Wednesday, February 25, 2015

I'll have the Bordeaux

M'Fay's Bordeaux valance has always been one of my fave top treatment looks.  So when I was asked by Christopher Matson to create a valance with a super-minimal one-pleat swag, and some sort of tapering tails, I suddenly realized that a Bordeaux variation would fit the bill.
I quickly sketched my variation and immediately got the designer's approval.  (OK I'd like to know how many of you prefer a pencil and paper over a computer design program!)

Then I quickly determined proportions using my sophisticated rendering software (haha) on a photo of the window.
Besides altering the size of the pattern, I made a few modifications- I gave the swag a graceful dip, and the jabots a bit more of an angle.

By the way, the Bordeaux is the only top treatment I have on display in the workroom.  That's how much this valance is my favorite!

Anyhow.  These 3 valances were to be made from an print underlayer with an embroidered tulle overlay:
The first challenge was to get the pattern balanced on the pieces.  Luckily this wonderful fabric has a true mirror image print, although staggered halfway down.  That made it possible to have the same motif- flower, ribbon- on both left and right jabots.  It took a lot of laying out, tracing, and taping to get the cutting plan in place.
I started by taping out all the jabots, to make sure they could all be cut from the available yardage.
Red, blue, and green ink tracing the ribbon motif in order to determine how to make the left and right jabots the same. 
Ready to start cutting!
Once the pieces were cut, the tulle was laid over it for cutting.
It was basted around all sides: the top and curve were basted by hand, and the sides with fusible webbing.  The basting kept the layers together for sewing on the microcord, and also served as staystitching.
I lined the jabots part way up with the same tulle-covered print.

Not shown: I piped the jabot with 1/16" microcord made from a muted dupioni silk which I bulked up with fusible fabric stabilizer.  I had intended to sew the crystal bead trim by hand, but it wasn't turning out well, so I did end up using Sealah tape, and reinforcing it with stitching.
I used colored pins to mark the complex fold lines so I wouldn't get them mixed up, and secured the folds with a tag gun. 
I love how the microcord gives a neat finish to the back side of the jabots.
At the top, I applied a slightly larger microcord, about 3/16", and I liked it going under the jabots, not all the way across the whole board.  I love how the jabots pour over the edge.  The microcords were a time-consuming detail that probably no one will ever notice, but they make all the difference.

Finished!  I'm happy- off to installation!  Once the valances were up, installer Mario meticulously dressed the folds with a tag gun for training, and the next time we're there, we'll clip them out.

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