Some windows are shorter than the curtains you buy from the store. Fortunately, there are different ways to shorten it. In this post, you’ll learn how to shorten curtains even without sewing them.
You can shorten curtains without sewing using curtain clips or fabric glue tape. When you use either of these materials, all you need to do is to fold the fabric and clip it if you’re using the clip. If you’re using glue tape, you’ll need iron to help the glue stick on the fabric.
However, if you plan to shorten the curtain permanently, I suggest sewing it. As you go reading this post, I’ll discuss different ways of shortening the curtain, including sewing by hand, in case you change your mind.
What is the easiest way to shorten curtains?
The easiest way to shorten curtains is by hanging them on the curtain rod.
Then at the bottom part, you create a line on the curtain where you want to end the hemline.
It’s the easiest way because you don’t need to use a measuring tape to ensure that the entire hemline has the same measurement.
Yes, you don’t need a measuring tape. All you need to have is tailor’s chalk and pins.
So, how does it work?
The first thing you need to do is hang your curtain on the curtain rod.
Then pull the curtain down, making sure the curtain fabric is taut.
Use a straight edge tool like a ruler to keep the curtain in place.
To make sure that you’ll get the right measurement, the ruler must touch the wall-floor joint creating an imaginary line on the curtain.
Take note that you’re not using the ruler to measure the length.
You’ll only use it to mark an imaginary line on the curtain.
The next thing you need to do is to draw a line from the imaginary line using a tailor’s chalk.
Most tailor’s chalk is washable.
Tailor’s Chalk is available here on Amazon!
But if you’re in doubt, ask. Because a ruler is not long enough to cover the entire length of the window, you create lines in sections.
To keep it accurate, ask for someone’s help to maintain the stretch of the fabric. You can also use a yardstick if you have it.
Using an iron with steam, create a crease on the curtain where your mark the line. Then you pin it to keep it in place.
You have several options to keep the fold together. You can sew it by hand, through a sewing machine or a fabric glue tape. The curtain clip doesn’t help use this technique because the hem we’re creating is at the bottom.
As you read along, you’ll learn later why the curtain clip doesn’t work when the hem’s at the bottom.
How do you shorten a curtain without cutting it?
You can shorten a curtain without cutting it through folding.
It creates a thicker hem that adds weights to the bottom end of the curtain, which helps to lessen the wrinkles.
To shorten through folding, you start with measuring the curtain. You can follow the tips and tricks I mentioned earlier.
You can also use the traditional way of measuring a curtain using a tape measure or a yardstick.
Don’t be surprised if the length of the hem is different on either side. That’s why measuring is important.
Amazon has a wide range of sewing machines here!
Your goal here is that all the curtain has the same length all throughout.
As you measure, don’t forget to use a tailor’s chalk to mark the fold. Once you’re done, fold the hem and press it with iron with steam.
It’ll make the hem look like it’s handmade and done by a professional.
Using a sewing machine, you choose a straight stitch in the machine’s selector.
Then you edgestitch the hem to ensure that it’ll look professionally done.
Don’t forget to do the backstitch to ensure that the threads are secured.
If you have no access to a sewing machine, use fabric glue tape.
How do you shorten curtains by hand?
If you don’t have a sewing machine, you can sew the curtains by hand.
You can use the blind stitch or whip stitch because these are invisible stitches.
Even if you have wide curtains, it’s manageable to sew them by hand using the stitches I mentioned.
Similar to the procedure in sewing a hem using a machine, always measure, fold and iron the hem to create a polished crease.
If you have no skill to sew, you can use fabric glue tape. To start, measure, fold and iron the hem. The goal here is to ensure that the crease is polished.
Fabric Glue is available here on Amazon!
Then, you get the fabric glue tape and sandwich it between the fold.
If the hem is wider than the glue tape, cut it. However, don’t cut the hem to the same size as the glue tape. Leave at least half an inch.
Then using an iron with steam, iron the hem.
Make sure that the glue tape sticks to both sides of the cloth. When it’s not sticking, pass the iron several times to the hem until the hem is secured.
How do you shorten drapes?
Sewing and using fabric glue tape are the common ways to shorten a drape. Yet, I have other options for a creative drape look. Let’s begin with the tieback.
This creative drape look adds elegance to your curtain.
However, your windows won’t be entirely covered with this look.
But if that’s fine with you, use the tieback. Tassels are common for tying the drapes, but new versions come in magnetic form.
Range of tiebacks here on Amazon!
You can also tie your curtain like a scarf if you don’t have a tieback.
But expect that it’ll shorten the curtain a couple of inches. If it doesn’t bother you to have an uncovered window, this is another option.
Another hack you can do is raising the curtain rod. If there’s enough space, I recommend you do it. Raise the rod about three to four inches so you won’t need to shorten the curtain.
The good thing about this hack is that your window looks higher because the length of the curtain is longer.
However, take note you need to drill some holes to attach the rod. If you like the height, you can do this hack.
But if you can’t see it as a long-term fix, just use a fabric glue tape or a tieback.
How to shorten curtains with clips
To shorten curtains with clips, what you need to have is metal clip-on drapery rings.
These are alligator clips that are attached to a ring.
You may need a lot to make sure that it can carry the weight of the curtain.
It also helps in creating pleats, which makes the curtain look elegant.
When using a clip, the folding of the curtain must be done on the top and not at the bottom. The primary goal here is to shorten the curtain without sewing it.
So, what you need to do is to fold the top then clip it to keep it in place.
Clips are available here on Amazon!
You can also use pins before you clip it, so it stays in place.
Don’t forget to iron the fold to create a crisp crease. After clipping the curtains and removing the pins, you can now hang the curtains.
Take note curtain clips can be used for aesthetic purposes.
If you don’t have any issue with the length of the curtain, you can clip it right away. The clips are also the solution if you want to lengthen your curtain.
The space it takes up at the top can fill the discrepancy of the curtains’ length.
How to hem sheer curtains
When hemming sheer curtains, you must be careful and gentle because it tears easier than the thicker fabrics.
To avoid tearing, you must use thin needles that range from size 8 to 10.
You must also use thin threads so it won’t damage the curtain.
I suggest using a polyester thread or a cotton-wrapped polyester thread, which has a very fine or extra-fine type.
Polyester thread is available in different colors here on Amazon!
You can use a sewing machine, but if the curtain is too thin, it’s better to sew it by hand.
To hem a sheer curtain, you measure the desired length while the curtain hangs on the curtain rod.
Fold the hem and trim the excess fabric. Don’t be afraid of using a pin because some sheer curtains are slippery.
To keep the fold in place, the pin can help.
If you have a serging sewing machine, you can use it to hem sheer curtains.
This type of sewing machine multitasks because it trims the fabric while it stitches the machine.
Curtains add elegance to a window. It’s part of an interior design that creates a statement in a particular room.
Even though you want a shabby chic style or a ragged vibe room, it’s important to keep the curtain look polished.
It must have the right length, and the crease is crisp.