Saturday, November 20, 2010

Not as simple as it looks

For such a simple-looking valance style, there was not one step in the fabrication that was easy.

We were asked to duplicate this valance, which is made out of a nice sturdy cotton.  Our yellow stripe is a paper-thin fine silk.

The patterns were drafted based on the photo.  There are two valances this size, and one with five sections.
The two small valances have seven individual pieces- 2 scallops, 2 returns, and 3 jabots; and the large valance has 13 individual pieces.

To help make it easier to sew the welt to the stripe without puckering I fused the fabric pieces to Rowley's fabric stabilizer- a knit interfacing that adds stability and substance without stiffness.
Oh, boy, I love this stuff.  I bought it several years ago and never used it til now.
This was as eye-opening as glue basting was earlier in the year!
Interlining might have made it easier, but the order did not call for interlining.

All the little return pieces have a painfully close curve at the bottom, so I took special care with them.  Here you see five of them in different stages of completion:  I traced the piece onto the napped lining and pinned it without cutting the curve in the lining.  Then sewed on the welting and pinned it back to the traced shape and sewed around.  After it was sewn I trimmed off the lining around the curve.  The seams were graded before turning and then the piece was carefully ironed.....

Using this pressing ham to try to keep puckers out of the curve..... with varying degrees of success.  As a 35-year vegetarian, this is the closest I get to ham.

Once all the pieces were cut, sewn, turned, and pressed, time to staple.  The little "jabots" were pleated into place and stapled.  Then to compensate for the bulk of the jabots, I built up the board edge to the same height using rolled fabric, so the top would be even.

At long last, all done!

I'm so glad I'm not installing these.  I dressed these valances a dozen times already, at different stages along the way, and now it's someone else's turn!

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