This distinction hit me when a friend of mine had a problem with his curtains. They were simply far too long. These curtains were of a very heavy high quality fabric with a thick bonded interlining/lining. Due to the cost and quality of the curtains we decided to just alter these instead of sourcing new ones and that's when it hit me. He asked me to "take the curtains up". Now I'm used to taking up a skirt, or trousers or a dress so my first thought was to cut off the excess at the bottom with the curtains and re-hem them just like trousers or a skirt! These were nice curtains and would need to be "Blind Hemmed" with care and precision. I really wasn't looking forward to this job, then a curtain maker made me realise my stupid mistake. Don't redo the bottom, requiring to lots of intricate hemming, just take off the curtain header tape, cut off the excess fabric, fold the top of the curtain over to the lining side and sew on NEW header tape. Header tape is very inexpensive and this was a MUCH easier quicker way of doing the job! And so here we have it, the quick easy and more accurate way to make your curtains fit.
You will need:
Curtain Header Tape
Lay out your curtain lining side facing up. Try and have it fully laid out either on a huge table or on the floor, avoid having half of it crumpled up or tucked away. By having it all out and visible you reduce the risk of cutting the curtains at an angle.
Remove the curtain header tape. If you're removing LOADS of hight then just pull away all of the cords that are used to gather the curtains, but if in doubt unpick the tape. This way your curtains will be laying nice and straight and not pulling t the middle when you try to adjust them.
Measure your curtains from the hem up to the desired length. Fold the curtain over at this point. Pin this fold in place both just below the fold and along the length of the curtains, and along the bottom of the fold, We want to minimise the curtains shifting. Check this folded section is the same length all along the width of the curtain.
Very carefully and only after you've double checked the length on BOTH sides of the curtain begin to cut away the excess curtain. MAKE SURE YOU ARE ONLY CUTTING ONE LAYER OF CURTAIN!
As the picture shows by leaving the pins in at the fold we are holding everything in place ready for the curtain header tape.
Pin on the new curtain header tape and sew in place. By keeping the pins in on the fold of the curtains we help keep the shape stabilised so attaching the header tape is simple. Make sure to tuck the ends of the tape under itself to keep the ends nice and neat.
Pull the cords on the header tape carefully to gather the curtains and hang your new curtains up!