Thursday, February 5, 2015

Something Sew Small

It has taken six months or so but I finally got the kitchen window treatments completed!

I say that excitedly in type but in reality it does seem more like a statement followed by a less than enthusiastic sigh. It was not a difficult task per se and yet it has taken all this time! I can procrastinate like it's nobody's business.

The kitchen gets sun in the morning from the southeast streaming through the back door and window next to it. In the afternoon we have to wait until the sun moves around to the other side of the house. We don't get good natural light until late in the afternoon. For these reasons I really don't want to cover the windows much. A "dream home" for me would be one where no window treatments were needed at all.... like this:



I knew I wanted to mount the treatments high enough to just cover the window frame at the top but not obscure the light. I wanted them clean looking. The hardware needed to be simple. When shopping I realized that curtain rods would be a major problem, especially at the window adjacent to the back door. The old window treatments were on spring rods fixed inside the window frames so I never gave it a thought before now. Come to think of it, maybe that is why I had done spring rods before-I really can't remember.

The window frame almost touches the bathroom door frame. No room for
a curtain rod.
I really want extra colors in the kitchen to come from accent pieces leaving the foundation neutral. I also wanted something that could be washed. I looked at several semi-custom valances to buy but all of them were dry-clean only. I have a smaller kitchen and grease, smells, ect. need to be washed away occasionally. And, well, we're messy. I realized I was going to have to bust out my sewing machine partly because I wanted something I could launder that still looked nice and partly because I was too cheap to pay what they wanted in the stores. Let me preface the rest of this post by saying I am not a seamstress. I can sew straight lines....sometimes. (I use dressmakers chalk or washable quilting pens and draw on my fabric sometimes if a straight line is proving too difficult.) I found a fabric that I thought worked well with the wall color.  This is what I settled on. I had a Groupon coupon that I used to purchase my fabric making it very affordable!

I scoured the internet and found the shape of the valances I wanted. I did end up modifying it a bit.

This was my inspiration.

I measured the windows (width including the window molding) and went to work. The three windows were roughly the same, give or take an inch, or so and I adjusted for that on each valance as needed. I took some craft paper and drew out my pattern based on the smallest window making sure to leave enough for a 5/8" seam allowance. I also added 31/2" to either end for the wrap around. Each valance will have a return on both sides back to the wall to cover the mounting board. Before cutting the pattern out I folded my paper in half  to be sure that the pattern was perfectly symmetrical.  I pinned my pattern to the fabric and cut out my piece then cut out a piece for the lining. Right sides together, I sewed the pieces leaving room open at the top to turn it right-side out. I clipped my corners and notched the curves so that everything would lay flat. Once that was completed I turned it right-side out and ironed it smooth. At the very top I sewed the loop part of hook-and-loop tape to the lining side of my valance closing up the opening I used to turn it out. I did not want to put the hook side of the tape on the curtain for fear that it could catch on the fabric and pull it when I wash them.

 I did one at a time which turned out to be a very smart move because I pulled a major rookie mistake.  I am working with a geometric pattern and I did not take that into account while cutting my fabric as I was excited to just get going on this. When all was said and done, sewing, mounting, ect. THEN I noticed my pattern was off. Ugh! I know better than that!

Can you see the pattern at the top and the bottom! It still makes me mad!

Well, that took the wind out of my sails.....for weeks. Christmas was on the way and I did not have time for these things, I told myself, so it got put aside. Queen of procrastination. You could catch glimpse of it here in a photo from my Christmas post:

I eventually made it back and completed my oh so delayed mission.

To mount the valances I cut pieces of 1x3 to extend 1/2" on either side of my window molding. I wrapped each piece in the white lining fabric I had used on the valances and secured the fabric with a staple gun. I then used a staple gun to attach the hook part of the hook-and-loop tape to the edge of three sides of the wood.

 I used L-brackets to secure the wood above each window.

You can see the hook-and-loop already attached.

Once the board was secure I put up the valance. Here is where that extra amount of fabric on the ends was important because of the wrap-around effect on the ends of the wood.

Pay no attention to my yet unfinished island.... another project waiting...

I did remake a valance for the window next to the back door. I thought originally that I would dress the window on the door but can't figure out what to do there.

I think it would look odd right next to the window and the height it would have to be mounted at on the door is an issue. For now I am not going to dress it at all. This project wasn't so hard but did require I pay close attention to the pattern. A small floral pattern or solid material would have removed that level of difficulty but where is the fun in that? All-in-all I am pleased with the overall project and glad finally have that off my to-do list.

There are other projects waiting.....

Linked up to: Imparting Grace
                       French Country Cottage
                       The Shabby Nest
                       Chic On A Shoestring
                       To Much Time On My Hands
                       Cedar Hill Farmhouse
                       Savvy Southern Style
                        Lamberts Lately
                       Someday Crafts
                       The Blissful Bee
                       Coastal Charm
                       Nifty Thrifty Things
                       Tatertots and Jello
                        Romantic Home
                        The Girl Creative
                       Sand and Sisal

That DIY Party

Woot! Woot! I've been featured at:


  1. You COULD be a seamstress! They look great.

    1. Not me. No patience and could never hope to be as good as you. What on earth are you doing reading my silly rants when you could be putting your toes in the sand?! Wishing I was with you and not pushing snow. Enjoy!

  2. wow, i LOVE your whole kitchen. the valances look amazing, love them, but mostly i'm crushing on your whole bright and light space. my kitchen has dark cabinets which aren't going anywhere, so i am enjoying yours!

    1. Thanks! We have come a long way to end up with the light and bright. I am glad you like it. Thanks for checking out my blog!

  3. Oh they are gorgeous. I love the look. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me.

  4. I think these are just lovely! I've pinned them for future reference. :)

    Thanks so much for joining Grace at Home. I'm featuring you this week!

  5. The pattern design of this fabric is just perfect in your kitchen - I love it!! I have also made similar window treatments. but I staple the fabric on top of the board. I like your idea of velcro!! Well done!!

    1. Thank you, Patti! We do tend to bit messy when we cook so I need to be able to wash those puppies!

  6. Can you tell me what your black splash is? Is it tile? wallpaper? stencil? I really like it! Thanks. Maren- trinketsofthought at

    1. Hi Maren! I think you are referring to the tile behind the stove. I purchased the tile at Lowes, I think. All the information was in this blogpost:
      Thanks for stopping by.

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  8. I found you through Richella.
    These look great, now come to my house and make me some?
    I will make you waffles.

    1. Thanks, Kari! I love waffles. If it will get me out of the snow I may take you up on that offer!.

    2. Was just checking out your blog-and laughing! I did notice you are from Chicago. I don't care how good those waffles are Chicago ain't gonna do much for this New England, snow-bound, so-over-winter girl. Maybe in the spring....

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  9. Hi Jolena, I love your whole new's beautiful. I didn't know you didn't sew, you were always creating or covering something or painting or making something crafty.....I am thrilled to see your blogging. I will definitely keep up with it.