Neatening Nets

Once family and friends cotton on to ones sewing obsession, it’s not long before the mending pile reaches ridiculous heights! Victim of my inability to say ‘no’ perhaps, but ultimately, little sewing jobs are a great way to say ‘thank you’ to those who are always there to help me out and invariably I learn a new trick or two along the way. Oh I do like the occasional slaying of two feathered friends!

And so came about the task of neatening the sides of a bag load of my neighbours net curtains. ‘No worries at all’, I said. ‘Will take me 5 minutes’, I said. ‘Just a few straight lines of sewing… piece of cake’, I said!

I’m not sure how many of you lovely readers have net curtains in your homes so forgive me if I offend. Personally I’ve inherited a phobia of the frightful things from my mum. I couldn’t possibly count the number of times I was shushed as she stood, back to the wall nosing at the neighbours through her embroidered ‘balistraria’. Her constant obsession with how white she could get her ‘whites’ was actually quite tortuous too! Sorry mum!

Net curtains come on a roll, I’ve since found out. And they are only finished with a casing on the top and a hem or piped cord at the bottom. They are cut per width required and not finished on the sides. And so, after a single wash they will undoubtedly fray. Not least of all if they are cut wonky which most of these were too!

So battled commenced…

First things first, I changed the needle to a lightweight one.

schmetz needle size 70

I then unpicked the casing seams at the top – just a few centimeters – so I could finish the whole length without sewing the openings closed!

They had been cut so wonky, I had to straighten the sides so I wasn’t hemming on the bias! I pulled one of the vertical threads completely out of the weave so it left a clear ‘channel’ for me to cut along.

pulled thread

After straightening both sides I sewed a line of stitching 15mm (5/8 inch) from top to bottom of the the now straightened edges.

15mm inside raw edge

I then pressed the edges in, exactly on the line of the stitches, ensuring the iron wasn’t too hot but hot enough to hold a crease.

This made it easier to roll the edge in, so the raw edge met the guide stitching and I stitched very close to the fold to finish the edge neatly.

sewing edge nets

I pressed the hemmed edge again and then replaced the stitching on the casing, stitching over the original line to reinforce.

finished edge of nets

Some of these nets had straightforward hems and some with embroidered scalloped bottoms. These ones were easy enough to include in the hem. But there were a couple with fine piping in the tiny rolled hems, presumably to help them hang better. I just pulled the piping out a little and snipped it short before running the hem down to the bottom. Otherwise it was very difficult to fold back and stitch neatly.

I really can’t tell you how long this process took for a total of 7 very large net curtains… or how long the entire family, including cats, have been walking around adorned with little white threads… but my neighbour is overjoyed. And so am I that I’ve finally got round to finishing them!