I’m working on lots of projects, so I thought I’d share what’s been inspiring me…
Scalloped Edged Sofa Cover How To
I’ve been gradually working through the soft furnishing in our living room, you can see my post on the structured chair cover here. Both these chairs are done without a pattern so there is no need to take off the original cover from the frame.
You will notice that I don’t use a zip close as I did on the chair, but used a button detail. You can see more ideas for different closing details on this inspirational post. As usual there are lost of pictures as I want to make this as clear as possible.
Throughout the project I keep the fabric in one mass, then cut off the pieces that were needed as I went.
As per my last post I am not a professional; this is purely amateur hour, but it may just help you.
I would advise you to read all the way through to get a sense of the instructions before attempting this project.
Step 1 – Wash the fabric
Wash the fabric prior to using it as you don’t want the fabric to shrink after the first wash and spoil all you hard work. For more general tips on upholstery, such as use of thread and where to buy bargain fabric you can go to this post here.
Step 2 – Exterior side arm
You’ll notice in the images below that the material in image 1 goes some way beyond the sofa. I redid the pinning process after taking this photograph so I didn’t waste so much material. You can’t just take the fabric to the floor and work from there though as the arm itself has an incline on this sofa.
Just pin the fabric to the arm of the chair by pushing the pins deep into the upholstery. Make sure the pattern is horizontal. Throughout this how to you’ll see my reference to the pattern – as this is a striped one its pretty easy to align.
Then pin flanged piping following the same sign as the current piping; in this case that means along the top and down the front and the back sides – not the bottom. Follow the lines of the current piping exactly – in this case it meant a slight curve for the back piping to follow the shape of the sofa. Do not trim the excess fabric along the back of the panel as you’ll need it later.
Cut the fabric so it runs horizontally with the floor.
Sew the piping in place. I keep my zip foot on throughout the process as it is far easier to deal with thick fabric like this. Trim the fabric, leaving an excess of material of about an inch.
Step 3 – Back panel
Do the same with the back of the sofa, trying to match up the pattern as best as possible. So you can see on my images below where I tried to match the neutral colour with neutral (images three and four). To do so it’s best to re-pin the exterior arm panel in place so it gives you an idea whilst you work of how this is all going to fit together.
You can see in image four that I’ve pinned more piping to the side of the back panel. This is because piping already exists here at the back, but by piping both the exterior side and the back I’ll have double piping in the corners as I’m going to use a decorative, button fastening here.
You can also see that, as I have followed the original piping line, there is a slight curve in the application of the piping just like the exterior arm. This is so it bends with the sofa shape when pulled tight. Do not trim the excess of fabric here on the sides as you’ll need it later.
Ensure, too, that your piping runs in excess of the top of the sofa slightly as you will need this additional length later.
Do this for both sides of the back of the sofa.
Cut the material along the base running parallel with the floor as before, then sew the piping to the material. Re-pin the fabric to the back of the sofa to correctly asses the second, exterior arm pattern positioning – you’re not going to sew this back piece of fabric to anything yet apart from its own piping.
Stage 4 – Second, exterior arm
Follow the same instructions for the first arm for the second, ensuring the pattern continues correctly.
Stage 5 – Interior, chair arm
Follow the steps below. It’s important to ensure your pattern fabric is matched up well before cutting and also that you leave a good amount of fabric beyond where you’ll sew on all sides, but particularly at the side and base. This is going to be attached to the back piece of fabric and pushed into the sofa frame as far as possible to ensure a good fit, so be generous.
Pin the exterior, arm fabric back in place. Then lay the material, with the pattern in the right direction – with the exterior striped pattern aligned to the material that runs down the inside of the arm of the chair. In this case I had neutral stripes in between lavender, pale lavender and grey stripes, so I was certain these were in alignment.
Once you’ve pinned the interior arm fabric firmly in place push the fabric inside the gap between the arm and the base of the sofa as well as down its back. When you come to put your cover on the sofa in the end you’re going to do this, pushing the material within the frame to give the loose fabric a more structured look. This enables you to lift off the fabric and wash when desired.
Cut the material along the base and back in line with the curves of the sofa, leaving a generous allowance of fabric as in image four.
