When winter starts knocking on your doors (or on your windows, which would be more applicable in this scenario), one effective way of decreasing its hold over your home would be to buy heavy curtains. Many people find this very effective, however, large heavy curtains are very expensive, and it’s actually cheaper to buy smaller (or shorter, to be more exact) curtains and sew them together.
This is called hemming the curtains, and it’s actually far cheaper than buying whole curtains. In today’s article, we’ll be taking a look at curtain hemming and teaching you, step by step, how to do it.
Let’s get started!
Are Curtains Easy to Sew?
Hemming curtains isn’t that difficult. Sure, it requires a certain level of skill and some supplies that you may need to buy, but the job itself isn’t impossible to pull off – even if you’re a total beginner and don’t yet know how to sew.
How to Sew Curtains?
Firstly, you’ll need a few things to get this project started.
Obviously, you’ll need curtains. On top of that, you’ll need many straight pins, a sewing machine, a coordinating thread, an iron with an ironing board, and a clear ruler.
Step 1 – Hang Your Curtains and Pin the Curtain Hem
Before you start sewing anything, you’ll need to hang your curtains up to see where you want your curtains to land. Some people prefer their curtains touching the floor, while others like them to be above the floor. It truly doesn’t matter, the process is the same, and this is only your preference.
Start marking where you want to trim your curtains with a pin. You’ll need to work your way across the curtain in 10-inch intervals, and it’s very important to make sure that your curtain is completely pulled straight down before marking your desired location with a pin.
If you’ve decided that you don’t want your curtains touching the floor, then you can use a yardstick instead of the wall or floor to place your pins. The method remains the same, but you need to hold up a yardstick and pin the curtain at the 1-inch mark (or how many inches you wish).
It’s important to keep your curtains straight when you’re taking your measurements, as you’ll have a straighter trim.
Step 2 – Folding and Ironing the Hem
Now that you’ve marked your curtain, you can take it down from the rod and put it on your ironing board. You’ll want to make sure that the curtain is right-side down with the bottom of the curtain sitting on the ironing board.
You shouldn’t sew your hem in place until you iron it to ensure that your curtain has a neat crease. Get your curtain flat by using an iron.
Step 3 – Sewing the Hem in Place
Once the hem has been measured, pinned, and ironed – you can proceed with the sewing. Load your sewing machine with a coordinating thread and sew the hem in place. Make sure to sew an eighth of an inch or a quarter of an inch in from the finished edge.
That’s it! Now your curtains are nice and tight, and they’ll surely fit your windows well.
However, if you’re looking to shorten them instead of hem the edges, there’s a method for that, as well.
The steps are the same as with the first and the second step of the method we’ve just described, however, you need to be careful with this method. Since you’ll effectively be cutting off a large piece of the curtain, it’s important to measure it properly to ensure it isn’t too short or too long.
Step 4 – Cutting the Curtain
Now you can cut alongside the edge, using it as a guide for your pair of scissors. Large fabric scissors are the very best to use for this part of the process. You don’t have to be perfectly accurate with this, but you shouldn’t move wider from a quarter of an inch from the line.
Following that, you’ll need to pin the final seam. Flip only one inch of the bottom seam over and pin every six to eight inches. You’ll need to iron it once again and make sure to look for any material deformations.
Step 5 – Sewing Your Curtains
After that, you’ll just need to sew up the seam. Once you do that, check for any excess material (there shouldn’t be any), and you’re done!
You’re now free to hang your curtain on the rod!
How Do You Sew Store Bought Curtains Together?
This process is actually called widening the curtains, as you’ll get a much wider curtain when you sew two curtains together.
For this, you’ll need 2 curtain panels (or even more, the process is the same). You will also need a sewing machine, coordinating thread, and some basic sewing tools.
Step 1 – Set the Curtains Together
You should place your two curtain panels, right-side down and side-by-side – you’ll be trimming and sewing the innermost side of each panel together.
You should undo everything on one side of your curtain panel so that you have a clean raw edge to sew to the other panel; you’ll basically need to reverse engineer the curtain. Once you do that with one panel, move on to the other – this should be faster as you’ll already know how to undo your curtain.
With the right sides together, pin the two panels together down the entire length of the curtain. If you see any hem creases, line them up to make your curtain look more appealing.
Step 2 – Sewing
Now, with a coordinating thread, sew down the length of your curtain panel. The two panels will be fully joined from top to bottom, and all you need to do is put the top and bottom back together as it was. Lay your seam to one side and iron it in place to do this, and then fold down the top and bottom hems to the exact spot where they were – pin them in place.
Following that – top stitch right along the existing stitch lines with matching thread. Repeat this process along the bottom of the panel by closing up the hem and top-stitching in place – just follow the stitch lines that were there before – it’s that simple!
That’s all, all that’s left to do is hang them up.
How Can I Shorten My Curtains Without Cutting or Sewing?
There are actually two ways you can shorten your curtains without having to cut them or sew them.
There’s an iron-on fusing web that you can use. This method can be pulled off while the curtains are still hanging, so you won’t even need to take them down.
Simply fold the bottom of the curtains under to the desired length while the curtains are still hanging and pin them to hold the curtain like that in place. Following that, bring the bottom of the curtain up to the ironing board and iron a crease on the new fold – as you could have noticed, an iron and an ironing board is necessary for all of these methods.
There is going to be some excess material, so you should cut that off a couple of inches past the fold and then remove the pins.
You can now unfold the bottom and line the fusing web across it, above the crease. You can use more than a single strip if the fabric is very heavy.
You’ll now fold the fabric on the strips and follow the instructions on the label. You should cover the curtain with a cloth and use an iron set to iron the curtain. Press and hold for 10 seconds and continue across the width of the curtain. You’ll need to repeat this process until the strips have bonded the curtain.
Repeat it on the other side once you’re done, and test it. That’s it!
Another way is to use curtain rings and flip the curtain over, which is much simpler than the previous method.
Measure how much of the curtain you’ll be hanging and iron it (otherwise you’ll notice a visible flap) – you might even need to shorten some excess curtain. After that, just flip the curtain over and hook it on the rings, after which you’ll hang the rings on the railing and hang it up. This method is much easier and requires less work, but it’s found to be less aesthetic than the previous method we explained.