Elder Daughter is now in the Doc Martins and camo phase of teenage self expression. That expression has spiraled out to her immediate surroundings. As a result, last fall we replaced her pre-teen starry night sheets with a bed-in-a-bag set on this theme:


It came with a top sheet, a fitted bottom sheet, a comforter and a pillowcase. And for some reason – a bed skirt. To those who don’t suckle at the breast of Martha Stewart, a bed skirt is a somewhat prissy patterned dust ruffle that lies between the mattress and box spring on most beds, with the fashion fabric curtaining off the under-bed area from general view. Far be it from me to question the wisdom of the marketers who thought that someone favoring camouflage patterns might use and appreciate such a thing.

In any case, her bed is a high platform with built-in drawers underneath and a bed skirt is irrelevant. Still, the skirt came with the set, and I abhor waste, so together Elder Daughter and I decided to remake it into a pair of narrow valences for the windows in her room. It’s taken this long to start the project because my ancient Elna sewing machine has been up on blocks awaiting repairs. The machine has now been overhauled and I am no longer able to endure the puppy looks and pleading, so I’ve begun.

Here’s our general plan. My goal is to minimize sewing as much as possible, by re-using existing finished edges and seams:


I’m at the first step (upper left of the diagram), slicing the camo fabric off from the foot of the skirt and picking out the box pleated corners:


We have no ideas on what to do with the excised bit from the former foot. Various pillow and stuffed animal suggestions have been floated. I also considered (then discarded as too fiddly) the idea of using some of it to make curtain tabs rather than a simple rod casing.

I think I’ll take this opportunity to introduce Elder Daughter to Ancient Elna. Long straight seams are easy and sewing is a life skill. More on this as we progress.

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