Re-pin the material in line with the exterior arm; undo the pin, fold the section of fabric under and re-pin in place – continue all the way along the top of the sofa arm. You can see this in the image below. When you remove this to sew you will need to re-pin the pins so that they’re positioned on the inside of this seam in order to do so, but doing it this way allows for certainty that it’s in the right position.
Sew the exterior and interior arms together along this seam.
Stage 6 – Second, interior chair arm
Repeat this process for the other arm.
Stage 7 – Front, arm panels
Below I’ve started doing the front of the arm on the right hand side – however this isn’t the right hand, arm piece of fabric! This is the opposite side that I’ve turned inside out to work on. I used an off-cut of material that was appropriate in terms of pattern alignment. If I mucked it up I wouldn’t be too cross, and it’s economical.
Take the fabric and pin it all over to ‘stick’ it to the front arm. Cut round the shape of this arm, leaving the one inch allowance.
Fold the edge of the material inward and pin it to fabric draping over the interior arm of the chair. This will give you the shape of the front of the arm – but it also allows you to create any pin tucks required to fit the interior arm fabric well, hence the inverted material.
You can see here, similar to the original structure, I’ve created a pin tuck on the top of the arm of the chair. The original sofa cover had two, but I found one was sufficient, probably as a result of the raised piping that was still underneath on the couch. Look at how the original sofa has been fitted and let that be your guide.
There needs to be piping between the front panel and the exterior and interior arms. So when you are satisfied with the way you’ve attached your front panel to the interior arm re-pin with the piping in between.
I only pinned the piping on the top and inside of the sofa arm at this stage. This is because I’d already added piping to the outside of the arm, and didn’t want to double up (you can just see the existing piping in the fourth picture).
I then lifted off the arm material and re-pinned with the arm material the right way round, bringing the end of the piping between the pieces of material and sewing it all in place. I used a length of piping that goes all around the top and interior of the arm, extending right down to the base.
Now pin the fabric for the front of the arm of the chair to the piping on the exterior, front piping. Sew in place. See the image below.
Do this with the other side too.
Stage 8 – Back panel
Take some of the fabric from the remaining bolt and lay it along the back of the sofa the right way round, and pin it so it corresponds with the pattern on the back of the sofa; again pushing the pins into the upholstery of the couch itself to position it in the first instance. Then go along a re-pin, folding the edge of the material over to create a hem, pinning the two pieces of fabric together.
Let the fabric run all along the back and the seat of the couch until the edge of the seat. Tuck it into the back panel where it joins the seat, then cut along the front of the sofa to have one entire length.
At the corners of the back panel of the sofa you should have the two piece of excess piping; tuck these in between the front and back pieces of fabric and sew in place (See picture two below).
You now should have excess material from the interiors arms and the interior back panel. Pin these together as below, creating a triangle of fabric . Pin all the way along the base of the interior arm, attaching it to the base of the seat material, stopping about an inch or two before the end . You’ll sew these together and then, when the couch is completed you can tuck them into the sides to give the loose covers its fit.
Stage 9 – Front, base panel
You’ll need a shorter depth of material that’s going to cover the front of the base of the couch; judge it so that it overlaps the seat by an inch or two and runs to the floor again.
Turn the entire couch cover inside out and position it back on the sofa. Pin the length of fabric along the front of the base of the couch as you did before by pinning into the couch upholstery. Then, when it is secure and you are certain that the pattern is positioned correctly, pin along the top of the fabric so that the seat material and the front, base material are attached. When the fabric meets the arm pin all three pieces together as in image two. Sew this in place.
Then pin the sides of the front panel to the flanged piping that’s already attached to the interior side of the front panel. You can see in the second image the sewing that’s already been done when I attached the seat, interior arm and front base together tapering to a point – up in the top right, hand corner. Sew these in place.
Turn it the right way around and put it back on the couch, pushing the excess fabric down the sides and back so you know it can be fitted well.
If you want to you can stop here and just jump to the final segment about the button fastenings and attaching this temporarily to your sofa. If you want the scalloped edging follow the next steps (for those of you who want to do seat cushions you need to go to the structured chair post and follow the seat pad steps).
