Thursday, July 21, 2016

Mock Hobbled valance

There are so many ways to make mock hobbled valances!  I've looked back over my photo archives and discovered that if I've made 30 of these, I've made them 30 different ways.  But this one, for Paris Interiors, is my favorite method, so far.
 I've made them with flat backs, and with tapes.  I've made them with pockets and without; I've made them with ribs and without.; I've made them like actual mini-shades.   I do not like seeing the rows of stitching on the flat backs; I hate seeing pockets and ribs; and I even more don't like seeing tapes.  A pet peeve with tapes is the potential for a little hint of sagging in between the tapes.  I wanted a clean back and substantial, even folds.
I sent 4 photos to Liz with various pattern placement options.  This is the layout she chose.
I wrote all over it so I wouldn't forget.
Because the interlining created take-up and dimension, the finished length turned out a little less than the flat folded mock-up: an important point to keep in mind when the exact finished length is critical.  In this case, keeping the pattern true was of greater importance than the precise length.
After trimming the face fabric to size, the interlining was laid in, cut to the exact finished width and length, and locked in place with little catch stitches to the face.
The piece was turned face up over a half-width strip of lining, and the first fold line marked with purple pen.
This fold line was hand-sewn with a back-stitch.  I have in the past sewn these lines by machine, but I do not like having to shift the piece back and forth, smoothing and measuring every time, and worrying about take-up with the long horizontal sewing line.  Instead of shifting, smoothing, and measuring, I just left it on the table and used the time to sew by hand and keep the piece true.
The next fold was laid in place, the vertical pattern alignment checked with a straightedge against the printed grid canvas.
After doing this three times, I had a treatment ready for finishing.
At the top the layers were secured with another catch stitch.
I flipped the valance over- there were my lovely lines of backstitching.
The lining was tucked in and trimmed.
A fresh, flat piece of lining was layered over the stitched lining and tucked in.
The bottom was hand-hemmed.  As you can see, the sides remain unfinished.
At the top the layers were folded over so they would be graded as they would be over the board, then staple-basted.
Legs were cut from 1/4" hobby hardwood board, covered, and nailed at the ends, then the valance was stapled onto the board.
The raw edges of the valance ends were tucked under and hand-sewn to the covered legs.
Assessment: I'm thrilled with it!  No sloppy back.  No sagging between tapes because there are no tapes.  No machine-stitching take-up.  No shifting back and forth from machine to table with every row.
What I'll do differently:  this method took a little more time than it needed to.  The horizontal rows of stitching worked beautifully but since they're covered they didn't have to be those dainty back-stitches- the job could have been done with a larger, quicker running stitch.  I really didn't have to interlock the interlining at the top trimmed to the board edge; it could've folded over the board.   I pressed the bottom hem ahead of time and then had to adjust it because the folds turned out a little smaller than I had expected so the bottom row was too wide; next time I'll fold it in at the end.  And next time I'll use Domette for an even more substantial look.

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