House Hold · Sewing · Turorial

Shortening Curtains While keeping the Original Hem

I love sewing! Wether it is to fix something or make something new… but the thing I really don’t like is hemming! If there is a way that I do not have to hem, let me tell you, I will find it.

I recently acquired drapes that needed to be shortened up a few inches.  I did it in such a way that made use of the orignal hem.  Trust me, this is super easy and only requires minimal sewing skills. 2013-01-02 20.41.02

Make sure that what ever fabric you are hemming is washed and dried.  You don’t want it to shrink after you have already taken up the bottom.

Measure how many inches had to be removed.  DO NOT INCLUDE the hem in this measurement. 2013-01-02 20.40.48

I had to remove 8.5 inches.  (not including the hem) Take half that measurement (4.25) and measure up from the top of the hem on the back of the curtain. I used an Olfa ruler and chalk so that it was very precise and I would have a nice straight line in the end.

2013-01-02 20.44.50Fold on the chalk line. Press with an iron.

2013-01-02 20.47.08

Using the zipper foot on your sewing machine, sew as close to the hem as possible. But not on the hem.2013-01-02 20.57.24

(1). Cut away excess fabric, (2) leaving about a half an inch. (3)Using a seam ripper remove the stitching from the top of the original hem. (4) Seam completely open.Collage1

(5)Push half-inch seam allowance under original hem, (6) Iron the half-inch seam toward the bottom of the curtain. (7) Replace the stitching in the original hem with the half-inch hidden inside.  I used a Walking Foot for this step so that the layers would all move consistently.   Collage3 Now hang your curtains and think about how awesome you are!2013-01-03 16.51.52

This technique also works for jeans or any other garment that you wish to keep the original hem.  There are many tutorials on this, but many do not sew the excess fabric into the original hem.  Doing this makes the finished product look more polished.  One of the tutorials that I like is Magic Hemsignature

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