Step 10 – Scalloped edging
These are done in four sections; front, two sides and back panel. This accommodates the button fastening on the back of each side. First you need to judge the length of material required, accommodating the existing pattern. As you can see in the first image I’d cut a length of material that would go along the front of the couch; this piece extended past the couch front itself to accommodate the pattern repeat and also the points below. I pinned in place and then cut it so that it finished at the floor giving me a good depth to work with.
On your ironing board (hence the ducks) fold the length in half…
I made a mistake with this first length as I didn’t start working on the reverse of the pattern – so although these photos are sufficient to explain what I did, but you need to be aware of the need to do this if you don’t want to find yourself cursing as I did.
In the middle of a small, salad plate with a smooth edge run some masking tape across its diameter so it has one half completely exposed. Always use this exposed half (I actually drew an arrow on mine so I could be sure I was working with the correct half).
Line the masking tape up with the ironed crease and using a biro draw the edge of the circle onto the fabric. You need to wash the plate afterwards quickly after you’ve finished to make sure it doesn’t permanently stain the plate. Don’t use a sharpie, whatever you do.
You’ll see in image 4 that I drew the next semi circle with it’s side touching the previous one, with these touching parts going above the ironed crease.Cut round the circle shapes as in this photo, leaving about half an inch of fabric spare.
Cut little, horizontal snips along the curve making sure not to go all the way to the line, and then fold and pin in place. As you start the next circle it should look as it does in the sixth image. Continue all the way along the length of fabric.
Take your time and sew all of this in place.
Hem the sides of this edge of fabric before continuing.
Pin the scalloped edge fabric to the front base aligning the pattern, folding the top inside prior to pinning to create a hem. Lift the cover off, re-pin on the interior in the same positions and then sew in place. Do this for the sides and back. Note the next point for the sides though.
In this image below you can see that the excess length of fabric was not only positioned in line with the pattern, but the additional fabric was taken all the way over the front, arm panels and around the sides slightly. Then when I did the scalloped sides I had a bit of an overlap.
You can see in the image below that the inevitable excess of material due to pattern placement was just sewn in place, over the back piping almost to the end of the exterior, side arm. It didn’t matter that it doesn’t go to the end as this piece is just going to be hidden in folds of fabric when the couch cover is fitted. I did this to the back as well.
Step 11 – Back, button closing
The back of the sofa corners should have looked like this prior to the scalloped edge application..
Sew these excess pieces of fabric together so they form an inverted tent shape. You need them so that you can lift of the cover easily in order to clean in the future.
Work out how many buttons you want each side – as you can see I chose five as they are rather big buttons. Measure the length of the couch back from the top to the scalloped edge, then divide this area between the amount of buttons you want to place. So say, for example, the distance was 50cms (I know a couch won’t be that small, but bear with me) successive buttons would be 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 cms with the last button being just above the scalloped edge.
Start at the bottom, putting a pin into where the base button will be. Then going up in a vertical line continue placing pins where the buttons will go. It’s necessary to start at the base as the curved back means to ensure a horizontal line of buttons the gap between the base button will be shortest and therefore determines where they all need to be positioned as a result. Sew buttons in the positions.
I used braid as loop ties, so cut an approximate length including excess. Holding the braid looped around the button, pin it to the back panel (figures two and three). When all the loops are correctly positioned un-loop them carefully so as not to alter their position and then run another length of braid along the horizontal length to cover the ends of the loops. Sew along the length, securing and covering the loops.
Here’s the finished sofa…
20 Tips To Help You Do Your Own Upholstery
The first tip is to consider the thread you’re going to use. Your furniture has a lot of use. If you’re sat on your sofa reading this think about how it’s impacting the fabric and seams. As your body pushes the filling to compact the material is pulled down also and this causes stress on the seams. If you’ve ever worn clothes that are too tight (guilty) you’ll have noticed how this extra pressure on the seams causes them to give. You don’t want that to happen to your sofa after you’ve spent lots of time making them (and it’s hard work).
So when I started to upholster my couches I made sure to buy thread that was specifically made for upholstery. I got mine here and even though it was expensive it was well worth it. You can alternatively use a zig zag stitch to make your seams stronger, but I would highly recommend this.
