How To Extend the Length of Store Bought Curtains

how to extend the length of store bought curtains

So, you’ve bought some curtains and realize that they are too short. Here’s how to make your curtains longer.

Maybe they were on sale or maybe the longest length still isn’t long enough.

I’ve got a couple of ideas you can use to extend the length of those store bought curtains AND have them looking better than the originals!

Let’s take unlined curtains first… because these are the easiest to modify.

If you’re only an inch or 2 short, you might be able to undo the bottom hem… press well… and then fold and sew a smaller hem.

My favorite fix is to buy some fabric in a complimentary color or pattern… and sew that to the bottoms of your curtain panels.

Here’s how you can do that…

1. Decide how long you want the bottom fabric to be. I’ve seen this style with about 1/3 of the bottom a different fabric… sometimes half… but usually about 1/3.

2. Add 1/2″ to the top edge for the seam and 6″ to the bottom edge for a bottom 3″ double hem. Cut the length of fabric first.

3. You’re going to want the width of your fabric panel to be the same as the store bought one. Lay your store bought curtain panel flat and lay your cut fabric next to it. Fold the sides in so that they align to the store bought curtains. Pin and press well. Then tuck under the raw edges and sew the side seams in place.

4. Now, fold up the bottom hem 3″ twice… press well… and sew with a blind hem stitch or straight stitch.

5. Carefully measure your store bought curtain from the top edge down to where the new fabric panel will start. Trim off 1/2″ below this measurement. Make sure that the measurement from the top edge of the store bought curtain to the bottom edge of your new panel equals the desired length you want.

6. Cut off the excess of the store bought curtain.

7. Sew the 2 pieces together with a 1/2″ seam… the total sewn panel should be the desired length.

Press well and hang!

Now, let’s talk about ¬†lined curtains. This is a bit trickier.

I don’t recommend cutting the bottom of a lined curtain. It’s going to be a mess.

So, we have to go with the top!

Just like the previous tutorial, we’re going to sew a complimentary color or pattern to the top of the curtain. I’ve seen it where just the heading is a different color… to a color block 1/3 of the way down. It’s up to you.

1. Decide what type of heading you want for your curtain. The easiest is flat edge hung with clip rings. Or you could sew a rod pocket. You can even try tab-top curtains. For this example, let’s assume that you want to make rod pocket curtains.

2. Decide how far down you want the new fabric to go.

3. Add 1/2″ to the bottom edge and add the entire circumference of your drapery pole PLUS 1″ to the top.

4. Cut your fabric for the length first.

5. Follow the steps above to sew the side hems of the panel

6. To sew the rod pocket, measure down from the top edge 3/4″ PLUS half of the pole’s circumference. Fold the fabric down at the line and press well.

7. Fold the top raw edge under and stitch across that folded edge creating a rod pocket.

8.  Carefully measure your new fabric panel from the top edge down to where the store bought curtain will start. Make sure that the measurement from the top edge of the store bought curtain to the bottom edge of your new panel equals the desired length you want.

6. Cut off the excess off the top of the store bought curtain.

7. Sew the 2 pieces together with a 1/2″ seam… the total sewn panel should be the desired length.

Press well and hang!

If you’re feeling adventurous… you can add to the top AND bottom of your curtain…

Here’s one more idea that you can try…

Again, this has everything to do with how much you need to lengthen your curtains… try sewing tie tops or tabs to the top edge of your curtain. Use a fabric that maybe contrasts… and make them as long as you need. This wouldn’t require you to cut into your original panel… you’ll just be sewing the ties or tabs straight to the top edge.

For instructions on how to sew a tie-top curtain, go here => How To Sew Tie-Top Curtains

and for instructions on how to sew tab top curtains, go here => How To Sew Tab-Top Curtains

If you want to learn how to sew your very own custom lined curtains go here => How To Make Curtains

Happy Sewing!

Jenny T.

5 Comments on How To Extend the Length of Store Bought Curtains

  1. Mary
    January 20, 2015 at 2:35 pm (3 years ago)

    Glad to have you back!! Your emails have re-inspired me to get back to my sewing machine!

    Reply
    • Jen Thoden
      January 22, 2015 at 5:00 am (3 years ago)

      Wow, thank you Mary! That means a lot.

      Reply
  2. Wanda
    January 21, 2015 at 10:39 am (3 years ago)

    I’m confused as to what to do with the lining at the top of the drapes if it does not extend far enough. I’m making 84″ lined drapes into 95″. Do you add a length of lining also? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Jen Thoden
      January 22, 2015 at 4:59 am (3 years ago)

      Hi Wanda,

      I wouldn’t worry about the lining for the new fabric. I would simply sew the new fabric to the lined panel… make sure the lining is flat and aligned so that it doesn’t hang strange. The reason I wouldn’t worry about the lining is because USUALLY the top of the drape is higher up… along a wall… and most of it is on the drapery pole. Do you need a quick tutorial on adding lining?

      Jenny T.

      Reply
      • Wanda
        January 22, 2015 at 10:06 am (3 years ago)

        Thanks. I’m enjoying your emails with new projects.

        Reply

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