Ways to extend curtains
Curtain image by JSD from Fotolia.com
If your old curtains suit your furniture perfectly but are not large enough for your new windows, you can extend them to make them work in your new home. The length or width of the curtains can be extended in several ways. Sometimes curtains can even be extended without adding additional fabric.
Lower the Hem
Extend curtains an inch or two by lowering the hem. If you need to lower the hem further, add additional fabric to the hem so it will have enough weight to hang properly. You can let out the entire hem if you add heavy cord trim to the bottom edge of the curtain.
Add a Decorative Border
Add a band of contrasting fabric to the bottom of the curtains. Make the band at least a foot wide so that it becomes a decorative accent. If you can find matching fabric, add a wide band of the fabric and cover the seam with decorative fringe. It is not necessary to match up the prints if the added band is at least a foot wide.
- Add a band of contrasting fabric to the bottom of the curtains.
- It is not necessary to match up the prints if the added band is at least a foot wide.
Change the Casing
Easily add 2 inches to the length of a curtain by running the curtain rod through the ruffle above the casing instead of through the casing itself. Open the seam at each end of the curtain and run the rod between the fabric and the lining at the very top of the curtain.
Add Tabs, Ties or Clips
Turn a plain drapery into a tab top or tie top curtain by adding tabs or ribbon ties every 6 inches along the top of the drape. Six-inch tabs will add 8 inches to the length of a curtain with a casing 2 inches below the top edge. You can also add a few inches by hanging a curtain from clips suspended below the curtain rings.
Add width to a curtain by removing the pleats and turning a pleated drape into a flat panel. This will almost double the width of some curtains. Use trim or buttons to cover any damaged fabric.
Add Vertical Bands of Fabric
Add decorative bands of fabric to the inside edges of the curtains. This is especially appropriate for curtains in a formal setting. Tie-backs that match the added fabric are a lovely addition to this look.
Add sheer curtains under curtains that no longer reach across the entire window, or combine the panels from more than one window to cover a wider window. For a bold look, alternate panels of different colours on a single window.
Use Old Curtains as Trim
If you have many more windows or much larger windows, use the fabric from the old curtains to trim new curtains. Add wide bands of the old fabric to the inside edges or hems of the new curtains. You can also make the fabric into valances and tie-backs. Use print fabric on solid curtains and solid fabric on print curtains.
- If you have many more windows or much larger windows, use the fabric from the old curtains to trim new curtains.
Camela Bryan's first published article appeared in "Welcome Home" magazine in 1993. She wrote and published SAT preparation worksheets and is also a professional seamstress who has worked for a children's theater as a costume designer and in her own heirloom-sewing business. Bryan has a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Florida.