How to Lengthen Curtains or Draperies - dummies

By Mark Montano, Carly Sommerstein

Whether you bought your curtains or made them yourself, if they’re too short, there are many creative ways to lengthen them. For example, adding a contrasting fabric or print at the bottom of too-short curtains is a simple way to get the length you want. It’s also an opportunity to give more panache to your curtain or drapery. You can also add a piece of wide eyelet lace to a curtain bottom to get adequate length. To give your treatment a cohesive feel, consider using a bit of the added fabric to create your tiebacks, too.

To add fabric to the bottom of your window treatment, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the curtain’s sewn hem with a seam ripper.

  2. Measure to find the length of fabric that you need to add, allowing for a 1/2-inch seam on the existing treatment.

  3. Add a 1/2-inch seam allowance and at least another 2 inches for a new hem to the new fabric length to be added.

  4. Cut out and then attach the new fabric at the bottom of your too-short curtain or drapery using a straight stitch and a 1/2-inch seam allowance.

  5. Press your fabric, rehang it on your rod, and pin your new hem (this time you’ll get it just right!).

  6. Take the treatment down and stitch your hem.

If you’re adding a narrow trim or lace for just a bit of extra length, take your hem out with a seam ripper, press it flat, and add the trim or lace with a zigzag stitch to the bottom edge.