stitched as many valence panels together as needed to cover the width of each window.  For the window pictured below, I actually used 3 panels for the width.

If you look closely (or maybe not THAT closely), you can see a bit of stiffness where the panels are stitched together, but overall I'm very pleased with the result.  It took a little work, but I was able to get exactly the look I wanted and it was really pretty easy.

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