Sunday 1 November 2015

How to Shorten Curtains Without Sewing

I'm sure a lot of you know how to shorten curtains and probably have more experience than me but this is my way of reducing the length of curtains without sewing. I hate to throw anything away so love to adapt items to give them a new lease of life. This method is great for light weight curtains, heavier fabrics may have to be sewn but the method of shortening will remain the same.

This is not a task for the faint-hearted! Although it is really easy to do, just handling large amounts of fabric can be a nightmare.

Curtains at window

I had a pair of curtains that were way too long for the window and because the radiator is under the window when they were drawn they cut out all the heat so I thought I would just reduce the length. I ended up decorating them too! Instructions for this can be found on my blog Nursery Makeover #1 Curtains.


Steam Iron
Ironing Board
Large Worksurface
Rotary Cutter and Cutting mat
Measuring Tape
Chalk or fabric pen
Wonderweb or similar iron on hemming tape

How to Do It

First measure the window and decide how long you'd like your curtains. Add enough for a decent sized hem. At least 4cm.

Lay the curtains on a work surface. I used my dining room table.

Curtain on a work surface. A dining room table

 Line the top of the curtain with the edge of the table. This keeps the curtain straight.

Tab of curtain lined up with table edge

Measure carefully from the top the length you need (don't forget the hem allowance) and mark. I used tailors chalk.

Measuring tape on curtain

Mark the measurement on the fabric

Measuring tape and ruler with marks at correct length

Using a ruler, rotary cutter and mat cut along the line.

Curtain with rotary cutter and mat. The waste has been cut off.

Place onto ironing table and fold over the hem. Press with the steam iron.

Picture showing raw edge folded

Fold the raw edge in, measure the hem allowance and press again.

Hand holding hem and tape measure

Cut the wonderweb the same length as the width of the curtains. I used 2 pieces because I wanted a deep hem. Lay the wonderweb along the hem and press.

Wonderweb along edge

Hem pressed and complete


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