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Sew a Curtain Valance with Scallop Edges

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Getting Started - Calculations for a Scalloped Curtain Valance
Scalloped Curtain Valance

Scalloped Curtain Valance

Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
Measure the width of the window and decide the length you want for the valance.

Valance Width
  • Unless you are using extremely stiff fabric or you want a flat valance, multiply the width of the window by 1.5 to 2 for the desired width.
    For example: For a 36" wide window -- using a fairly stiff fabric -- 36 X 1.5 = 54" If your fabric is 45" wide you will need to seam the fabric for the desired width.
    Although a 30 - 32 inch wide window would calculate out at (30" X 1.5 = 45) or (32 X 1.5 = 48") it is your call as to if you will be adding extra width to 45" wide fabric.
    If you only need a few extra inches and want the extra width, sew together two equal pieces to make the width instead of just adding a couple inches on one side. OR Sew two separate valances and use the two valances.
  • Always pre-shrink the fabric and trim away the selvedge.

Valance Length
  • Once of the beauties of sewing your own window treatments is that you decide the length of the finished product.
  • Measure from the top of the curtain rod to the desired finished length. (Example 12")
  • Add 3" for a header above the curtain rod. (Example 12" + 3")
  • Add 5" for the hem behind the header and the curtain rod pocket. (Example 12" + 3" + 5")
  • Now add for a hem seam allowance. The hem will be a separate facing. (Example 12" + 3" + 5" + 1/2" = 20 1/2"= length)


Body of the valance will be the width by the length.
Hem Facing
  • You will need a facing to hem a scalloped valance.
  • The width of the hem facing is the same as the width of the valance.
  • The length of the hem facing will vary by how deep your scallops are. You will need a hem facing that is at least 1.5" longer than the depth of your scallops. (See step 4 for complete hem facing information.)
If in doubt, play with a paper pattern to practice before cutting fabric.
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