Wednesday, July 24, 2013

No-Sew Lengthened Curtains

Okay, full disclosure: these start with a pair of actual curtains, but lengthened with a fabric of your choice. And you could sew them, if you so chose, but my sewing machine was on the fritz.




I bought these purple microsuede curtains super cheap on Amazon for our bedroom:



Pretty, right? Only problem was, I didn't actually measure how long I needed them to be, and these were too short. The window in the bedroom is floor to ceiling, so I couldn't really utilize curtains that were a foot too short.

So I decided to add a patterned fabric to the bottom to make these work. Only problem was, my sewing machine was giving me attitude. Enter Steam-A-Seam Fusible Web! (Nope, they're not paying me.) This is an iron-on hem/seam creator. They make a few variations, one of which is heavy duty and ideal for home decor items.

All you need to do this is some cheap curtains, a yard of coordinating fabric, an iron, and some form of fusible webbing.

1. To measure how much of the original curtain I needed to trim and to figure out how much of the patterned fabric to add, I hung the purple curtains on the rod so I could see exactly where they fell. I intentionally measured up from the bottom to see where I should cut them so the purple would end lined up with the lines of the windows (see below). Also remember your seam allowances! I added 1/2 inch on all sides to my measurements to account for a folded over seam.

To summarize, I wanted the purple section to be 6 inches shorter than it was when hung originally, with an additional 18 inches of patterned fabric to make up the bottom. The existing purple panels were 54 inches wide. This meant cutting off 5 1/2 inches off of the curtains and cutting two patterned panels that each were 55 inches wide and 19 inches high.

2. I then used the iron on tape to create side and bottom hems on the two patterned fabric panels by following the Steam-A-Seam instructions.

3. Finally, I placed the webbing tape along the top raw edge of the patterned fabric (on the front). I placed each patterned fabric panel on one of the purple curtains, both with right sides facing in to each other, and the raw edges of each lined up. I fused this in place, then, with the panels laid out, ironed them flat.




These directions are a bit brief, but it's pretty simple. You just want to make sure to measure twice, cut once, and visualize where all your seam allowances need to be.

Using the fusible webbing didn't really save any actual time - it might have even been faster to use a sewing machine. However, if you don't have a machine or don't feel like getting it out, this is another option for basic projects!

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