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I found fabric I bought months ago that I intended to use for a ruffled curtain valance.  If you love ruffles and hate to use gathering stitches you should check into a machine
ruffler.  The following is a guideline to create a ruffled valance and it’s all straight stitching and pretty darn easy.

Getting Started

Choose your fabrics.   I’ve used a floral print for the curtain; a solid for a coordinating edge; dot on black for the ruffle; dot on white for the lining.

Decide how long you want the full valance.  Don’t forget your curtain rod hangs above the window and you need to allow height for that.

Trim off selvedge of fabrics.

Begin Sewing

Cut your first piece of fabric the desired height and width and add ½” at the top and bottom and each side to allow for hems and seams.  I want a finished 10” x60” piece, so I’m cutting it 11” x 61” .

Cut your second fabric the same length and desired height.  I wanted to edge my valance piece with a contrasting 2” edge to highlight the nutmeg coloring.  Again I added ½” + ½” for my top and bottom seam so I cut it to 3” x 61” long.

With right sides together stitch the top of the contrast to the bottom of the curtain with a ½” seam.  Don’t forget your basic math – that’s 4/8” on your sewing machine.

Press this seam flat toward the contrast strip.

Measure the finished piece of the two fabrics sewn together.  Cut a piece of the lining fabric the same size.

With right sides together stitch the lining to the curtain on both side edges and at the top.

Turn inside out and press.

Ruffled Edge

Cut your ruffle fabric the desired height measurement + ½” + ½” for seam and hem.  I want my ruffle to be 2” so I cut it 3”.

Fold under ¼” at bottom of ruffle and press.  Fold this edge under again, press and stitch close to the edge.

I am using a machine ruffler so I sewed together several strips (right sides together) to create a really, really long piece of fabric to be ruffled.

To use a machine ruffler, replace your presser foot with the ruffle foot.

Place your needle shaft through the ruffle shaft.

Set your stitch setting on the ruffler to the desired stitch feed.  You can test some fabrics to see which you prefer.

Manually feed the raw edge of your fabric under the ruffler teeth.

Note:  I usually set my machine to the slowest speed and stop every couple of ruffles because the needle shaft often comes loose and needs to be retightened.

Start stitching.  The ruffler slowly stitches and then feeds a
big chunk of fabric through while stitching it down to create the ruffle.

Make a piece long enough to go the width of your curtain + 1/2″ + 1/2″ for the side edges to be turned under and top stitched.

With right sides together pin the raw ruffled edge of the ruffle to the bottom of the curtain.  Stitch with a ½” seam.

Rod Pocket and

To create the rod pocket stitch 1”-2” from the top of the valance the entire width of the curtain.  Stitch again at the necessary width for your curtain rod to slide

After stitching, carefully remove the stitches between these
two rows at each end to create an opening.

Topstitch close to the edge of the front curtain fabric.  Topstitch close to the edge of the lining fabric.

Fold under the long raw edge of the lining fabric at the
bottom and press.

Hand-stitch this edge of the lining fabric over the ruffle seam.

Press well and hang your curtain.