How to shorten curtains to fit your window
This time, rather than Gemma’s jeans it was the curtains that needed sorting. We’d had a lighter and longer pair up before these ones and we’d now suffered a couple of Summers of early mornings once the sun was shining at ungodly hours. So this time as spring approached we decided enough was enough….(when I say we, that is Gemma)…and brought some new ones. It was then that Gemma kindly requested that I take them up a little.
The beauty is they match the grey of the lampshade which I have recently made. Again don’t for a second think I was party to this decision ;o)
Ready made curtains are great value for money, but the challenge is getting them to fit the window. If you take Ikea for example most of their curtains are 3 meters long but how many 3 meter high windows do you have in your house? We certainly don’t have many…
With these simple instructions I’ll guide you through the process of shortening a pair of ready made curtains to save you a small fortune in getting curtains made to measure, or in our case giving you a better nights sleep as they’ll fit the window, letting less light in.
So I begin by hooking up the curtains to the rail and checking the drop to the windowsill so that I get just the right length, taking a note of this measurement I remove the curtains and take them to the cutting table.
I lay the curtains down and lightly mark the length where I want the drop to finish.
From this point I then work out how much of a hem I would like to have. Ideally curtains aren’t pressed at the very bottom of the hem, they are left to hang and find their own natural length, however with a little more weight this will help them to settle and hang a little better.
So with this in mind I make sure there is a good few inches of hem to play with, I mark along the width of them and cut them clean across.
From here, I do a very light press on the first raw edge up about an inch. I then fold up again until such point as I reach my desired full curtain length. I then pin this securely in place.
Now for the key bit. I really like the function that a lot of newer machines have and that is the blind hem stitch. It’s fantastic, it really is. In essence it gives about 4 stitches on the desired, folded under section, followed by a single pinprick stitch through to the right side every half inch or so.
It takes a bit of practice to get this working right, but I assure you, once mastered you’ll never look back. I would suggest that you take a few minutes and an off-cut of fabric and have a couple of trial runs first.
Once done on the real thing it leaves me with a pair of curtains that are the perfect length, with a very occasional super fine stitch through to the right side, which is almost invisible.
By the way, as our window is set into the eaves I was aiming for them to just rest on the windowsill, rather than hang clear of it. That way we have almost a black out in the room. Handy for those lazy weekend mornings….if the kids allow us that is!
Now I have plenty of material left over I can feel some matching cushions coming on…shhhh don’t tell Gemma 😉