Since we took the exterior door out of our laundry room and replaced it with a window, new curtains were in order. Our laundry room is eclectic, bright by design, and also doubles as jewelry supply storage and ready-made curtains or valances didn’t have the pattern I was looking for. So off to Joann Fabrics, my home away from home, to get some fabric.
I should come clean and divulge that I do own a very nice sewing machine given to me by my mother years ago. And yes, I do know how to use it! However, it is in the basement and would have required some serious muscle and a lot of persuasion with the hubby to haul it upstairs. Besides, I am a very impatient person, and iron-on hem tape was a quick fix! In less than an hour, I made two valences, and had them hanging up and was pretty proud of myself too!
Supplies – short & sweet:
• Tape measure
• Heat N’ Bond iron on hem tape (I always use the “super hold”)
Here’s what I did:
First, I measured the approximate height that I wanted the curtains to be (my window is 32” wide and 32” tall, I wanted my valance to be about 15” finished). I added two inches on the top and one and a half inch on the bottom to accommodate the hems. My fabric was 58” wide, so I didn’t need to cut any of the width, I just cut the length. The measurement was 15” + 2” + 1.5” = 18.5” for total length.
After I had my fabric the size I wanted it, I turned it over so the backside was facing up. I measured an inch hem on each side, turned it over, and ironed the hem so it would stay folded over. I cut a piece of the iron-on hem tape the length of the side (18.5 inches) and placed it inside the folded over hem, ironed over the section for about one minute and went on to the other side and did the same steps.
I then went to the top of the valance and measured 2”, folded it over, ironed a hem and cut a 12” piece of iron-on hem tape and placed it just inside the hem so it was flush with the top of the hem and ironed it for about 30 seconds. And continued this process until I had made it across all 58”. It goes better to do it in 12” strips so it is easier to handle on the ironing board. It is important that the iron-on tape be at the top of the hem so there is an inch below that isn’t ironed shut for the curtain rod to slide through.
I did the same process for the bottom hem. The bottom hem is only 1.5” because you don’t need a wide hem to accommodate a curtain rod.
When the curtain was done, I used a spring tension rod so the valance would fit inside the window and didn’t require any hardware to be used (or bug hubby for power tools, level, etc.).