Mom gave me the idea to use the basic shape of an apron as a valance, but made with new fabric. I decided to try it, and even found some vintage-look Christmas prints at Joann's. I made a pattern piece for a gently-curved half apron, sized to fit my window. Each of the "aprons" is 20 inches wide at the top, 25 inches wide at the bottom, and 15 inches long, not including the rod pocket, which adds about 1.5 inches to the length.
Basically, I hemmed the sides and the bottom, sewed the contrasting rod pocket to the top, added a matching decorative pocket to the left front, and sewed on rick rack. I did it in a single morning.
|Yes, Virginia, that is a Kitchen Witch. I didn't set out for it to, but the new valance coordinates with her.|
Note that they are not as full as more traditional curtains would be. Usually, you want your fabric to be about double the width of your window, but I wanted the apron shapes to be apparent. My window is 72 inches wide, the width (at the top) of my valance is 100 inches. It has a little fullness, but isn't bulky.
I also didn't sew all of the pieces together; each of those "aprons" is a separate piece, that can be rearranged and maybe more importantly, can be washed separately. I did prewash the material, but with all those colors with the off-white fabric...
I went with three solids and two print (that were the same background color) so that it wouldn't be too busy. Each apron has a coordinating rod pocket and front pocket; for the five aprons, there are eight different fabrics. (In part because I couldn't decide between some of the prints, so I found a way to use most of them.) They overlap on the corners, showing off the decorative pocket. If I was feeling really ambitious, I suppose I could put something lightweight in the pockets, like little artificial flowers, or something, but I like they way it looks as is.
I'm so pleased with the way this turned out, I'm going to make more for year-round use, using more retro prints.