The article I was reading included a little snippet about easy trims to add to simple linen curtains that really jazzed them up.
I thought that the one using bias tape was perfect as I hadn't wanted to do one plain color, but didn't really want a big crazy pattern either.
Inspiration for my curtain rods came when I saw these awesome finials in The Land of Nod catalog.
They were a little on the spendy side, however, at $20 per set! Yeah. Right. I figured that I could probably learn how to make that knot using real rope so I did a little research and found this awesome link with a video tutorial. Took about an hour until I had mastered the monkey fist with some leftover rope from another project. I realized that this was perfect as I already had two curtain rods the correct sizes, but they were a slightly different finish and shape. Painting them and adding the rope would cover up their differences easily.
Within a few days I had measured my windows (80" and 36") and rounded up all my materials needed.
- Linen fabric ($12.49/yard)......................................$31.25
- Thread (two colors)..............................................$2.48
- Quilt binding (two 3 yards each)................................$3
- Rustoleum spray paint in flat white (1).........................$3.77
- Natural manila rope (1/4in. thick, 50 feet)....................$5.60
- 1in. clip rings (three packs of 10 at $3.99 each)...............$11.97
Not too shabby I say. I already had the curtain rods though, which can end up being a little spendy. I found this awesome link that shows you how to make your own rod on the cheap if you are interested in saving cash.
Next came the doing. I decided that I wanted a flat panel, no folding or pleats. This would make the sewing process a lot easier. I also opted for no lining as the linen was already quite thick and this was more for looks than function anyway. I made the decision to sew the panel as I would for a pocket rod with a 3 inch folded top because I wanted it to still look professional. When the sun shines through it, you can see where the folds are and I just thought it would look better overall.
I started off by measuring the width I would need. The larger window was 80 inches across. I wanted two extra inches on each side. Then I would need the excess fabric for folding and creating clean edges. I added another inch and 1/4 to each side. Total width to cut would be 86.5 inches.
Then I measured what length I thought it should be. Valances range from 15 to 24 inches normally. I decided to go with 17 inches. I added another 4 inches to the top and 1/2 inch to the bottom. Only 1/2 bottom because my bias tape is 3/4 inch wide on each side. This would cover the bottom seam and I didn't want to add extra bulk. Total was 21.5 inches.
Got out my trusty cutting mat and rotary blade and went to town.
First folds were the two sides. I folded and ironed at 1/2 inch, then folded it over again and ironed at 3/4 inch.
I sewed a straight seam with the left side of my foot hitting the edge of the fold. Repeated on the other side.
Next was the top. I folded and ironed 1 inch. Here is a shot of my folding and ironing method. I don't use pins, just take a ruler with me to the ironing board (yes, mom, I know you'll have a comment on that ruler).
Then fold over again at 3 inches.
Sewed down using the same method as before.
Had I actually made a full pocket rod, I would have made another stitch 2 inches down from the top. This would make the 2 inch pocket for the rod to go in.
Next step is measure 17 inches from the top and fold. I chose to measure from the top because I know my cutting is not always perfect.
Which of course it wasn't. I had almost an inch extra on the bottom in some spots instead of my desired 1/2 inch.
Here is how I cut off the extra. Super simple. Just line up your clear ruler along the ironed fold and use your cutter to slice at 1/2 inch.
Always good to measure from the top!
I then sewed the 1/2 inch flap down on the bottom.
Next came bias tape.
To make a clean edge I folded and ironed about 1/4 inch on the end.
Then wrapped it around the bottom edge of the valance and pinned it in place.
When I reached the end, I snipped with 1/4 inch left, folded and ironed, same as the other side.
Thread color change and another line up with the presser foot
Snipped all my ends and round 1 valance was done! I then repeated the process with the second smaller curtain.
Now for the fun part! Monkey fists!
Here are my nice sprayed white finials.
I knew the bottom edge would show so I decided to paint the whole thing anyway. Crazy, I know.
After a few tries I was cruising and before I knew it they were all done!
Next was the fun hanging part. I spaced my hooks about 4.5 inches apart in case you are wondering.
I think they turned out pretty all right...