As you can see by the picture the spoils are big as they’re designed for professional machines. However I just place mine in something beside the machine and it continues to work fine.
As with the thread your choice of needle is essential. You’re going to be going through thick fabric designed to take a lot of stress, so your needle will face a lot of stress too. I was delighted with how these needles worked, they didn’t snap and considering I’ve broken a lot of needles when I sew that’s saying something!
When selecting the material you need to consider how strong it is and what you’re using it for. I’ve used lighter fabrics on dining chairs when I’ve upholstered them in the past and, even though they looked stunning when I first did them, they didn’t wear well over time. They’ll have to be redone soon meaning not only more time but additional cost too.
If it’s something like an occasional chair you can use mid-weight fabrics, but you have to be honest about how often it will be sat in. For example this Queen Anne chair is only ever sat in when all our other seats are taken when we have a lot of people over – so high days and holidays. So a mid-weight fabric was fine for it.
I use this chart from here to assess how much material I’ll need, but I always order more than necessary by about three metres. It means that if something should go terribly wrong I have additional material quickly to rectify the situation- and as it takes a long time to reupholster a sofa or chair you don’t want additional days waiting for new fabric to complete a frustrating project.
Also if you ever have a section of your upholstered piece ruined beyond redemption then you can replace that section if need be. No matter how good Vanish is (and I always have a bottle of the spray around for wine spills and it’s been a life saver) it can’t fix holes. My original sofa fabric has holes in it from wear and although there was a patch of fabric so I could salvage it prior to having the time to cover it it’s still a patch, even though it’s successfully concealed (for my tips on this look here).
5. When selecting the design think about this
Does it have a big bold pattern? If so you’ll also need to think about pattern repeat and the additional material you’ll need to make sure the pattern ‘flows’ throughout the sofa. This is tricky – this was the first sofa I upholstered with a pattern and, although it’s not a deal breaker, I wish I’d thought more carefully about how I was going to match the pattern when I was cutting out.
This leads me on to the next topic too…
6. Buying fabric as inexpensively as possible
Good upholstery material is expensive. A durable, heavy weight fabric is going to be setting you back at least £20/€25 euros a metre. Since a regular couch require up to 16 metres, excluding piping, then that’s a lot of money (for my pocket anyway). It’s still less expensive than a new couch, but the whole point of learning this skill is to save as much as possible.
What I do now is go on eBay and put in ‘upholstery fabric’ in the search engine and then in the criteria options on the let hand of the page I tick over ten metres, bail and whole rolls. You see when a fabric is distincontinued as fashion and seasons change there are often half or whole rolls of fabric that are removed from general sale an de they pass into the hands of discounters who sell them as whole batches on eBay.
So for example, as duck egg blue goes out fabric in that shade passes on to discounters.
I bought th fabric for the sofa above for £50 for 27.5 metres and it cost me about £30 for delivery. I used eBay uk because there doesn’t seem to be a similar discount system in France. However even with the cost of delivery it works out at about £3 per metre!
As we have two sofas I stick to similar tones so that I can buy sufficient fabric in this way.
7. Wash the fabric before you start
I didn’t do this once and when I did wash the fabric it shrunk significantly. Luckily it was the first couch I’d covered and I’d sewn them too baggy and after washing they fit perfectly. For obvious reasons I wouldn’t want to chance repeating this experience and risk them going too small next time.
As upholstery fabric is expensive you may want to consider whether you choose a contrasting piping that’s premade or make your own piping. Making piping is relatively easy, however it takes a lot of fabric when you consider the price. So you may save time and money by buying piping separately.
In terms of the sofa above I used the same fabric and made my piping as there was a significant amount left over.
9. Re-use fabric from elsewhere
I’ve trawled second hand shops before searching for good quality, mid weight curtains that have been kindly donated by someone. I’ve used this kind of material to cover occasional chairs too.
I’ve mentioned the first couch I covered, which I don’t use in our living room now as it’s a sofa bed. I’m probably going to use it elsewhere and I think I will cover it again in more neutral tones. It was pink velvet and with the lilacs seemed too feminine in our new living room. However I hated wasting the fabric, so I dyed it and covered another chair with it. Once you learn the skill of upholstery covers it can be very beneficial in getting a new look relatively inexpensively.
