shortcut to hemming curtains

When I was a newlywed, I traded my mom my rollerblades for her sewing machine.  I wanted to learn to sew and make things for my house.  And she wanted to…well…rollerblade.  I don’t know if she ever took up rollerblading around the neighborhood, but it was a great trade for me.  Today, I helped her hem 12 premade drapes for her family room and that trade paid off for her as well.

Hemming can be really easy when you’ve made the curtains.  You can make sure all of the fabric is square at the corners and the measurements are uniform.  When working with premade panels, it’s a gamble.  These panels were not square and uniform, so we had a tough time figuring out how to get an even hem.  We ended up creating a system that worked like a charm.  All we used was a measuring tape, Frog Tape and hand weights.

First, I taped a straight line on the floor with Frog Tape that is longer than the width of the curtain panel.  We hung one panel and pinned where we wanted the hem to be.  Once that was determined (100 3/4″), I transferred that measurement to the floor, using the bottom of the first line of Frog Tape as my starting point.  I then made a second straight line parallel to the first, exactly 100 3/4″ apart.  This now gives me two straight lines to follow when folding over the hem.   My mom removed the existing hem from the curtains with a seam ripper.  If there is a lot of excess fabric, trim it, so you only have 6-7″ excess fabric for the hem.

 

One at a time, I spread the curtain panels on the floor face down and lined up the top of the panel with the bottom edge of the first line of Frog Tape.  When lined up, I put a couple of hand weights on the panel to hold it in place.

 

I then gently tugged at the bottom of the panel to make sure it was smooth.  The edge was already turned over 1/2″ and pressed, so raw edges wouldn’t be exposed.

 

I folded the panel up until the folded edge lined up with the top edge of the second piece of Frog Tape.

 

 Pin the hem in place and sew.  Press the hem and iron panels if necessary.  (You can see in our case, it was necessary!)

 

We then repeated this step with all 12 panels.  I pinned and sewed and my mom pressed.

The nice thing about using Frog Tape for this project is that it will release without leaving any residue.  You could also use it on carpet, tile, linoleum or laminate.

 

It was a huge time saver and the curtains look awesome.

 

 

Just a little behind-the-scenes shot…

 

See that wire coming out of my mouth?  I often am the hand model and the photographer, so I’ve learned to use my shutter remote with my teeth.  Of course, it didn’t work well for this picture, since you can see the cord, so my mom had to step in and take the picture.  So, as you’re looking through my book and HGTV.com tutorials, know that a lot of those pictures were taken with my teeth.  You do what you gotta do!

This is a sponsored post brought to you by Frog Tape. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.


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Comments

  1. mrsben says:

    Great job! The only thing I will caution your readers about is; heavy weight or loosely woven fabrics have a tendency to relax (stretch) so it is often wise to hang your curtains for a few days prior to hemming them. -Brenda-

  2. Jamie says:

    I love your stuff! I will be using this info today! You should consider putting “pin it” buttons on your page. That would be really helpful :) thanks for all your great advice!

  3. frankie angelo says:

    Oh one of the things I did with “home depot” drop cloth was wash t hem first and dyed them a pearl grey; then along side hung “cheesecloth” curtains; Love it. Have received alot of compliments on them.

    I love your site and your ideas.

    frankie

  4. Karen says:

    Found your hemming shortcut today and tried it. It worked perfectly! I used painters tape and soup cans for weights. Thanks for posting this. You helped me get my project back on track!

    • Karen says:

      PS) my grommets weren’t evenly spaced from the top edge, so I measured from the top center of inside the grommet where it would hang.

  5. Christine says:

    Just wanted to drop you a line to say thanks for the tip! I also had 12 panels to hem and your system worked really well. I would say that this is a good system for any number of panels that you have to do though… I was reallly surprised at how uneven some if the hems were as well as the length (which was supposed to be 96″) varied quite dramatically. This way, you could make sure they are “squared off” and even. Thanks again!

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