Sheer curtains provide a touch of color and coverage to your window display, without blocking all of the sunlight. Hang them alone or layer them over solid curtains for a dual color and light-filtering option. If you bought sheer curtains that don't fit your windows properly, take care to avoid ruining the fabric in your sewing machine when shortening. You don't have to be a professional seamstress to hem your curtains; there are plenty of simple ways to hem sheer fabric.
Measure and Cut
Hang the curtains in the window by the curtain rod you plan to use so you can get an accurate measurement of the length you have and the length you want. Measure the bottom of the curtain to determine how much excess fabric needs to be removed. For example, let's say you want to remove the bottom 3 inches of fabric for your curtains to be the proper length. Subtract 1/2 inch from this measurement for the seam allowances and cut off the excess, being careful to cut in a straight line.
Stabilize the Fabric
Sheer fabric can be easy to tear or unravel, more so than other thicker fabrics. To prevent this, stabilize the hem of your sheer curtains. Sew a seam 1/4 inch in from the cut edge. This keeps the fabric in place. Another way to do this is to cut a 1-inch-wide strip of interfacing and iron it onto the bottom of your fabric. You may be able to see this in the finished curtain slightly, but no more than a traditional hem line would be visible.
If you used a straight seam along the bottom of your fabric, fold the fabric along this stitching toward the wrong side. Use an iron to press it in place. If you used interfacing, iron the strip of interfacing parallel to the cut edge of your fabric, and then fold it up by 1/2 inch and iron again. Be sure to put a cloth between your iron and the interfacing, as it may melt onto the iron itself through the sheer fabric.
Finish the Seams
If you chose the sewing method, sew another stitch line 1/4 inch up from the first one to enclose the hem and keep it in place. If you chose interfacing, the same rule applies. Stitch a straight seam between the folded and cut edges of your fabric to sandwich them together and stabilize the seam. Hang your sheer curtains back in the window and admire your handiwork.
Jessica Cook has been writing since high school when she wrote for TeenGrrl.com and GirlZone.com. During college she wrote for her university's e-zine, department newsletter and an education journal. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Ohio Northern University, a Master of Arts in Teaching from Grand Canyon University and an Educational Specialist's degree in curriculum and instruction from Liberty University.