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The totally wrong way to hem curtains



I took the tree down a couple of days ago and it left me staring at my unhemmed curtains that I finished about two years ago.  I came to the realization that I am never going to hem these curtains.  There is always something more fun to do than pinning, measuring, ironing and sewing straight lines.  They don’t look bad without a hem, but I have to fluff them a lot to position them right and they puddle on the floor in an unattractive way, so the curtains don’t hang as well.


As I was looking at them I realized that they have not frayed at all.  The fabric is indoor/outdoor canvas that hasn’t been washed, so it has a nice stiffness to it.  Well, I grabbed a pair of scissors and just cut them off.



I felt a little bit like Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation when he chopped off the wobbly newel post with a chain saw.  “The curtains needed to be hemmed, so I hemmed them.”  (Hacked them off with scissors.)  “Problem solved.”  I knew it was the totally wrong way to hem curtains, but they look so much better!  I went ahead and did it to the living and dining room curtains, too, and they look so much better!



I kept hearing the voice of The Nester in my head.  “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.”  Well, any proper seamstress who turns over these curtains and sees my lazy shortcut to a real hem might pass out, but I’m at peace with it.

Well, I’ve had a lot of fun with my boys over the break building Legos & forts, spinning Bey Blades and playing games…





…but I’m ready to get back to my routine.   Anyone else?

The winner of the $100 True Value Gift Card is…

Nanette Hill from Attracting Different.

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  1. I’m glad to know that i’m not the only one who leaves my curtains unhemmed! I’ve been known to use the same hemming method. Works for me too!!


  2. Gillianne says:

    Hemming with shears is continuing the process you used to decide that Luckett’s wasn’t pulling its weight in your life anymore–weighing what’s important and making choices accordingly, don’t you think? (I couldn’t hack off fabric, but that’s my failing. Might drag an ironing board to the curtains and try to use iron-on tape without taking ’em down.)

    • Jennifer says:

      This is exactly what I did when I finally realized that I was never going to take all 6 panels down to hem them ( and then probably be frustrated when they ended up crooked or different lengths!) I just dragged the ironing board along the window as I went and it didn’t take long at all and looks SO much better! Go for it!

      • Oh my gosh – thank you both for giving me “permission” to do this to my Family Room curtains! When I first put them up I “decided” they looked great puddling on the floor – very in-style! Well they never look nice. Either someone reaches behind one to plug in their laptop or a dog decides to hide a bone in their. I am too lazy to take all 6 down and hem them. And I am not brazen enough to cut them. So i will iron and tape them! Yay! and Thanks!

  3. Hahah. Although I usually like the puddle-y look, perhaps only because all of my curtains are also unhemmed, yours look great now. Also, who looks at curtain hems in any case? Whatever works, right?

  4. Great job! I’ve got two pair that need hemming, you’ve inspired me to get on it today. Mary

  5. Irene G. says:

    Hate to bring this up… but isn’t that the room you are putting in new hard wood flooring….

  6. Hi Marian. I’m still hoping you will tell us what wallpaper you used in your office. It is exactly what I am hoping to use one day. Thanks!

  7. I love that you just went ahead and did what felt right with those curtains! Now THAT has inspired me. I can’t sew — maybe I could if I really put my mind to it but I didn’t like it in Home Ec and I haven’t liked it any of the times I’ve decided to try again…which means it’s not my thing. But there are things I would love to make…and I’ve realized that in those instances I’ll have to pay to have that done. But just taking scissors and giving a whack? Wow!! :) I have an old window I’ve hung on my wall and you can see the wire we used to hold it up firmly. I had a swag on there over the holidays but now that it’s down I was thinking I’d put up a fake curtain and just grab some material and nail it up. I thought — well that’s kind of cheating — but if Miss Mustard Seed can chop off curtains without hemming, I can do what I want with that window! Thanks!!

  8. Too funny, just the other day I tripped over the puddled curtains in my master bedroom! They weren’t puddled until I recently decided to hang them with curtain rings rather than on the rod itself. This led to an extra 3 inches of puddling, which is fine for heavier, fancier curtains but not for these wispy linen ones!

    Yours look amazing, but I’m pretty sure mine would fray! Oh well, time for me to break out the ladder and raise the hardware lest I trip again and break my neck!

    – Dana

  9. Carrie says:

    Hope you had a relaxing holiday! I just noticed that your family room walls are blue, would you mind sharing the color and also where you got your fabric for your curtains. I am trying to brighten up our family room and I like your colors! Thanks!

    • Miss Mustard Seed says:

      It’s Glass Slipper by Benjamin Moore and it’s a gorgeous color. The curtain fabric is from, but I’ve also seen it at JoAnn and Hobby Lobby.

