With basic sewing skills, it’s easy to sew your own custom window treatments. A draped brocade valance provides elegance and contrast to the solid color drapes below. Each valance takes less than two hours to sew, and can be completed by a beginning sewer. Trim your windows in style and save hundreds of dollars over premade swag prices with this free pattern and directions to create your own custom window swags. The following directions are for creating two valances for 40″ wide windows that easily slip over a curtain rod.
Materials for Two Window Swags
3 yards 56-60″ wide brocade
3 yards midweight lining fabric 56-60″ wide
Thread, scissors, sewing machine
Matching embroidery floss
Cutting Out the Valances
To cut out the swags, first fold the selvages of the brocade together and cut along the foldline, creating two pieces of material 3 yards long and 30″ wide. This creates the body of the valances.
The swags have curved ends to allow them to drape gracefully. To achieve a curved end, fold the brocade lengthwise. Using chalk, mark the long edge 8″ from the short edge. Draw an arc from the 8″ mark to the edge. Cut along the marked arc line.
Repeat the above steps with the lining material. After cutting out the valances, you should have two brocade valance pieces and two corresponding lining pieces.
Sewing the Valances
Fold a 1″pintuck along the center length of the brocade and carefully baste in place. Match the lining to the brocade, wrong sides together, starting on the longer side of both pieces, and pin the pieces together. The lining will be 1″ wider than the brocade because of the pintuck. Trim the excess. Sew a ½” seam along both long ends of the valance. Trim the excess, release the pintuck and press the seams open. Turn the swag right side out, and press the seams flat, allowing ½ inch of the brocade to fold over on each edge of the lining.
Notch the brocade 1″ in along the curved ends, and notch the lining 1 ½”. Turn the curved ends of the brocade under to create a hem, and press in place. Turn the lining under 1 ½”, trimming and tucking the corners in. Press, and whipstitch the lining to the brocade. The swags are ready to test on your windows.
Draping the Valances
On the lining side of the swag, mark the center of the valance using chalk. For a 40″ wide window, measure 20″ from the center on both sides and mark those spots along the top of the swag lining. Thread the embroidery needle with six strands of floss. To create a gathered, draped effect, run a single row of 2-3″ running stitch along the lining, starting at those two points and angling out slightly towards the curves. The angle will only be 3-4″. Catch a few threads of brocade in the stitching. Leave a long end of embroidery floss at both ends. Pull the embroidery floss gently to gather the material.
To test the drape of the brocade in the valance, tie the embroidery floss in a bow and place the loops over the ends of the curtain rod. Untie the loops and adjust the tightness and placement of the gathers as needed to create a smooth draped effect in the swags. Once you are happy with the gather effect, tie the embroidery floss in a knot. Your do-it-yourself custom brocade window valances are complete.