Friday, January 27, 2017

Another Hybrid Soft Cornice: part 1

Here's the latest in my collection of completed soft cornice projects!  Designed by Elizabeth Harlow, this started out as a simple shaped kick pleated valance, and morphed into a soft cornice with an open pleat header and knotted rope trim.  I tried some new (new to me, that is) methods and am thrilled with the outcome.
There are 5 layers of materials.  The face fabric is paddeded with heavy flannel interlining.  The scalloped sections and returns are stiffened with buckram (Skirtex), but not the pleats.  The entire valance is layered with blackout lining; and the back is plain lining with a self-fabric facing.  In between the face and lining is self-fabric 1/16" microcording. 
The rope trim was knotted and attached with hot glue.
It has so much more substance than a soft valance, yet is sleek compared to an upholstered wood cornice.
I took lots of photos during fabrication, so I think I'll split this project into several posts.  Today will focus on preparation.   The treatment began with the excellent template made by Elizabeth out of foam board.
The template was created to determine proportion, not the exact shape, so all I had to do was refine the curves and make my patterns.
Together we marked the central pattern motif.  I made my 4 identical cuts- 1 for each section and 1 for the returns, and cut them to shape before sewing together- a departure from my usual method for sectioned valances.
The sides of each scallop were extended to create the pleats, and the top and bottom of the pleat section marked with tape.
A white chalk line marked the edge of the pleat.  This was very faint and had brushed itself away by the end of the fabrication.
 The excess fabric is cut away with a 2" allowance. 
The bottom line was marked with white chalk or purple pen.  I especially want to mark the point where the pleat ends and the curve begins- the pen is pointing to one of those spots.  This mark comes in handy later, as you'll see in the next photos, so it needs to be dark.  You can see here that the sections have been sewn together.  That seam hides on the inside of a pleat so it's never visible.
Here the valance has been stapled onto the board.  I used the purple marks to be certain that the curves are meeting each other at the right point.  You can see them on each side of the pleat.
The other end of the pen has the magic eraser- and ALWAYS test that purple pen on each fabric before using it, to make sure the eraser will remove the mark!
In the next blog post, I will show how I applied the trim, added and secured the various layers, and finished the back.  Right now I'm going back to work!  See you Monday......


  1. This lovely. I enjoy your blog so much. I know it's a lot of extra time to document the steps and write it up so I truly appreciate the effort. Thank you!

    1. Jodi thank you so much! And I'm really glad you enjoy the blog. You made my day 😁

  2. Just beautiful! Thank you so much for detailed instructions with photos. I've learned so much esp that adding linings, buckrman etc makes a superior finished product.

    1. Sheila thanks for your feedback- it makes me so happy that you've learned so much from this post!