Advanced search

how easy is it to take curtains up

(15 Posts)
pourmeanotherglass Tue 26-Feb-13 22:54:25

I don't do a lot of sewing.

I want these curtains from laura ashley for my daughters new loft room.

Walls are lilac. Can't find another pair I like as much. However, our window is wide and not very high. The curtains are £157 to buy them ready made but too long, or £470 to buy made to measure.

Can I do this with basic sewing skills? (I've taken hems up on kids trousers etc, and can just about run up a simple gathered skirt on my sewing machine, but nothing complex)

Fairypants Tue 26-Feb-13 23:11:39

Curtains are similar to taking up trouser hems but a bit more fuddly due to: a) the sheer amount of fabric makes it tricky to get straight so you really need a lot of pubs to mark out where you want them hemmed to, and
b) they will be lined so two layers and it is important to make sure the lining is shorter than the face fabric otherwise it looks really bad.

It is quite a faff but I moved house last year and have therefore taken up 4 pairs of curtains in the last 12 months - I consider it worth the faff to save that much money but, given how much money the ready made curtains are, it may even be worth making them from scratch (that is probably as easy as taking them up).
Alternatively, there are a number of places you can pay to have people to take them up for you which would still be cheaper than buying made to measure!

piprabbit Tue 26-Feb-13 23:17:17

I think those look easy to work with as they are pure cotton. You've got a nice square edge, which needs to be turned up the same length all along - so you just need to make sure that you new hem is Xcm wide.

I usually handstitch curtain hems to make the stitches as invisible as possible.

I probably wouldn't even bother to unhem the original hem, just include it in the turn up (unless you are making them feet shorted).

pourmeanotherglass Tue 26-Feb-13 23:25:10

I need to make them quite a lot shorter, so I'll probably have to cut it. (I need 2m wide, but only around 1.5m long). No-one seems to make curtains the right shape for our window, it is a wide dormer, but the ceiling isn't very high. May even have enough off-cuts to make a matching cushion or something.
I don't know whether the lining is sewn in at the bottom or just at the sides, it is hard to tell from the picture, and they are in a packet in the shop. I guess if I unpick it at the bottom, I can just copy what they did.

BackforGood Tue 26-Feb-13 23:37:22

If you've not done it before, then I'd either pin, or tack them, then hang them, and see if it looks right before sewing properly. I know it's a faff to hang, then take down, but better than it not working out quite right if you've spent that much on them.

piprabbit Tue 26-Feb-13 23:44:13

I think you are right - you'd probably need to cut off about 50cm. You'll be fine, just go slowly and check at every stage that you are straight.

Copying exactly what they did is the secret. I doubt the lining will be sewn along the bottom, although you may need to unpick the sides a short way so that you can fold the new patterned hem inside the lining material.

Honestly, it's all straight lines and you can even hang them up at your window at each stage to check that you are happy (e.g. when you've cut off the bulk of the length, then again when you've pinned/tacked your new hems etc.).

steppemum Tue 26-Feb-13 23:54:34

The lining will only be sewn down the side. You will need to unpick up the side seam a bit to cut off the lining.

Measure the length of the new curtains and then add the length of the hem. Do look at the tops and see where you will put the hooks before you measure the length.

Measure, measure and measure. Pin and use a pencil to draw on the new line. Fold over quite a chunky hem as the weight helps the curtains to hang.

So, I would do a hem about 2'' deep, but folded twice (so turn up 1-2 inches and press and then turn up 2'' and press again)

As long as you use a tape measure and keep double checking your lengths, the actual unpicking and sewing is very straightforward.

sydlexic Wed 27-Feb-13 00:00:53

Can't open the link, if they are light weight use wonder web. Either way the easiest way to get them right is to iron them where you want them before sewing.

fossil971 Wed 27-Feb-13 09:31:34

This is how I would do it, step by step, I've made a few pairs of curtains recently. You could definitely do it if you can use a sewing machine. Helps to have a big floor space to lay them out flat and measure/cut everything.

-Look at the depth of the existing hem, normally about 10cm. Cut the curtains allowing for 2x this amount longer than the new finished length.
-Unpick the seam between the lining and side of the curtain for a good foot above the new hem to give you some space to work.
-cut the lining fabric again, 4cm longer than the final length.
- Press up 4cm +4cm (double hem) on the lining and machine it
- Press up the double hem (e.g. 10cm +10cm or whatever) on the curtain.
- Fold the sides back to their original line and mitre the corner i.e. fold in on the diagonal to hide edges.
- Hand sew the mitred corners and curtain hem with hemming stitches, they can be quite big stitches, it won't take long.
- Press the lining side back to its original line just inside the curtain edge, and handsew the rest of the bit you've unpicked.

Nobody will ever know they aren't made to measure.

fossil971 Wed 27-Feb-13 09:34:19

Also Laura Ashley are constantly having sales if you sign up to their emails - don't pay full price for the curtains in the first place grin

7to25 Wed 27-Feb-13 09:40:12

Sorry I missed this thread
The easiest way is to remove the heading tape and take the excess off he top of the curtains and then reattach the tape.
Honestly, it is an easy job

pourmeanotherglass Wed 27-Feb-13 13:58:32

Thanks for the tips - sounds do-able, i'm going to give it a go.

itsmummynotmum Wed 27-Feb-13 18:21:53

it is surely quite basic, have you googled? there are how-to's online

fossil971 Wed 27-Feb-13 21:00:22

That's so obvious!
prize for lateral thinking grin

7to25 Wed 27-Feb-13 21:57:48

Although I would like to claim the prize, that is how the professionals do it.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now