I spoke in this post about how I used Pinterest as a source of inspiration for design details. I’ve also used it to find upholstery how tos. They’re so good I decided to do this list of tips rather than my own!
11. Unpicking V pinning
In order to get a pattern for your sofa you can do it one of two ways. You can remove and unpick all of the previous covers, preferably salvaging zips, cord for piping etc as you go. To do this it’s best to have a marker with you to label each piece (cushion 1 front, cushion 1 side, cushion 1 back etc) as well as details such as whether it’s joined to the other parts by a seam, with piping, has a zip fastening etc. It’s also a good idea to get you phone out and photograph each section as you taken it apart to give you a record to refer back to in case how you’ve marked each piece suddenly stops making sense.
I tend to use that method when a cover is beyond any chance of saving for obvious reasons. However if that’s not the case, and if feeling the original material through the new fabric isn’t an issue, I take the material still in its entirety and pin it to the part I want to replicate. I then cut an approximate size of the piece and use that as a pattern to make a cover for the top of the upholstered piece.
I will do this as a unique post later because it bares explaining in detail. However it’s far better in your initial upholstery attempts to go with the unpicking method if possible. There will be trickier areas where you will have to work out how to make a slipcover work – you’ll have to ensure the material fits neatly on the seat of the chair frame and under the cushions for example. Previous experience will help you do this.
12. Placing the new ‘pattern’ to get the most out of your fabric
As I said in fabric selection you need to be able to ensure that any pattern is used successfully prior to cutting. Back to this sofa you can see how the couch cushions have the main focus of the pattern centrally to the cushion cover. If you flip these over you’d see that it’s not the case the other side. It was only after I’d cut out the first part of these that I realised I needed to be thinking about doing it! Lesson learned.
13. Use pinking shears for the hems
I haven’t the capacity on my machine for a blanket stitch to protect the edges – at least I don’t think I do, not an expert sewer – so I use these to stop fraying.
14. Cutting before mitring
This is an obvious, but so essential it bears spelling out just in case. Upholstery material is thick. A piece of fabric, sewed onto piping grosgrain, then another piece of thick material! If you’re not mitring you’ll find it won’t fit under the sewing machine foot.
15. Design details for mistakes
The first couch I covered I didn’t notice that the previous cover that I’d unpicked and used as a pattern didn’t actually fit anymore. I’d bought it second hand and the cover had evidently been washed and had shrunk. As a result when I went to put the new cover on it didn’t fit. It took me ages to realise what had happened and I confirmed it by spreading the old cover along to back of the couch – it was too short!
I was so frustrated. What was I going to do? All the cutting had taken place and there was no material big enough to replace what was needed. Unfortunately as the cover has now been used for my new arm chair as I’ve previously said, I can’t show you the eventual outcome. However what I did was make a sort of capped sleeve of pleated fabric to create extra width.
Simmilarly when I reused that material I found there wasn’t a piece big enough for the back of the sofa. So I divided what would be the back into three parts and made a button, fastening feature to disguise it. The back of that chair you can now see below.
16. Alternative fastening
Just because you have your ‘pattern’ doesn’t mean you can’t make intelligent changes. My original couch covers were very fitted and it was always a struggle to get them on and off when they needed cleaning. So when I recovered this couch I used a flap and butting fastening. A great way to make it easier and prettier!
17. Zip foot
Obviously you have to use a zip foot for the zip closing, but to be honest I keep mine on throughout. Thick fabric and piping elements make the material a challenge to handle and it helps with my use of time to just use this.
18. Make sure that you organise your time
I spent a week working pretty consistently on my last armchair, so you need to know from the outset this will take some time and plan accordingly. Obviously you can cover the sofa with a throw, but you don’t want a naked sofa around a long time – particularly if you have little ones around. I stripped an ottoman to cover recently, went to the kitchen to do something and found my youngest had torn holes out of the foam!
