No, really….I am *ironing* curtains! But not just to remove wrinkles, but to take this sewing-machine challenged gal from ill-fitted to hemmed! I’m trying here, okay? Just bear with me for a minute…
Bought some curtains from Ikea a couple of weeks back to put in our guest room – guests don’t really like it when they have to get naked without nary a shred of privacy, though I’m always trying to tell them, “When in Rome….” They don’t always like that, though. ANYway….curtains are too long and we hung them high and wide per the design shows, and they still needed a little bit of a trim. So I broke out the handy-dandy iron-on hemming kit that came with the curtains and set out to hem the curtains all by my lonesome! It’s Shake n’ Bake and I helped!
Tools you need for the job:
- Hemming Kit (either with your curtains or you can pick one up at Jo-Ann’s or Michael’s)
- Measuring device – a yard stick works great to serve as a straight line, too!
- An iron
Now the calculator bit is optional for most jobs, but recommended for the Ikea curtains as they insist you calculate a 4% shrinkage rate after you wash it (and yes, these hems are washer safe, though I admittedly haven’t tried it yet – too chicken!). So….complicated math…dit dat dat dat doo dat dat dit….whatev…let’s just round to about 6 inches – it’s a nice round number! I’m all about making the math as easy as pie in case you haven’t noticed?
I’d recommend removing the curtains from the wall for this as I did in the photo below (left). You also want to put the curtain face down and make all of your pencil markings and hemmings on the reverse side (we’ll call it the fugly side).
Once your curtains are fugly side up, you will essentially want to measure off on your curtains from the bottom every few inches or so and mark it with a pencil, making sure that you are keeping it at a consistent and level hem – a yard stick really helps for this. You may want to add in a half inch or so just to be on the safe side – nuthin’ worse than a pair of high water curtains.
Then, using your yard stick, carefully fold the curtain UP and make sure that the seams are all even – if you have pinstripes on your curtains, just try to line those up for sort of a pseudo-level. Then this is interesting – iron your seam withOUT the glue line to really crease up that seam. This will make it a lot easier to place your glue line later! Go ahead and measure your glue line at this point and leave a little extra on the ends since the glue will shrink as you apply heat to it.
Unfold the seam, place the glue line inside the crease (photo above Right) and then lay on the heat. And lay on that heat just short of actually burning the fabric, so probably a good 3-4 seconds per iron sweep. Also, I’d recommend letting the fabric cool down a bit and ironing it again and letting it cool before you actually hang it back up. I’m not saying *I* did that….but I probably should have – HA HA!
And the after….for the purposes of allowing our guests to finally have a bit of privacy!