Ascot valances are an attractive way to frame your window. You can use them with or without drapes or curtains, in any fabric or color you choose, and create a sense of depth and texture that not only dresses up your windows, but your whole room.
Things You'll Need
- Tape measure
- Pattern paper
- 3 yards muslin
- Sewing needle
- Sewing machine
- Sewing scissors
How to Sew Ascot Valances
Sketch your window. Decide how far you want your ascot valance to hang below the top edge of your window pane. Decide if you want the fabric to be smooth or gathered. Decide whether you want it to come to a lower point in the center of the window's top third of the panes, or if you want the fabric edge to be an even span.
Measure the width of your window. Measure how far from the top edge of your window frame you want the ascot valance to hang. Note the measurements. For a smooth finish, add 4 inches to the side measurement, and 2 inches to the top and bottom edges. For a gathered finish, add 4 inches to the sides and 12 inches to the top and bottom edges.
Iron your muslin and lay on your cutting surface. Using a ruler and tailor's chalk, mark out a rectangle using the measurements you have just calculated. Cut the rectangle out. Fold over each short edge 1/4 of an inch, iron and sew in place. Repeat on each side. Repeat to the bottom edge, making the second fold 1/2 an inch and sew in place. Fold the top edge 1/4 of an inch and sew in place. Fold over 3 inches and sew in place along the very edge of the fold.
Thread onto the curtain rod to test the effect. Make notations of any changes you want to make. Add more inches to the top and bottom edges for a tighter gather, or subtract for a looser gather or a smoother finish. Add more inches to the sides for a longer ascot valance, or subtract inches for a shorter one.
Iron your final fabric. Lay fabric face down on your cutting table. Using your notations from your muslin, trace out your final shape using a ruler and tailor's chalk. Cut out. Finish the seams using the same techniques outlined in Step 3. If using your ascot valance with pre-existing curtains or drapes, mount rod for your ascot valance and place you new piece on it.
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