How to Widen Drapes
So, you found the drapes that you really want to hang in the room you just redecorated. You take them home, hang them on the rod and realise that they do not fit properly. Instead of returning them you can adjust the drapes to make them just a little bit wider, without detracting from their appearance.
By adding a simple strip to the side edges of your drapes you can widen them and enhance the look of the decor by making your drapes one-of-a-kind.
Hang your drapes in the window to help you measure and determine how much extra fabric you need. Make sure you add enough extra fabric to give your drapes the fullness they need.
Remove your drapes from the curtain rod and lay them out on a flat work surface with the back side facing up.
Use the seam ripper to remove some of the stitching of the rod pocket casing at the top of the drapes and also from the hem at the bottom of the drape so you can unfold the casing. Remove at least 5 inches of stitching or enough to make the drapes easy for you to work with.
Cut the extra fabric to the same length as the drapes, but as wide as you need to make them completely cover the window. Allow about 6 inches extra in the length to account for them hemming and the rod pocket casing and 2 inches in width to allow for hemming the sides of the drapes.
Thread your sewing machine with heavy-duty thread that matches the fabric colours.
Pin the new fabric to the drape with the right sides together. Sew straight down the side to attach the two pieces of fabric together.
Fold under the fabric at the top of the drape so that the new folds match up with the original fold for the rod pocket casing. Use pins to hold the fabric in place and remove them as you sew.
Repeat the folding process at the bottom of the drapes to line up the new and old hems. Use pins to hold the fabric in place and sew.
Iron the new seams so that they lay flat.
Widen your drapes even further than just adding a border if your windows are exceptionally wide and you cannot find curtains to fit them properly. Purchase two of the same drapes.
Lay the drapes out on your work surface one on top of the other with the right sides together. Cut off just the hemmed edge of both of the drapes starting below the rod pocket casing, leaving the rod casing in tack. Use pins to hold the two drapes together.
Sew down the length of the drapes to secure them together. Back stitch at the beginning and at the end of stitching.
Insert the curtain rod through the rod pocket casing and hang as usual.
- "Simply the Best Home Décor"; 1993
- Use a contrasting colour of fabric to widen your drapes. You could use a print if your drapes are solid or vice versa.
- When buying more fabric to widen your drapes, take one of your drapes to the store with you so that you can be sure you are buying a fabric that coordinates with it.
- You can widen your drapes just by adding one wide strip of new fabric to the outside edges of the drapes or you can attach two narrower strips of new fabric to both side edges of the drapes.