How to make any pair of curtains longer

Remember these curtains?

{pretty curtains, but not taking advantage of the room's tall ceilings}

They were the perfect length for the dining room in our old apartment, but too short for our new home's high ceilings. When we decided to turn this room into a nursery, I really wanted to keep the curtains, but I also wanted to take full advantage of the room's height. I decided to try adding some length to each panel with a coordinating fabric (after all, if it didn't work out I'd just be back where I started: shopping for a new pair of longer curtains).

I found the perfect fabric at Fabricville - on sale for $2/metre with my membership card. It comes across as plain white in photos, but it actually has a very subtle texture and barely-there, cream-coloured vertical stripes in real life. In person, it helps tie in the curtains' creamy background with the bright whites I'm using in other parts of the room.


Since I was feeling thrifty with my $2 curtain update, I decided to forgo a new curtain rod and spraypainted the existing one black instead. Thinking about lengthening your own curtains? Read on for the how-to...

The trickiest part is figuring out where to insert your new fabric. I measured the distance from the ceiling to the floor (minus a couple of inches, since I planned to hang my curtain rod 2" from the ceiling), then subtracted the length of my existing panels to figure out how much length I needed to add. Instead of just adding fabric to the bottoms (which I worried would look like too obvious), I decided to insert new panels. I thought it would look best if my new panel was the same height as the section below it, leaving one longer section above:

{the plan}

I measured up 19" from the bottom of my existing panels (adding an extra half inch for my seam) and cut. No turning back now.

{step 1: cut your existing panels}
Next, I cut panels from my new fabric, adding a half inch all around for my seams (the dotted lines = seams).

{step 2: cut panels from your new fabric}
Now the easy - but also tedious - part: pinning and ironing your seams. I pinned and ironed the seams on each piece first, then pinned my pieces together. This way you can make sure all your edges line up and make adjustments if needed. Finally, sew it all together (I recommend sewing your vertical seams first, followed by your horizontal seams).

{steps 3&4: attach your panels and sew along seams}

{the finished product}

I love how they turned out and I especially love that for $2 and an hour of my time, I was able to reuse a perfectly good pair of curtains instead of buying new ones!

And in case you're wondering what's up next for the nursery, it involves this blank wall...


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