Sunday, April 5, 2009
Hemming Sheer Curtains Using Pellon OR How-to Easily Hem Ikea Curtains
Yes, I will admit it. I am one of those people who bought Ikea curtains, but could not be bothered to hem them to the right length. In this case, it was mostly because they are sheers, and I was completely terrified that they would get caught in my sewing machine. Need I remind you, I can sew, but my confidence it not very high. So, for the past 3 years or more, I have tried all manor of things to get away with not hemming these curtains. In the first of four houses we have lived in while owning these curtains, I tried tying them in large knots at the sides of my windows, which completely ruined the effect of the lovely pattern, was a pain when I wanted to shut them, and just plain looked bad. Then, in our newest house, after they had been packed away in the last two houses, I just hung dark curtains, then draped the sheers over the top of them, pulling the extra fabric half way down the back side of the curtain, so I could see the nice fabric on the room side but it was totally impractical and visually unsatisfying. The other day I had finally had enough. I decided to go to the fabric store to see what type of hemming tape or item I could use to fix them. The nice woman at the store said I should use Mistyfuse, since they are sheers, as other products would melt through the fabric. I THOUGHT I already had a roll of Mistyfuse at home.... turns out it is Pellon.... but was not about to let that stop me, damn it, it was time to do something!!
So, I got out the Pellon, ruled out out some strips with my old school wooden ruler, and cut it out. As you can see above, I also heated up my ANCIENT flat iron which I bought awhile back on Ebay, so I could use it to melt beeswax on mixed media pieces (no annoying holes to clog with wax like modern irons). I LOVE everything about my iron. I especially love the clicking noises it makes when heating. It is like a symphony of clicks... I should record it. Very nice. Plus, I love how it looks. Never mind that I need to put it on a baker's cooling rack so it doesn't melt a hole in my counter top...
Back to the curtains... I measured them on the curtain rod for length, pinned them, cut off the access fabric, pressed along the bottom so I had a line to use for lining up the pellon strip, and then rolled the top edge and pressed so it would stay nicely in place, once the Pellon was in place and ready to iron.
I laid down the Pellon strip, texture side down and pressed along the length of it.
Then, I peeled away the paper backing.
Next, I put the pressed fabric back over the Pellon strip, then placed a damp cloth over that and pressed for about 10 seconds, then took off cloth and pressed again. The Pellon did melt through a very little bit, so stuck to the cloth below, but pulled right off.
I hung the curtains on a rod above the curtain rod for the brown curtains, since I want the fabric to be on top of those, rather than against the window. When I want just the sheers against the window I pull back the brown curtains to the sides. Easy-peasy. So, if you, like me, have been afraid to work on your curtains, give it a try!! I believe it cost me about $1.75 in Pellon and it took me about 1 1/2 hours, which included hanging the curtain rod and measuring, then hanging the curtains.