• PDF
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Email
  • Print
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  • PDF
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Email
  • Print

Click to Enlarge

I call it, ‘The Great Divide.’ Your window valance needs to be 82″ wide, but your home decor fabric is only 54″ wide. If you just sew an additional 28″ onto one side, that’ll make the fabric’s design repeat look totally wacky. So… do you put off sewing the valance until they come out with 82″ wide fabric? No, because then you’d also have to give up sewing duvet covers, curtains, slip covers and anything else requiring fabric wider than what comes off the bolt. It’s time to ask our friend, and home décor expert, Donna Babylon. She explains that when you join fabric widths to make an extra wide panel, you need to make sure it’s added to either side of the center fabric piece and it’s done symmetrically – the same on both sides of the center point.

 

Instead of just sewing two pieces together, you cut the second one in half and sew each half to either side of the full width piece. Using this method, you can make a panel as wide as you like, and it will always look dandy.

The following tips and techniques, along with the helpful drawings, are excerpted from Donna’s latest book Decorating Sewlutions: Learn to Sew as You Decorate Your Home , which you can order directly from Donna’s website, More Splash Than Cash® .

How to make a half width

For large home décor projects, such as curtains, a duvet cover, or a shower curtain, you’ll almost always need more than one fabric width. Sometimes, you need both extra full and half widths. A half-width is just what it sounds like – a full width of fabric cut in half lengthwise. This should not be confused with a ‘half-wit’, which is someone who randomly cuts his/her fabric into itty-bitty pieces.

Here is the easiest way to cut a half-width of fabric.

  1. Fold your cut length of fabric in half lengthwise with wrong sides together and selvages perfectly even.
  2. With an iron, press a hard crease on the fold.
  3. Open the fabric. With the fabric flat on the work surface, use large sharp scissors and cut exactly on the pressed crease.
    Diagram

Joining multiple widths so they look symmetrical

When joining multiple widths or half-widths of fabric, you need to determine the seam placement. This depends on what type of project you’re making. Don’t worry if the combined widths are slightly wider than you need. You can trim them to the correct measurement after you’ve joined the widths of fabric.

Duvet covers

  1. Usually, two widths of fabric are needed to make a duvet cover.
  2. Place the full width in the center and stitch a half-width to each side of the full width.
    Diagram

Full length curtains

  1. The number of fabric widths needed for a window treatment is based on the width of the window and how full you want the curtains to be. To create the fullness, you simply sew one or more widths together.
  2. If one and one-half widths are required to make a curtain panel, the half-width is stitched to the outside edge of each full width.
    Diagram
  3. If two full widths are required to make a curtain panel, stitch the widths together side by side.
    Diagram
  4. If three full widths are required to make a curtain panel, stitch the widths together side by side… by side.
    Diagram

Window valances

  1. If two full widths are required to make a valance, one full width should be the center piece with a half-width stitched to each side.
    Diagram
  2. If three full widths are required to make a valance, as with the curtains above, stitch the widths together side by side… by side.
    Diagram

You can also use this method to join fabric together when you’re running short and are either not willing or not able to buy more of the same print.

Excerpted from Decorating Sewlutions by Donna Babylon .

Click to Enlarge

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

*Sew4Home reserves the right to restrict comments that don’t relate to the article, contain profanity, personal attacks or promote personal or other business. When commenting, your name will display but your email will not.

4 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Beth
Beth
10 months ago

What type of seam allowance would you use to sew the widths together?

Liz Johnson
Admin
Liz Johnson
10 months ago
Reply to  Beth

Hi Beth — it depends somewhat on the type of fabric you’re working with as well as your project. In general, a standard 1/2″ seam width should work. If you have a particularly sheer fabric, consider a narrower seam – if you have a heavy upholstery type fabric, go a bit wider. And, again depending on the project and its use, consider finish the seam allowance if it is prone to raveling.

Rabia
Rabia
10 months ago

Ohh thank you, you solved my problem 🤗

Liz Johnson
Admin
Liz Johnson
10 months ago
Reply to  Rabia

You’re so welcome. We’re glad you found us.

  FOLLOW US!
Translate »

You cannot copy content of this page

×

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Enter your email address below to subscribe to the Sew4Home newsletter. Be the first to see new projects and patterns, helpful techniques, and new resources to enhance your sewing experience.

NO THANKS

We will never sell, rent or trade your personal information to third parties.