How to shorten curtains

You've found the ready made curtains to suit the style of your room, your colour scheme and your budget, but there's just one small problem - you don't have standard sized windows and the length is too long; now you need to know how to shorten curtains. It's not a problem, and shouldn't stop you from having the pencil pleat curtains of your dreams.

With a little help and guidance from Terrys Fabrics on how to shorten curtains, you will easily be able to attain the correct length. You don't have to be an experienced needle-person to accomplish the task; all you need to do is set aside some time to follow our step-by-step infographic, gather a few essential tools and materials and you'll have them corrected and altered to the right length in no time at all.

Step 1: Gather Materials

You will need; a sewing machine, a measuring tape, needle and thread, fabric scissors, an iron, pins and a seam ripper or thread snips.

Step 2: Remove Heading Tape

N.B. – Important! If your curtains have eyelet heading, a contrasting top border or border pattern it is an exception to this step. You should not shorten these types of curtains from the top.

Using a seam ripper carefully unpick the stitching that secures the heading tape and remove it as carefully as possible to avoid damaging the curtain or the tape; as you will need it all again later. Remove all loose or part threads from the curtain and the tape.

Removing heading tape from curtains using scissors

Step 3: Measure

Lay out the curtain on a clean, flat surface with the lining side uppermost. Ensure that the bottom edge of the curtain and bottom edge of the lining are running level and parallel with one another.

Disagram on how to make curtain lining line up properly with the curtain fabric so that it is sqaure

Using a steel tape measure, measure off from the bottom of the curtain upwards to the required finished length and then turn the top of the curtain over to this measurement. Pin the turning and trim to a maximum of 2.5” and press lightly.

Using a steel tape measure to measure a 6cm hem for your curtains

Step 4: Reattach Heading Tape

Pin the heading tape to the top edge of the curtain, turning the short edges under to be level with the edges of the curtain and then stitch along the top and bottom edges of the tape with a straight stitch and a thread which matches the colour of the curtain fabric.

Reattaching heading tape to the top of our curtains

Step 5: Finish the Curtains

You should lightly press all over on a medium/low heat to iron out any creases, now your curtains are ready to be hung. There you have it, now you know how to shorten curtains you can be sure that your curtains will always fit your window perfectly!

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