How To Hem Curtains With A Sewing Machine? Find Out Here!

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Last Updated on 19 September, 2021 by

The Best Method To Hem Curtains With a Sewing Machine

There's nothing worse than finding the right pair of curtains for your house, only to figure out they are the wrong size or don't fit correctly.

Luckily, you can hem your curtains pretty easily if you have a sewing machine and use the right methods, whether you are hemming the sides or bottom of your curtains. You can hem curtains with simply an iron, measuring tape and a sewing machine.

We have put together a step by step guide below explaining the easy way to hem your curtains quickly and accurately.

What You Need For Hemming Curtains

Before we get started with our step by step guide for hemming your oversized curtains, it is essential to make sure you have everything you need on the hand.

  • A sewing machine.
  • Iron.
  • Scissors.
  • Matching thread.
  • Curtains.
  • Straight pins.
  • Measuring tape.

Step By Step Guide To Hemming Curtains

Now you've got everything you need for hemming curtains, we have put together a step by step guide below about to hem curtains which is foolproof and easy to follow.

Step One - Hang Your Curtains

The first step to hemming your curtains is to hang them on the curtain rod and get the right measurements, this will allow you to see how much you want to hem on your curtain and how low down you want it to lay against your window.

Step Two - Pinning The Curtain Hem

Now your curtains are hung, you can start to hem them to your preferred length, whether that's down on the floor or just below your window frame, you decide.

To pin your curtain length you should start at the sides of the curtain and pin towards the middle, make sure the material is snug with the pin and work your away across in 10-inch or 8-inch intervals.

Step Three - Double Check What You Have Measured

Lay your pinned curtains down on a flat surface like a table and double-check the measurements you have took.

For example, if have a window that measures 50 inches in length and I want them to hang 3 inches under my window (with an inch included for the hem) and my curtains measure 80 inches then I would need to take off 26 inches.

An example calculation is 50 inches + 3 inches of hanging + 1 inch hem = 54 inches.

80 inches - 54 = 26 inches that need to be cut from the curtain.

Step Four - Iron & Fold The Hem

Now you are confident with your measurements, you can begin ironing the new hem down.

Make sure your curtain is laying right side down on to an ironing board with the bottom length and heat your iron. Then fold the bottom of the hem up across the whole width and pin in place for an extra clean edge with no frays (if you are not cutting).

Use the hot iron and steam to iron the hem in place following the guide you have created before sewing/cutting.

Step Five - Cut As Needed

If you want to cut the excess of your curtain up rather than keep it, this is the time do it.

Use your ironed hem as a guide and cut across the line staying 1/4 inch away from your newly ironed hem then remove the pins so as the curtain is ready for the final stitch.

If you don't want to cut your hem in case you want extra length options for another window in the future, skip this cutting step and follow the hem folding method above.

Step Six - The Final Sew

If you have cut excess material from your curtains before you sew you should create a final seam by folding the material of the bottom seam 1 inch over and pinning every eight inches along with the material. Iron this new seam down before sewing.

To start sewing your new hem, load your machine with coordinating thread you have picked out and sew the width of the panel about 1/4 " from the edge.

Steps to do this is by putting the starting point of your curtains under your shoes and flipping the lever down of your machine to hold it in place. Then, once your material is lined up with the shoe you can slowly sew your curtains pressing the foot pedal as you go at a slow speed.

Take the pins out as you stitch and make sure to use a stitch length of up to 4 if you are planning to remove them in the future, reverse stitch on the other side and voila!

You have your newly hemmed curtains, with or without the option to use the extra length in the future if you didn't cut off the excess material.

Step Seven - Press Your Curtains

Before hanging back up your curtains you should press them to make sure they are neat and tidy and hang precisely.

Tips For Hanging Your Curtains

Now you know how to easily hem your curtains you might still be struggling on figuring out what length will look the best for your window and room.

We have put together a list of the most popular styles out there to hang your curtains below to give you some inspo if you are still undecided.

  • Puddle style - A puddle style for your curtains is very dramatic and adds an extra length of 2-4 inches to your curtains so as it has a puddle style on the floor.
  • Kissing the floor - To make your curtains look like they are 'kissing the floor' you need to be extremely accurate with your measurements and measure right from the top of the curtains to the floor.
  • Break puddle - A break puddle is not as dramatic as a normal puddle curtain and only has about a half-inch on the floor.
  • Floating - The floating style gives a clean look to your curtains and has them hovering just above the floor, meaning they should measure just about a 1/2" from the floor.

Tips For Different Rooms

  • Bedroom - For bedroom style curtains you don't want a very formal look, so avoid break puddle or puddle style curtains, instead try the 'kissing the floor style' or a floating style for a more clean look.
  • Dining rooms - Dining rooms have a more formal look so a puddle style for these curtains would be the best.
  • Living rooms - A living room style can be formal or informal, so we think a mix between a break puddle and kissing the floor would be right, in this case, however, this all depends on the style and mood of your room.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hemming Curtains

Do I have to have a sewing machine to hem curtains?

No, it is possible to hem curtains by hand or use special tape to hold the hem in place.

What is a blind curtain hem?

A blind hem stitch on your curtain refers to a type of stitch that mimics hand sewing and makes small stitches on the front of your curtains which are barely visible.

How do I hem sheer curtains?

Hemming sheer curtains can be more difficult than other materials as it may rip easily, to stop this from happening you can stabilise the material in the machine with an interfacing piece of material.

Final Words

Overall, hemming your curtains is pretty easy with a sewing machine as long as you get the right measurements according to the style you wish to have and follow them accurately when sewing.

The best tip for sewing this hem down on a machine has to be working at a slow speed to avoid any mistakes.

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Mum, Wife and Blogger at, having excelled at textile arts in school, I soon thereafter embarked my journey as an assistant to a Fashion Designer. This fueled my passion for making clothes and soon lead me to creating Top Sewing Machines. A site where I talk sewing machines, overlockers along with tips and tricks and buyers guides.
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