gathered valance & drapes for girl's nursery

Growing up, I loved the Amelia Bedelia books. Who am I kidding? I still love them. But, as a child, I never understood why Mrs. Rogers got mad that Amelia drew the drapes. Isn't that what they asked her to do?

They are beautiful drapes, after all. Is that pom pom trim I spy? For the love of pom pom trim, I say, "Draw away, Amelia, draw away!"

Speaking of drapes, I have begun the task of sewing window treatments for my daughter's nursery, and I thought I would share the fun. I'm afraid there are no power tools to be used for this project -  only my trusty sewing machine. But first...

First, I measured my windows to decide the finished width of my valance. They measured 48" including the window casing.  I added 8" to that measurement, and I had my finished width: 56". I decided on a length of 16".

Then, I had to pick out the fabric. I wanted something to incorporate all of the colors I am using in her nursery (blue, green, pink, white, and beige). I found this awesome fabric at Boca Bargoons for a steal because it is what is called a "second", which means there were some flaws in the printing.  There are some white streaks that run down the length of the fabric, but since I had decided to do a gathered valance, I figured it would be okay.

I walked out with six and a half yards - enough for two gathered valances and four 96" strips to create a leading edge on my drapery panels.

Here is a list of all of the supplies I purchased for these window treatments:

6.5 yards of patterned fabric (see note about fabric repeat below)
3 yards of drapery lining (I bought mine for $5/yard at Hobby Lobby
which came out to $10 and change after their everyday 30% discount...gotta love that!)
one 1x4x10, cut into two 56" pieces
four 2" L-brackets
screws and anchors
two packages of pom pom trim, 12 yards each (purchased from here)
four white blackout panels (on sale from JCPenney here)

Note: If using a patterned fabric, you should consider the fabric repeat.
Since my valance is gathered, I needed three widths of fabric, to be pieced together end to end and gathered for each valance. Even though the valance was to be gathered, I still wanted the pattern to line up vertically. My fabric has a repeat of 24". I only needed 18" for the length of the valance, so that meant I would have 6" leftover for each width of fabric. Perfect. Better to have a little leftover...I'm going to use those pieces to make little tiebacks. All that to say, when I was figuring out how much fabric I needed, I based it off of the fabric repeat (24") instead of the actual length of the valance. I needed 6 widths of fabric for both valances. So... 6 x 24" = 144", or 4 yards for the valances. Plus 2.5 yards for the fabric strips for the leading edge on my panels. Hence...6.5 yards.

When I cut the pieces for the valance, I made sure to line up the fabric pattern so that the pattern would be exactly the same on each width of fabric. Like so:

Then I used my trusty rotary cutter to cut six identical pieces, 18" by 54" (the width of the fabric). my rotary cutter. Get one. It will change your life.
Use a 60% off coupon at Joann's, but get one!

Then, I cut my lining fabric into six 18" by 54" pieces.

I sewed three of the pieces of patterned fabric together, end to end, right sides together, to make one long 18" wide strip of fabric. Then I did the same with three of the drapery lining pieces.

Once I had pressed my seams open, I sewed the lining to the fabric, right sides together, on the bottom and sides. Then I trimmed the corners and turned it right side out and ironed the
entire 18" by 165" piece. So yeah, lots of ironing...but don't be dismayed...
here comes the sun fun...doo 'n doo doo....

It's time for the pom pom trim! YAY!

I topstitched the pom pom trim to the bottom of the valance. I considered sandwiching the trim between the fabric and the lining or attaching it to the back, but I liked the look of the pom pom trim with the ribbon part showing (no idea what that is really called...maybe the seam allowance?).

Next step: staple the valance to the board. I kinda cheated here. I probably should have gathered the valance by stitching two rows of basting stitch across the top and pulling the ends, but I didn't know if it would work with the thick drapery lining I used. So I decided to make little box pleats instead. I drew a line across the board at 1" so I knew where to staple my fabric, and I got to it.

 First I stapled the ends, making little folds as I went. Then I stapled the middle of the fabric to the middle of the board to help me keep the fullness of the valance even. I just made little box pleats as I went and adjusted as needed. There is a more mathematical way to do this, but right now pregnancy brain is full force, so I opted for trial and error. Actually, it turned out pretty good the first time around, and I like the uniformity of the pleats vs a basting stitch gather.

You can see below how I hid the imperfections within the folds of the fabric. Never to be seen! Then I followed the same process with the rest of the fabric for the second valance.

For the drapes, I purchased lined drapes from J.C. Penney, on sale, and I added a leading edge with the valance fabric and pom pom trim. I simply cut a 95" long rectangle of fabric, about 7" wide.  I folded the raw edges under a half inch and ironed them in place. Like so:

Then I pinned the band to the inside edge of the white curtains and top-stitched along the edge, making sure not to sew the rod pocket closed at the top. You could also use fabric glue to do this, but I prefer mine stitched. 

Then I top-stitched the pom pom trim to the leading edge and I was done!

Now look at those drapes. Oh Amelia! Draw the drapes, would you? Any way you like!

Stay tuned...nursery reveal coming very soon!