Friday, March 18, 2011

How To Shorten Curtains

As requested by a fan here are some instruction on how to take up curtains. It really is very simple and is a case of common sense. Really just take a look at how the curtains are constructed as you alter them and copy .

1. Shortening curtains all depends on a) how much is being taken up b) what type of header you have c) do you have a lining? Is that lining attached at the bottom or is it just attached down the sides and simply hemmed and shorter than the decorative face fabric.

2. If you are only taking them up a bit, then you could just create a big turn up and not have to actually cut off any excess. Very easy especially if you don’t have a lining. It maybe easier and simpler to adjust the top of the curtain rather than the bottom but this depends on the header i.e. Tab Top, Eyelet or Pencil Pleat Tape. You can move the Tape down by unpicking the tape, the top of the curtain and a little down the sides. Mark where the new tape will be positioned then fold the top of the curtain a ¼ inch above where the tape will sit and fold in the sides too. If there is a lot of excess then cut off. Pin the tape back on and sew into position. Gather as needed and reattach the drapery hooks.

3. If your header is an eyelet one or tab top then you will have to adjust the hemline. First hang the curtains up on the curtain pole they will occupy.

4. Decide on where you want the hemline to fall by sticking a couple of pins in to mark the length. Take the curtains down.


5. If you have a lining you will have to unpick this now from the decorative fabric. Use a seam ripper or some pointed embroidery scissors. Unpick along the bottom and up the sides to where your new hemline will be too allow the fabrics to be folded over.


6. Laying the curtains flat over a flat hard surface, you will need to mark a line across the width of the curtain where you have placed the pin for your new hemline. Measure down from the top of the curtains to the pin, mark with chalk or another fabric marker, do this measurement every 10 inches across. Then draw a line to connect all these marks.


7. Measure another 2-3 inches (the longer the curtain the bigger number you will use) from this line and mark, again do this across the width of the curtain and draw a line.

8. Cut off the excess now by cutting along this new line.

9. The lining is always shorter than the decorative fabric so you can cut off an inch more than the decorative fabric.


10. Now fold the raw edge of the fabric (decorative) over ½ inch and press. Then fold over again at the point where the new hemline will be and press again. Do the same for the Lining.


11. Now depending on how the lining was attached at the bottom you will either have the decorative fabric hemline folding over the lining and encompassing it fully, pin it in place and sew along the hem (topstitch). Or you will sew the hemline of the decorative fabric and separately sew the hemline of the lining. The lining then can be stitched to the side of the decorative fabric at the bottom with a few hand stitches.

12. You should be done now so re-hang your curtains.

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