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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Home Dec Returns, Scallops Tute

I am working on a valance for DD#2. She has shown me a design with a scalloped edge on the top. There are loops at the high point of the scallops that will traverse a pretty rod. We decided using the full width of the Home Dec fabric would give a gentle fullness between the loops. Too much fullness and the effect of the scallops is lost. Here is how I got the perfect sized scallops across the valance without benefit of a math wizard close by.

* Figure out your finished width of fabric. This measurement will not include seam allowances but you will be adding those to the total width for cutting later. In other words I had a 54 inch width. With two half inch SAs I would have a FINISHED WIDTH of 53 inches. Hold that number!

* Get yourself some adding machine tape or a very long strip of paper taped together. Make it at least three inches wide. Cut it to the FINISHED WIDTH of the valance, in this case 53 inchs.
* Fold the strip perfectly in half. Saying that word "perfectly" so reeks of Martha Stewart. Ok, now fold it in half again, then again, and keep folding in half until you get the width of the scallop you want for your window treatment or hem or whatever you need a scallop for. This is your guide. Crease it sharply. Unfold it and place it against your valance width. You should have a perfect fit with a half inch extra for SAs on each side. Yippee! Now to get it on the fabric and cut.
* Now you need a manila folder or some other type of card stock. Cut two pieces appx 4 inches high and the exact width of your finished scallop, basically the width crease to crease of one scallop.  Use your rotary cutter to get an exact length and width  cut. Find the center and mark with a vertical line. At this point we are only considering finished measurements here. Don't worry seam allowances yet. Decide how deep you want the scallop to be. I used one and a half inches.Line up a bowl or other round object to mark your card stock with this shape. Make sure at the corners you leave a seam allowance. This will accommodate the loops. The scallop does not go from corner to corner because of that.  I wanted a half inch finished space at the top of my scallops so I needed each scallop started a quarter of an inch in from the edge. You can see the bowl is not on the point of the card but its edge is a quarter inch in from the edge of the card. This is card number one. Cut the scallop out. Trace its line onto the folded paper tape and cut that out. Unfold your tape and you now have a finished size template for placement on the fabric width. You also have a card the same shape of one scallop.
* Now cut another card the same rectangular size as the first card. Don't cut out any scallop. Use the first card to trace the shape of the scallop on to the second card. Add your seam allowances to this second card. They are ONLY added to the top edge of the scallop, no side edges. You can see the paper tape template is the same size as the line drawn on the second card as well as the SAs added.

* So here is Card 2 with seam allowances added to the top edge. Take a ruler and line it up with the bottom edge of the finished scallop, the scallop  line closer to the bottom of the card. Mark two spots equidistant from the bottom edge on the left and right sides and the same distance away from the lowest point of the finished scallop. Put a tiny notch on this side, where the arrows are.
* Lay out the wrong side of your valance fabric. It should be cut to the proper width including seam allowances. Decide how long it will be. Use your finished Card 1 to figure out placement of the low point of the scallop on your fabric. Mine was 12 1/2 inches from the bottom edge, the bottom edge being a half inch SA. Mark that and make a line across the width on the wrong side at that mark, 12 1/2 inches for me. Take Card 2 and line up the notches with this drawn line. Trace around the scallops on Card 2 to give you the cutting line for the top edge. Move Card 2 down the width butting the left side to the right side of the previous scallop. If you are using my measurements, this will give you a one inch seam allowance across the top point of scallop. I am calling this a seam allowance only because this is where my loops will be sewn.  What you see above shows the cutting line for the valance top edge. If you did it right it will be a perfect fit across the width of fabric with just the right size SAs remaining on the sides. Which brings me to say that when you start laying out your card two for marking you must start in a SA's width away from the edge, very important.

Now all I have to do is cut my lining the same size and stitch it up pillowcase style, easy peasy. I'll show you how I do the loops and bows when I get to that. I need to buy some lining in town tomorrow. I don't even have an old sheet I can scrounge. Any  questions, let me know.

This technique would also work nicely for hems on a skirt ...Don't forget Thing One and Thing Two, oh, I meant to say Card.....Bunny


  1. This is so clever...and you make it sound so easy! Can't wait to see the end product.

  2. Bunny, this is genius! Thank you for the excellent tutorial. Looking forward to seeing your finished valance!

  3. I THINK I understand it. I will review this post after I see the end result & it will make more sense to me then. I'm such a visual learner/sewer.
    Thanks for taking the time to photograph each step, Bunny! I know that slows you down in your sewing but those of us who haven't been taught such techniques really appreciate your patience & attention to detail.

    I'm glad to see this post because I guess this means your back is better & you can bend & stretch to do all this. LOL


  4. That is very interesting. I'm like Rettabug and would have to review it and practice! But it sounds good... Can't wait to see the final result.


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