Which leads me to…
19. Remember your mirror images
Unless your going to re-use zips etc you can just unpick one back cushion and one seat cushion. Then reuse the pattern with the opposite side to create a mirror. It means at least one set of cushion covers will remain on the couch at all time throughout and that’s less of an opportunity for little fingers.
It also means you can unpick the back cushion, make the two cushions, then unpick the base cushion for the same reason.
Obviously if you use the pinning method above you don’t have to strip the sofa or armchair of the current material and therefor you can spend longer completing the project.
20. Upholstery staples
When upholstering with a staple gun you must ensure your staples are fit for purpose. This means making sure they have sufficient depth, so always buy the largest staples to fit your gun and a heavy duty staple gun that fires well.
I’m about to do a post on covering the main body of a couch with a scalloped edge so stay tune for that; hit subscribe and follow on Instagram and Pinterest to be alerted when it comes out. Any comments – or tips you want to add – I’d love to hear from you!
10 Beautiful Upholstery Details
I’ve recently been covering an armchair for our living room. It’s one we’ve had for about 18 years (yikes), but it’s well made and if the cat hadn’t scratched it all up I probably wouldn’t be changing the covers either.
I’ve already covered one of the couches in our sitting room, and I want to do a post later on my tips and tricks to get the material cheap and make covers that last. However, as ever, I often get inspired to do a job by trawling Pinterest and there are lovely examples of upholstery details there – which have come in handy for inspiration for problem solving with style when I’ve needed it. I thought I’d share ten of my favourite examples here.
1. Buttons down the back to close and decorate
I love this, it’s so stylish and for a minimal amount of effort. Neither of these have button holes on them even, just loops, so it’s a lot less tricky. The one on the right I love especially because it reminds me of a wedding dress with the fabric’s pattern. So beautiful – this will always be my favourite detail.
2. Small pleats on the base
Coupled with the pleats on the arm’s curve this is such an elegant touch to a slip cover. Again a simple process with lots of style.
3. Pleats with coordinating trim and buttons
There are a lot of different design details here, but due to the monochrome pattern it actually manages to avoid being overdone. I think that’s one of the general take aways from this – you can include several elements, but make sure that they all blend together rather than standing out.
4. Coordinating coloured trim
What’s especially great about the one on the left is that if you’d bought a regular, inexpensive sofa and had wanted to add your own twist to it you could easily do this yourself.
5. Ties at the back
I’m someone who’s managed to avoid my button hole function on the sewing machine. Recently I’ve developed confidence in my sewing skills and I’ve been thinking more and more about giving it a go. After all there’s always some lovely person on Pinterest or YouTube who’s made a ‘how to’ to help you along – it’s how I mastered zips as I’ve taught myself everything I know about sewing so far.
As a result I often look for solutions that don’t use buttons as I’ve found they add detail, but without the fuss.
The other good thing about this example is that this style of closing mean that slip covers are easier to put on as there’s more room in them (that does mean more material too though).
6. Buttons to shape and decorate
Again these buttons have visual interest, but what interested me about the one top, left is that they’re also used to form a shape for the sofa underneath. Most sofas aren’t straight up and down and have some curve, so this is a way to ensure they don’t look too baggy and undone.
7. Complimentary fabrics
Sometimes you find a piece of fabric that’s beautiful, but way too expensive for your pocket. Or on other occasions you love it, but imagining it on the chair causes you too think it would be too much, particularly if it depicts a scene of nature – how do you make it work with the furniture itself?
This is a solution to all those problems. By using the expensive fabric in conjunction with a complimentary fabric you can reduce the cost, and allow the stronger piece to stand out.
8. Chinese knot fasteners
The fastener with the complimentary trim gives subtle detail to what would be a non-descript ottoman. Perfect.
9. Valances that make a statement or compliment the fabric
The valance on the left perfectly echoes the simple lines and curves of the sofa. It’s a little trickier than a regular pleated frill, I think you would need a pattern to replicate it. However it would be worth it.
The one on the right is far fuller, flowing and captures the romantic material of the chairs fabric.
10. Pleated corners
I talked about the pleated corners on the sofa above, but obviously they were only a few pleats. These ones though are superb. I love them!
Which ones are your favourite?
