Pleated Valance Sheet

Image of finished pleated valance sheetA valance sheet is a combination of a fitted sheet and a bed valance and is usually made from sheeting fabric so that it has no seams in the sheet section and can be easily laundered.

A valance sheet is made in two parts, a sheet that fits over the mattress and a skirt, which covers the sides of the bed down to the floor.

The skirt can be gathered or have inverted pleats at the corners. The instructions below are for a valance sheet with inverted pleats.

A valance sheet is unlined and can be made to match, contrast or co-ordinate with the rest or your bedroom decor.

Image of colour code key for diagrams


  • Sheeting fabric or suitable fabric.
  • Matching thread.

Measuring for a Valance Sheet:

  1. Image of measuring for a valance sheetWidth of the sheet (W): measure the depth and width of the mattress. W = twice the depth, plus the width plus 1" (2.5 cms) for the seam allowances.
  2. Length of the sheet (L): measure the length of the mattress. L = twice the depth, plus the length plus 1.5" (3.75 cms) for the seam allowances.
  3. Measure the drop of the skirt (D): measure from the bottom of the mattress to the floor or the required drop and add 1.5" (3.75 cms) for the seam allowances.
  4. For a skirt with inverted pleats at the bottom corners, add the length of the mattress to twice the width of the mattress, add 12" (30 cms) for each pleat and 2" (5 cms) for hems. Widths of fabric may need to be joined together with a French seam to achieve this measurement. Match patterned fabrics where necessary.

Preparing a Pleated Skirt:

  1. Image of preparing a pleated skirt for a valance sheetTurn 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 all 3 sides and press.
  4. Measure the length of the mattress from each end of the skirt and mark with pins.
  5. Measure a further 12" (30 cms) from each of the pins 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. Tack in place along the top edge and press the pleats down their length making sure the folds are at right angles to the top edge.

Making a Valance Sheet:

  1. Image relates to steps 2 to 4 of making a valance sheetTo fit the sheet section, turn in a double 0.5" (12 mm) hem at the top edge. Pin and stitch.
  2. From each corner measure the depth of the mattress and mark.
  3. Measure the same distance at right angles to these marks to form a square and mark.
  4. Cut out the squares, leaving 0.5" (12 mm) seam allowance on all edges.
  5. With right sides together, pin and stitch these cut edges to form points at each corner.
  6. Image refers to steps 5 and 6 of making a valance sheet
    Images refers to steps 7 and 8 of making a valance sheet
  7. Neaten the raw edges of these seams by overlocking or zigzag stitch.
  8. With right sides together and matching the raw edges, pin the skirt to the sides and bottom edges of the sheet. Make sure that the gathers are even or that the centres of the inverted pleats are lined up with the corner seams. Adjust the gathers or pleats if necessary.
  9. Machine stitch the skirt to the sheet, 0.5" (12 mm) in from the raw edges.
  10. Neaten the raw edges by overlocking or zigzag stitch and press.

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