Thursday, September 15, 2016

1st Grade Valences & Sink Curtain

My daughter's new first grade teacher is new to the district and new to first grade.  I sent her an email welcoming her to our school and offered to do some sewing for her.  I was remembering how fun it was to make the Native American props last year and wondered if there would be something similar appreciated this year.  However, I did mention in my email that I could probably be talked into making curtains for the classroom.  I had no idea how many windows she would have though!
First Grade Curtains Valances

Because I had the various curriculum topics on my mind and also remembered one of my favorite projects making Kessa's Kindergarten quilt, I thought it might be fun to include different prints to coordinate with each curriculum topic.  After trying to explain my vision and showing the teacher a small picture from Kessa's quilt, she was on board.  The teacher also requested a curtain to hang under the sink in the classroom.  There was already velcro hanging there.

For the under sink curtain, I just made it 1.5 times the width and just one layer of fabric with all raw edges hemmed.  I added tucks every so often to have it fit the velcro.  I loved that I had extra of the crayon print for some detail.

The first step for the valances was to gather various prints I already owned.  I had been researching the different curriculum topics and started searching for fabric prints for each to buy.  Some topics were easy to consider and for others I needed to think more creatively.  Not every topic is well represented either.  I wanted to include many children's book prints too.  There are so many out there.

Some of my favorite fabric prints I found were chicks for the eggs they hatch in the spring, the many children's books including prints from Eric Carle, Dr. Seuss and Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.

Each rectangle of fabric was 4.5" x 6.5".  I added in small strips of light blue every four rectangles.  The finished valances are 18" long and I ended up having the front and the back be one continuous piece of light blue connecting at the prints.  My header was 2.5" to be sure to accommodate whatever hanging method the teacher found.  For the side seams I just serged them and folded and top stitched.

Because the large windows were eight feet wide, I opted to sew two separate panels for each.  I did repeat the prints between the two large windows and small single window.  Some repeated more than others.  I also added some basic prints to add variety.  These valances also were 1.5 times the width of the windows.

It was really fun searching for prints and finding old prints of mine.  One red print with dinosaurs and books was from a pair of shorts I made for a toddler friend in 1999!