  10. Congratulations to the winner!!!
    Yes I am really enjoying my time with my family.But it is cold and we are not going out anywhere just staying home.Which is fine just being together but………I am itching to get back to work.Back to projects and things.I have lots of ideas spinning in my head and it’s driving me a little crazy that I can’t start anything yet! And yes all the Christmas is still up.I will be taking that down this weekend.
    I love your solution to the curtains LOL! I don’t sew yet because I don’t have a machine.Hoping to get one soon.Just don’t have a clue as to what to look for.So many to chose from!
    Sweet photo of your son! Watching home movies over break and looking back at my daughter when she was little.The time goes way too fast!

    • Barbara says:

      I recommend buying a Janome Magnolia. It is the one I bought for myself and love because it’s fairly simple to use, not super computerized since I would never use the features of one that fancy It serves my sewing and crafting needs perfectly and wasn’t too expensive. I had a Kenmore for 40 years and always hated the method for putting in the bobbin!

  11. Lol! You are my kinda lady! I get head shakes from my husband often b/c I shortcut things sometimes. But they look fabulous, so he shouldn’t complain. I also LOVE the fabric!!! And using indoor/outdoor, well foot, I am going to have to try that too! I see now that you and I are going to get into a lot of trouble together. I look forward to it! Take care! Cherie’

  12. Dawn Beaver says:

    Love your ”get er done” attitude, but I did have a slight feeling of panic when I saw what you were doing with the scissors…aaagh! However, I have some sheers behind my newly made draperies that need to be ”unhemmed” and I don’t think anyone will ever notice :-)

  13. best way to hem curtains I have ever seen!

  14. Debbie says:

    the curtains look great! funny they looked good before! LOL

  15. Nancy says:

    I have never liked puddled curtains. I’m alway thinking of the creepy crawlies that may be nesting in them. Puddled are so out of style now anyway so I love what you did!

  16. My thought, if people have issues with the way I hem something then they are more than welcome to do it a seamstress way. :) that usually changes the toon… Hee, hee

  17. Beth Morrow says:

    Do you remember Christopher Lowell, on HGTV’s C.L. YOU CAN DO IT show? Well, he helped me launch my passion for decorating into a part-time career and Christopher never hemmed anything! Today I still have white drapes hanging in my formal area that are on lathing strips and they don’t have a stitch in them any where…I am an instant gratification kinda gal:)
    Your drapes are beautiful!
    Think I’ll get the camera out and take a walk around my house…thanks for the idea!

  18. julie says:

    You are one BRAVE woman! But they look great…and seriously, who EVER looks at the hems of curtains? (of course I will now, lol) I am too much a perfectionist, it is like a curse. Perhaps this is one reason why I have so much that is “undone” in my house. Gotta work on my “just get it done” attitude!

  19. Molly says:

    At least you have curtains up!!!! We have lived in our house 21 years and I have not put up curtains yet in my living room

  20. I wondered if you had those days where brandishing scissors felt just right :) I need to cut a bunch too xoxo

  21. Congrats to the winner and as to the curtains…if you’re happy, what does it matter if someone else isn’t?

    • Miss Mustard Seed says:

      That’s right. There’s something empowering about chopping off your curtains with a pair of sheers!

  22. This made me laugh. I think the thought of doing a project “perfectly” holds me back and I end up not even starting. I’m pretty sure you just opened the door for me to go for it and wing it! Thank you!!!!

    • Miss Mustard Seed says:

      You sound just like my husband. He’s very black and white/all or nothing. I just go for it! We balance each other nicely.

  23. :) I would totally have done that too – and I call myself a seamstress! Don’t tell ‘kay?!
    I’m with you on ready to get back at it. I just wish my girls would do all their school work on their own so I could totally concentrate on what I want to do. Yes I’m selfish, sigh. I’m not winning any homeschooler of the year awards I’m sure of that!

  24. That’s my way too!

  25. Go, Marian!! I love your quick decision making skills. And the curtains look great. That puddled look can be a mess if they aren’t perfect…whatever that is.

  26. This is my kind of tutorial and right at my skill level! Thanks for being REAL and honest!!!!

    : ) Happy New Year!!!!!

  27. Hemming curtains is a horrid job – I just use iron on hemming tape on just about everything – trouser hems, curtains, stubborn back pockets on clothes that serve no purpose other than to stick up ….

    We love Jenga too – it is such a fun game.

    Dee at the Carlton

  28. if you did want to finish off the edge easily you could get some foldover bias tape or even ribbon and hot glue it right on! Looks perfectly fine how it is though so that could just be a way to fix them if they start to fray for some reason.