Making A Double Curtain Pole Valance
This post has taken me a long time to write, because I became distracted by other projects when I went to finish the second valance. Yet finally, finally, my curtains are finished. This how to isn’t how I made the curtains, as I think they’re pretty self explanatory, (if anyone wants a how to on that let me know and I’ll do one as I have plenty more to make for the house), it just focuses on the valances.
I decided on a valance with a pole as one with a box seemed a bit complicated for my first outing – they use a double pole bracket. The measurements are obviously dependent on the width of your windows.
Identify the depth you want the valance to be
I had to cover these box structures which hold electric shutters, it’s one of the main reasons I want valances in this room. So for me the depth naturally flawed from that.
Identify its length
Then I identified the length; the width of the curtain pole plus the additional fabric needed to go around the end of the poles in order that the end curtain hook can be attached to the end curtain ring of the curtains (see the photo). As I knew I wanted pleats I cut my material to include the depth and twice the length – so two lengths of material. You may need three, or two and half dependent on the width of the window, or how many pleats you want.
Join the material lengths
Join up your lengths of material so the pattern is still evident. As I have a damask, striped curtain this pended itself quite easily to this.
Hem both lengths and ends
I just used a 1cm depth for the lengths and let the natural stripe of the curtains guide the ends.
Pin the trim along the bottom length
If you’re using trim pin it along the bottom, then sew it in place.
Pin the trim along the length where the curtain pole will be
I used to types of trim along this length; lace and a bobble trim. Again, because is specifically wanted the end of the valance to cover the shutter box, I measured the distance between where the curtain pole was and where I wanted the end of the valance to be and started pinning trim along this stretch.
I used three lengths of trim. In order to have the depth of lace I wanted I had an opposing, double length of lace. Pinning it along the length with curves down, then another length with the curves up so they overlapped as in the picture (you may of course find lace with a design you like, which is thick enough for your purposes).
I then pinned the length of bobbled trim in between the two and sewed them in place. After it was sewn I double checked that all three pieces were firmly secured.
Decide what pattern you want your pleats to have, then hand sew in place.
I chose a more random, pleated pattern with a. central double pleat, single mid pleat and multiple pleats to the end. You may want a more regular pattern of course, but pin them in place at this point.
If, like me, you use a bobble trim you may need to snip some of the bobbles to ensure the material can lie flat – obviously ensure you’re sure you have the pleats in the right place before you do this.
Pin a stiff, curtain tape strip to the rear.
I used a really stiff strip of curtain header tape in order to hold the shape along the pole better. Pin it in place on the rear of the main length of the curtain where the trim is excluding the side of the valance where it will wrap around the end pole to attach to the curtain ring. Add extra pieces to this section of the curtain too – the divide will help the valance keep its shape too. Then sew both pieces.
Put curtain hooks in
Start about an inch in to make sure the material, stiffened by the curtain header, remains close to the wall, then place a hooks along the length of the curtain. Keep two hooks back. Hang the curtain valance and then add a hook each end in order to make sure they correspond with two curtain ring that you keep outside of the curtain pole brackets which will be you penultimate hook prior to the end one attached to the curtain (again, see the above picture).
Shutter box covered and a lovely period feature – I’m pleased with the result.
Mending Holes In Your Couch Covers Quickly
I’m going to do a post in the coming weeks on making your own couch covers – it will save you a ton of money.
However I recently bought some material to cover this couch, but to be honest I really like it in its new setting and whenever I imagine its new covers (I bought the material when we were still renting) it doesn’t seem to fit. Not that I’ll waste the material, it’s hopefully going to be used on another couch and chair that I’d been looking for material for. The only thing holding me back from this win win scenario was the little holes that had appeared in our couch over the years. Apart from them it’s in a good state, so what to do?
Then I watched a video online of a woman who’d fixed the insides of her worn jeans with a natty little sewing trick and I thought – that will work!
Luckily I had a patch of additional material attached to the couch that I could cut off to use for this…
but here are the simples steps to repairing a hole in a cushion cover….
See – super simple!
There where also holes on the frame. I mended these the following way…
It doesn’t look too pretty, but they’re behind the cushions and will stop any further ripping. Let me know if you’ve any quick mending tips – I love to hear how to save!