One of the first things I noticed about this house before we bought it (and something I fell in love with) was how many windows there were AND how tall the ceilings were. Our ceiling height is 10 feet in most rooms and upwards of 13 feet in our living room. This is AMAZING for light and space and our really tall Christmas tree during the holidays. But it STINKSSSSS for curtains.
Yes, I know, I know….IKEA sells long curtains. But they still aren’t long enough to be floor length in any rooms. So! Today I am showing you how I took the store-bought curtains in Esther’s room and lengthened them all with a project time of just about ONE HOUR! (now this is a project I can get on board with, esp when you see the before and after)
First step is to find 3 curtain panels that you love; 2 for the mail and 1 that will be adding the length. The caveat is that all 3 of them must be the same width (ie, you don’t want to be sewing, cutting, or measuring extra steps if you don’t have to…remember this is a simple and easy project). I found 2 coral colored panels and then one sparkly pink for the accent all from Target for under $40 total.
- 2 curtain panels in the “main color” (Coral for our project)
- 1 curtain panel as an “accent” or what will be added to the bottom (Sparkly pink for ours)
- A sewing machine (only the best Janome for me over here, LOVE this brand)
- Coordinating thread
- A tape measure
- A rotary cutter, straight edge and cutting mat
- Measure your lengths
You will make 2 measurements before you take your current curtains down (if you don’t have them up, you may want to hang them first to get a visual, I am 100% a visual person and it gave me a good idea of where I wanted the panels to meet before cutting).
The first measurement will be the length you want to take off of the current hung panel. You can mark this with a pencil or just mark it with your finger as you’re holding the tape measure.
This may be just a little or it may be a lot. I took 6” off each of the original curtain panels.
The second measurement will be the length want to add to the bottom from the previously measured mark + 1”. I measured 26” from the mark to the floor, so my final 2nd measurement is 27”. (This additional inch will be for the seam allowance).
2. Iron All Panels
Iron all panels SUPPPPPPER well. You want things to line up as perfectly as we can
3. Cut Panels
Cut panels according to your measurements in step 2.
**tip: From the curtain I was adding (the sparkly pink), I chose to cut one 27” section from the already hemmed top and another 27” section from the already bottom so that I didn’t have to “hem” the curtain again.
4. Iron the Hems
I don’t know the official name for this, but I am going to call this step the “interlocking hem”
If you were just to sew the 2 panels right sides together you would get a “back” raw edge that could unravel or frey when washed and would also just give a strange bulge when hung.
You are going to fold the raw edge of both of your bottom panels (the panel adding length) 1” down on the right side of the panel (meaning you want the pressed hem to go towards the “front” of the panel)
Then you will fold the raw edge of both of the top panels (the original curtain) 1” down to the wrong side of the panel (meaning you want to the pressed hem to go towards to the “back” of the panel).
5. Interlock + Sew
Lay the bottom panel down onto a flat surface and lay the top panel, overlapping the 1 inch ironed raw edges. You will stitch between the ironed creases to “baste” the panels and hold them in place. Then use the natural “fold” of the 2 ironed lines to “fold” the hem and top stitch on either side of the fold!
Now hang your curtains and enjjoooooyyyyyy!
Be sure to leave a comment or tag on social so that I can see when and if you embark on this SUPER easy way to extend the length to store-bought curtains in about 1 hour of sewing (and ironing) time! 🙂