Making A Lined Valance

A lined valance gives a nice finished look to a window. Here's how to make some different kinds of lined valance.

Types of Linings

Lining fabric: This is usually a flimsy synthetic fabric used to line jackets and skirts. It's inexpensive and relatively easy to work with. Its function is to make a slippery surface so that two pieces of fabric don't stick together, and to add a little "body" to the garment. Of course, when used in a valance, the additional body is what matters.

Self-lining: This means lining the valance with another piece of the same fabric. The result is a valance that looks the same from the outside of the window as from the inside.

Contrasting lining: This means using a contrasting or coordinating fabric to line the valance. The contrasting fabric peeks out and adds interest.

Blackout lining: Blackout is fabric that does not let light through. When used to line curtains, it darkens a room; when used with a valance, its main function would be not to let the valance fade.

Making the Valance

Any type of valance can be made with a lining, although some are easier than others. Here are some easy ways to line valances that only require modest sewing machine skills.

Swag valance: Since a swag is just a draped piece of fabric, it's very easy to line. Just cut a piece of your chosen lining fabric the same size as the swag. Lay them out right sides together and pin them together around three edges and all but a few inches of the middle of the fourth edge. You'll leave those few inches open to turn the valance right-side out. Start sewing on the edge that will have the open area, and sew around the whole valance, leaving about ½" seam allowance all the way around.

When you get to each of the corners, do a few backstitches and forward stitches to reinforce the corner. Trim the seam allowance to about ¼" and very carefully cut diagonally across the corners, being careful not to cut the stitching. Use the open space to turn the valance right side out, making sure to turn the corners all the way. Press the valance so that the seam is sharp. To close the open area, pin the edges together and hand-stitch. If you feel confident with your sewing machine, you can add "top-stitching" – a row of stitching ¼" from the finished edge all the way around. This is optional, but can be decorative and also serves to keep the seam in place. Keep in mind that the lining of a swag valance is likely to be quite visible due to the way the swag is draped.

Gathered valance: You can easily line a gathered valance much the same way as the swag above was lined. The only difference is to leave TWO open areas on the opposite ends for the rod to go through. Measure so you get the rod channel straight. After you turn the valance right-side out and press it, sew a line of stitching the length of the fabric, connecting the tops of the two openings, and then repeat to connect the bottoms of the openings, to make the rod channel.