Sunday, June 11, 2006

How To Make A Sheer Balloon Valance - Sewing Curtain Valances - Drapery Valances

sheer balloon valance
This sheer balloon valance is so wonderfully simple and adds the perfect soft touch to your window. If you have dark walls or are just looking for a soft light touch... then a sheer balloon valance may be just the trick.

Now, this project is for a casual balloon shade also known as a cloud valance. This is a rod pocket curtain with the ends tucked up in a few spots to create pourfs.

I've broken each step down into its own chapter... from the supply list to installing the window treatment.

The first thing you'll want to do is print out your window worksheet. You're going to find this worksheet critical to your success. Record all your measurements and calculations on it and carry it with you on your shopping trips and to your workspace.

Next, look over the supply list and get ready to make a shopping list of the items you'll need.

Be sure you read over the hardware installation chapter and decide how you plan on installing your window treatment. This is an easy step to skip over, but I urge you to read over this chapter.

So... read over each chapter... take it step by step... and enjoy!
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Sunday, June 04, 2006

How To Make A Padded Headboard :: Simple Sewing Projects - Easy Free Sewing Lessons

how to make padded headboard
Learn how to make your own padded headboard with step by step instructions and detailed diagrams. You'll be reading against it tonight!

You're about to learn how to make your very own padded headboard. This is a terrific way to give yourself a new bed without paying thousands of dollars.

This project is super easy and it's amazing how good your bed will look with a padded headboard in the fabric that matches your decor.

So lets get started!


1/4" plywood board measuring the width of your bed x 48" (have your hardware store cut it for you)
(4) 5-foot 1"x3" boards (For a twin and queen bed, you can get away with 3 boards)
1" flat head screws (I used #6 screws)
4 yards of face fabric
high loft batting (you want a piece larger than your plywood measurements
1/2" - 1" thick foam (the same dimensions as your plywood... you may need 2 packages)
1 roll of 1/2" wide Steam-A-Steam2 double adhesive tape.
Staple gun and staples
Iron and ironing board
Sharp fabric scissors
Measuring tape
Adhesive (Ask you hardware store for an adhesive to stick foam to wood)
Utility knife (to cut the foam)
Collect all your supplies. Once you have all of your items, you can easily have this project done in a couple of hours.

** You can find Steam-A-Steam 2 at**

Make the Frame

First we're going to make the wood frame of your headboard. Once we finish this, then we'll move on to covering it with your fabric.

Step 1. Lay your 1" x 3" boards side by side on the ground

Step 2. Lay the plywood onto the boards

Step 3. Align the top edges of the 1x3s with the top edge of the plywood

Step 4. Align a 1x3 along each side edge of the plywood and center the other 2 (or 1)

Step 5. Using a 1/8" drill bit, drill a hole through the plywood and 1 x3 boards 2" from the top edge

Step 6. Drill another hole 2" from the bottom edge of the plywood

Step 7. Drill a third hole in about the middle of the 1x3 boards

So each 1x3 board should now have 3 holes.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

How to Use A Cord Drop :: Simple Sewing Projects - Easy Free Sewing Lessons

After you've completed your roman shade or balloon shade and have it hanging in your window... you may face a common dilemma. What do you do with all of your loose lift cords?

You obviously can't cut them off... and if you have at least 3 lift cords, it can be messy. Plus, after putting all that work into making your roman shade just right, you want a clean finished product once installed.

Your solution is a cord drop. To tidy up all those messy lift cords, do the following:

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Monday, May 22, 2006

Sewing Tips - How To Sew More Professional Looking Top-Stitching :: Simple Sewing Projects - Easy Free Sewing Lessons

Here is a sewing tip to add to your sewing techniques book.

Learn how to sew more professional looking top-stitching at the sewing machine using your regular sewing thread.

Use the same thread that you used to sew your garment for a matching top-stitching. Or, use a contrasting thread for more definition.

When you top-stitch with a single thread, it seems to sink into your fabric and is not very noticeable.

For more professional looking top-stitching, try using three threads on the top of the sewing machine.

You don't need to buy three spools of thread to do this.

Just wind three bobbins of sewing thread and place them on the spindle at the top of the sewing machine where you normally place your single spool of thread.

Try to have your bobbins full to begin top-stitching.

Fill one bobbin as you normally do for the bobbin case.

Thread the bottom bobbin as usual.

Hold the end of each of the top three bobbin threads together in your hand and thread them as one thread through your sewing machine and needle. Moistening the threads first seems to help.

You may need a needle threader to help you do this. You can find a needle threader in the notions department of your favorite sewing or fabric store or you may already have one in your sewing case.

Set your sewing machine stitch for a longer stitch (about 6 to 8 stitches per inch).