  29. Ha! I just took down my tree and was staring at my unheeded and uneven curtains… your right – who has time for boring stuff like hemming? I may just have to break out the scissors! I noticed a few people commented on your paint colour – it’s a lovely blue – I have some blue spode dishes (Blue Camilla) that I’d like to be the inspiration for my kitchen eventually… would love to know the paint color you chose.

  30. Hee hee. That’s too funny, but I love it.

  31. now i feel better too.

  32. Mary Stewart says:

    Wow…you cut them off. Guess I’ll have to down grade your title from Super Woman to Wonder Woman.. Love your new way of thinking!

  33. Denise T says:

    Wow! What a great idea to hem this way! I really like this method . LOL!

  34. Rubylicious Bespoke says:

    I love, love that fabric! And it looks great as it is so why spend the time hemming? Love the way you think.

  35. Hey Marian,
    I am so glad you made a decision that will give you and your family a better quality of life. Get ready becaue you will have to make many more of them as time goes on. The first BIG NO is the hardest though!!!
    On another note I am the professional drapery maker that cringed when I saw your post today. LOL [Of course I have a professional blind hemming machine too]
    When making drapes or curtains the bottom hem is the first thing you do after you cut them out, so I have never had this dilemna of unhemmed drapery.
    You are a breath of fresh air!!

  36. Love it! I just did the same thing last week in my dining room. I kept looking at them puddled on the floor and grabbed the scissors and cut across the bottom. Done and I’m happy with it!

  37. Actually, I have an easier method. Just make a small cut 1-2 inches long, then RIP the curtains all the across fabric. Woven materials work well for ripping, and you will have a perfectly “thread straight” line. Cutting can be so uneven, and printed fabrics can be deceiving. No one will ever notice they are un-hemmed, I would post pone hemming until you need to take them down for dry cleaning or washing. Why do it more than once?

  38. Hi Marian, well, that’s one way to “get er done” quick. Looks good and who is to know they are not hemmed.

    Happy New Year.
    Audrey Z.
    Timeless Treasures

  39. I’m the worst at hanging unhemmed curtains and leaving them forever. I finally hemmed my dining room curtains right before Christmas. Next the living room curtains. Hopefully they’ll get done before next Christmas!! :-)

  40. Ladies! An iron and some fusible webbing from JoAnn’s and your curtains are hemmed in seconds!!! Cut, fold and iron! Lasts forever….designer secret revealed! Lol

  41. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one with no hem in my curtains! I never hemmed them because I was too afraid it would come out all crooked. Mine are linen and fraying a bit…they’ve only been hanging there for about 4 years ! haha! I think I will cut mine and pull the ironing board over and use the no-sew iron on tape to hem them! You inspired me to get this done! Thanks!

  42. ellen says:

    I’m with Nancy and whomever else said they don’t like puddled curtains. What’s that about? I’ve never understood that trend. And it takes even longer to vacuum.

    Great job!

  43. Yep….all of the above will take care of the hem quick and easy!!! AND Yep…..sooo ready to get back into a routine. As much as I have cherished the time with the kiddos and the hubby being home I am ready to get back to MY regular day. Can not wait to get a piece of furniture in my kitchen and ready to paint and work on some long overdue 2013
    projects! Happy 2013 everyone!

  44. Allison H. says:

    I am so ready to get back to my schedule as well!! By.the way, I just bought my first miss mustard seed products! I’m so thrilled to support you!
    I got the boxwood paint, bonding agent, and crackle medium. So hacking excited I can’t stand it!!!
    Happy New Year!

  45. Heck, if you think that’s bad, I left a set of curtains pinned up, waiting to be hemmed, at our cottage, for two full years! Finally, one day I stuck myself with one of the straight pins, and those suckes came down and were brought back to the house and finally got hemmed! So, I can relate! Hope the start to your 2013 is going great!

  46. Love how you keep it real!!!
    Looking forward to getting back into my routine too. Hope 2013’s off to a great start for you!

  47. I think they’re perfect! And I don’t know what I did before beyblades… that’s the only “game” I could play all day with my son :)

  48. Donna says:

    Being petite … well, SHORT …. I now hem everything by using Wrights iron-on seam tape. Steam and fold at the same time. VOILA!

  49. If you use curtain rings and clips, you won’t have to hem your curtains, I just folded mine over at the top. No hemming and no cutting and they look great. When I was growing up, everything had to be just so…so.. I love the new do what ever feels right look.

  50. I love the “no rules” decorating attitude…if it works and looks good, then it is just perfect!!!
    Love the drapes and they look fantastic!!

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