Hem curtains to 2 different lengths?

EngineerChicJune 29, 2012

I have a small dilemma. In my new home office there are 2 windows. One is over a baseboard heater (about 9" high) and the other does not have the baseboard heat under it. The wood trim in the room is sort of short, maybe 3" high.

Should I hem the curtains so they are the same height or make them different lengths to account for the different things under them?

They are Ikea curtains (linen, and I washed, dried, and ironed them before hanging) so I'm not making them, just hemming them.

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annzgw

Are the heaters coils of water, or electric heat?

DS had the water type in his last home and had no problem hanging regular drapes over them. The only issue was the heat tended to stay behind the curtains.

If you think it'll get too hot, I'd then suggest hemming both curtains so they are 1-2" below window trim.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 9:07PM
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EngineerChic

They are hot water baseboards, not the electric kind. And most of the time they will be pulled open, rarely closed. Somaybe I can go with the 1" clearance off the floor after all, on both windows?

Thanks!
EChic

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 9:14PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I would not go with 1" clearance off the floor....they should skim the floor. If they are open most of the time the base board won't be a problem.

Your other alternative is to hem them to the bottom of the apron on the window. That leaves the baseboard completely clear.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 7:50AM
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graywings123

I agree with AnnieDeighnaugh.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 8:07AM
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EngineerChic

Hmmm ... I think you are right about skimming the floor. For someone with less than perfect hemming skills, if you knew you would err by probably one quarter to one half inch would you shoot for a tad longer or shorter than skimming?

Here's what normally happens when I hem curtains (or pants): I hem and then press, and pressing seems to make them longer by a small amount. It's something I notice in pants b/c it affects what shoes I can wear. I wind up wearing my shoes with 2.5" & 3" heels a lot more than the shoes with shorter heels.

So on the curtains, if I shoot for skimming the floor and wind up lightly resting on the floor ... Is that okay? Or will it look better if I shoot for a half inch off the floor and maybe wind up skimming it?

Thanks!
EChic

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 9:29AM
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bbstx

Having recently hemmed curtains, I would suggest that you put each curtain on the rod, then pin the curtain while it is hanging on the rod, take it down, and hem it. If you think there will be issues with the length, you could baste* the hem in place, press, and re-hang to see how it will look. It will be easier to remove and adjust a basting stitch. Once you get it just right, then you can do the final sewing (are you machine hemming or hand hemming?)

*if you are unfamiliar with basting, it is a long temporary stitch that can easily be removed.

Here is a link that might be useful: illustration of basting stitch

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 10:20AM
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EngineerChic

Thanks! I hadn't thought of basting, but that would solve 2 problems. First, we are living out of boxes so finding pins will be a struggle. But I have plenty of straight needles and thread. Second, there's no risk of sewing over the pins.

I might just sit on the floor to baste them in place (they are hanging now), then press, and check that they are good before hemming. They are linen, not some special blend that creases permanently (like the dress pants I hem). So I can undo a crease if it's wrong.

Oh, and I'll be hemming by machine. Years ago I was into quilting so i bought a (used) sewing machine with more stitches than the world has religions. The cast-over and blind stitch have served me well, even though I haven't quilted a thing in probably 6 years.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 11:21AM
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EngineerChic

I haven't moved the bookcase into the room yet, but it will go on the wall adjacent to the window with the AC unit. There is a double closet in there, too, and I hope that will help me keep extra supplies tidy. But for now, it's a bit of a mess until I get everything in there.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 12:01PM
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erinsean

After seeing your room, I would hem your curtains 2" below the window sill. Don't know why I say that, but that is what I would do....IMHO it would look very good.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 2:22PM
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