Bed Valance

A fitted bed valance, bed skirt or dust ruffle is suitable for divan beds and covers the sides of the bed down to the floor. It is made in two sections, the top, which goes under the mattress, and the skirt, which can be either gathered for a feminine look or pleated at the corners for a tailored look.

Some plain fabrics without nap or fabrics with small designs can be railroaded (turned through 90 degrees) to avoid the need for seams.

As the top section is not seen it can be made from inexpensive fabric or lining. Binding or fringing in a contrasting colour can be added to the bottom hem for a more decorative finish.

Colour code key for the diagrams

Requirements

  • Suitable fabric for skirt.
  • Inexpensive fabric or lining for top section.
  • Matching thread.

Measuring for a Fitted Bed Valance

  1. Measuring for a fitted bed valance imageRemove the mattress from the bed.
  2. Measure the length (L) of the top section and add 1.5" (3.75 cms) for seams.
  3. Measure the width (W) of the top section and add 1" (2.5 cms) for seams.
  4. Measure the drop (D) of the skirt and add 1.5" (3.75 cms) for the seam and hem allowance.
  5. A gathered skirt will need between 1.5 and twice the measurement of the 2 sides and the bottom edge (2L+W) to allow for fullness. Widths of fabric need to be joined together with a French seam to achieve this measurement unless the fabric has been railroaded.
  6. For a skirt with inverted pleats at the bottom corners, measure the 2 sides and the bottom edge (2L+W), add 12" (30 cms) for each pleat and 2" (5 cms) for hems. Widths of fabric need to be joined together with a French seam to achieve this measurement unless the fabric has been railroaded.

Preparing a Gathered Skirt

  1. Turn up a double 0.5" (12 mm) hem at the lower edge and pin.
  2. Turn in a double 0.5" (12 mm) hem at each short edge and pin.
  3. Machine stitch the hems on these 3 sides and press.
  4. Work 2 rows of gathering stitches along the top edge. To make this easier work in sections.
  5. Pull up the gathering threads, adjusting the gathers evenly, so that the skirt fits the sides and bottom edges of the top section minus 2" (5 cms).

Preparing a Pleated Skirt

  1. Preparing a pleated skirt imageTurn up a double 0.5" (12 mm) hem at the lower edge and pin.
  2. Turn in a double 0.5" (12 mm) hem at each side edge and pin.
  3. Machine stitch around the hems on these 3 sides and press.
  4. Measure the length of the top (L) from each end and mark.
  5. Measure a further 12" (30 cms) from each end and mark. These are the 2 sides of the pleats.
  6. Bring the 2 sides of each pleat together and flatten the excess fabric evenly at the back to form an inverted pleat.
  7. Tack in place along the top edge and press the pleat down its length.

Making a Fitted Bed Valance

  1. Making a fitted bed valance imageTurn in a double 0.5" (12 mm) hem at the top end of the top section. Machine stitch and press.
  2. With the right sides together and matching the raw edges, pin the skirt to the sides and bottom edges of the top section. Make sure that the gathers are evenly spaced or that the centres of the inverted pleats are positioned at the corners. Adjust the gathers or pleats if necessary.
  3. Machine stitch the skirt to the top section, 0.5" (12 mm) in from raw edge.
  4. Zigzag or overlock the raw edges to neaten.

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