Stitch very slowly and straight. Use a stitching guide or tape to help you if you need it.

This makes a very elegant top-stitch. Try it!

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

How To Make A Fabric Roller Shade :: Simple Sewing Projects - Easy Free Sewing Lessons

Do you want an attractive window treatment that you can easily lower to block out the light and provide privacy... with minimal sewing?

Then a fabric roller shade is the perfect window treatment for you.

I'm going to show you exactly how to make a fabric roller shade that will easily lower and raise with a bead chain.


Roller Shade Clutch Kit (includes bead chain, clutch, brackets, shade roller, wood slat and double face tape)
Fabric for the front of your roller shade
Shade cloth that is at least 2" wider than the final width of your shade
Laminating Adhesive
Fringe Adhesive
Straight Edge (longer the better)
Rotary Cutter (this creates clean straight edges)
New sharp blade for rotary cutter
Rotary Matt (larger the better)
2 low nap paint rollers (3/16" thick)
Masking tape (1" wide)
Lint brush
You can find your roller shade clutch kit, shade cloth, and adhesives at

Flat surface to lay your entire shade (this may have to be your kitchen floor)
or you can create a surface by getting a piece of plywood that's larger than your finished shade dimensions and lay a rotary mat on top of it.

Step 1. Measure the inside width of your window frame.

Your shade final width will be this measurement MINUS 15/16"

Note: these instructions are for an inside mount. A fabric roller shade can be mounted on the outside of your window too. But to simplify these instructions, I chose the most popular method. You can easily take this method and apply it to an outside mount.

Step 2. Install the roller shade brackets. Make sure you install the brackets low enough so that the large round clutch part has room to rotate. The bracket will insert into the center of this piece (don't do that yet). But this will help you decide how low you need to install the brackets.

Step 3. Measure from the top of the bracket down to the window sill. This is your shade's final length.

Step 4. Lay your shade cloth onto your work surface and measure in from the left edge 1" and mark with a sharpee. Do this in several places and draw a line down the left side of your shade cloth. Your shade cloth edges are square, so the line you draw should be parrallel to the edge. If not, measure again.

Step 5. Measure up from the bottom edge of your shade cloth about an 1" and draw a line across your cloth.

The lines in step 4 and step 5 should be square to each other. You can easily check this with a T-square or right angle.

At this point, you may be wondering which side of the shade cloth you should use. One side has a matte finish and the other side is shiny. You can use either side. If you like the shiny side, then you will work on the matte side and glue the fabric to the matte side, so that the shiny side faces out your window.

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Friday, March 31, 2006

Making Ruffles From Sheer Fabric :: Simple Sewing Projects - Easy Free Sewing Lessons

Learn how to easily make ruffles from sheer fabric. Plus discover how you can apply sheer ruffles to enhance your home decor!
Making ruffles from sheer fabric is the perfect skill to add to your home sewing portfolio. Ruffles are a lot of fun and can be added to just about anything in your home.

Sewing ruffles with sheer fabric can open your mind to even more exciting possibilities.

First, let me explain how to make ruffles from sheer fabric... and then I'll give you some great ideas on where to apply them in your sewing projects.

Making Ruffles From Sheer Fabric

You will need:

Sheer fabric (read the instructions below to help you figure out how much you will need)
Translucent shirring tape (you'll need the fabric cut length)
1. You'll need to decide how wide you want your ruffle to be. If it's for an edge of a curtain, maybe it's 3". If it's for the edge of a dust ruffle, maybe it's only 1 1/2". So decide this first. We'll refer to this measurement as the final width.

2. Then you'll need to know how long you want your ruffle to be. Lets say you want to trim the inside edge of a curtain with a sheer ruffle... you would want your ruffle to be the full length of that curtain edge. We'll refer to this measurement as the final length.

3. You will need to cut your sheer fabric into the following measurements. Cut as many strips as you need to achieve these measurements.

Cut width = (2 x final width) + 2"

Cut length = (3 x final length)

If you want lighter (not so tight) ruffles, you can make your cut length 2 x final length.

4. Sew your strips together with a 1/4" seam and press the seam open

5. Fold the side edges (short edges) in 1/2" and press. Fold them in again 1/2" and press. Pin if needed to hold the fold in place.

6. Fold the strip in half lengthwise wrong sides together and press. Your width should now be your final width plus 1"

7. Lay 1" wide translucent shirring tape along the raw edge of the folded strip. Pin in place.

8. Sew the tape in place with a stitching line along the top edge and another along the bottom edge.

9. Pull the cords on the shirring tape until you reach the final length measurement.

Now you have your sheer ruffle!

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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Get Organized Now. Tips and ideas to help you get organized.

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