I have been on an binge…a binge to inject our house with more of our “personality” (and a bagel-eating binge, too, but that’s a different post topic). Again, not going to be a DIY blog here, but I do a bit of sewing. When I saw this post on Made by Rae I was inspired: this is just what the boys’ bathroom needed! I could custom-make a shower curtain for the bathroom! I would a replace drab, box-store curtain with color & pattern! Hooray!
But Rae’s post, alas, did not include information how-to for me to muster on. So I called forth my good friend Sarah C. over at 2paws Designs and my engineering-ubercreative friend, Stacey.
You can make one, too! This really is pretty easy sewing, just a lot of cutting. Want to!? Awesome! Here you go, here’s the pattern:
HA, just kidding. I wouldn’t be THAT mean.
So here is what you need to get you started. BEAR IN MIND, I am in no way a professional seamstress, I have never, ever made a pattern, and there are things I would change about this (which I will tell you about). BUT if you want to do this, I am here to say YOU CAN and get you started. Because, honestly, this is straight-seam sewing. A little effort for a very personalized bath.
- Pick 7 fabrics you want in your curtain and 1 trim fabric.
I bought 2/3 yards of each of the 7 fabrics (more on the trim fabric later, but I bought 2 yards of that). BUT if you have a fabric with pattern that can only run one way you will want to buy extra so you can cut with the fabric. So for a couple of my fabrics I ended up buying extra, and was very glad I did!
I already had a pirate / frog theme (I know, oh so common) for the boys’ bath. I also didn’t want to repaint walls. My fabrics of choice then? A lot of the Benartex Sun-Kissed line.
- Decide on how you want to lay your pattern and your fabrics.
I opted to do a really simple repeat to keep things easier on myself. I gave each fabric a letter (as you can see in my notes). Then rotated as follows:
ROW 1: A B C D E F G
ROW 2: B C D E F G A
ROW 3: C D E F G A B
ROW 4: D E F G A B C
ROW 5: E F G A B C D
ROW 6: F G A B C D E
ROW 7: G A B C D E F
Knowing your pattern ahead of time will be crucial since it will determine the different sizes you cut.
- Cut, cut and cut.
You are going to need 7 squares of each of the 7 fabrics.
The pieces in the top 2 corners I cut to 11 1/2 x 14 (everything is in inches).
The remaining 5 pieces in the top row I cut to 10 1/2 x 14.
The pieces in the bottom 2 corners I cut to 11 1/2 x 12.
The remaining 5 pieces in the bottom row I cut to 10 1/2 x 12.
The remaining 5 pieces on the outer left edge of the curtain I cut to 11 1/2 x 12.
Same for the outer right edge, the remaining 5 pieces I cut to 11 1/2 x 12.
Everything interior was cut to 10 1/2 x 10 1/2.
NOTE: I did all of this with the intention that I would NOT be edging it. Thus top row, bottom row, and outer edges were cut slightly larger for a hem. BUT when I completed the sewing I still felt like it was smaller than I wanted it to be so I trimmed it. It might look a little odd to you to have the top, bottom, and outer edges slightly larger (take a close look at my photos) but I actually like it. I feel like it blocks it off well and also gave me plenty of space to add the trim without worrying about measurements too much.
If you are not wanting to trim it, then you could most likely add an 8th fabric and do everything the same size of 11 1/2 x 12. If someone tries this, let me know how it works. I am sure it would be considerably easier!
At the end of the day, here is what I cut:
FABRIC A: 11 1/2 x 14 (1) 10 1/2 x 10 1/2 (5) 11 1/2 x 12 (1)
FABRIC B: 10 1/2 x 14 (1) 10 1/2 x 10/12 (4) 11 1/2 x 10 1/2 (1) 11 1/2 x 12 (1)
FABRIC C: 10 1/2 x 14 (1) 10 1/2 x 10 1/2 (3) 11 1/2 x 10 1/2 (2) 10 1/2 x 12 (1)
FABRIC D: 10 1/2 x 14 (1) 10 1/2 x 10 1/2 (3) 11 1/2 x 10 1/2 (2) 10 1/2 x 12 (1)
FABRIC E: 10 1/2 x 14 (1) 10 1/2 x 10 1/2 (3) 11 1/2 x 10 1/2 (2) 10 1/2 x 12 (1)
FABRIC F: 10 1/2 xx 14 (1) 10 1/2 x 10 1/2 (3) 11 1/2 x 10 1/2 (2) 10 1/2 x 12 (1)
FABRIC G: 11 1/2 x 14 (1) 10 1/2 x 10 1/2 (4) 11 1/2 x 10 1/2 (1) 10 1/2 x 12 (1)
I am officially blurry-eyed now. You?
- One you are all cut, lay the pieces out, making sure you have the right sizes.
Take up all the space on the floor, make sure you like it all, then start piecing the rows together! I started by doing the rows across before attaching top to bottom rows together.
- When you are done, you will need to think about finishing in the back. You don’t want things to fray. My inspiration shower curtain from Made by Rae was completed by a regular sewing seam and then serged in the back. I don’t have a serger.
If serging is not an option for you, you can consider doing a standard 1/4″ seam allowance then just cutting all the edges in the back with pinking shears.
I choose to go the extra lengths to do French Seams.
I was going to get all in to French Seams here but, VOILA, in a moment of blogging meant-to-be-ness one of my favorite sewing/crafting websites, Make it & Love it, just published a great tutorial on how to do French Seams here. I actually used a 1/8″ seam allowance because I was nervous about sizing.
- One you get everything pieced together, look at the size. If you like the size, hem off all the remaining exposed edges. If you are like me and you wanted a little more fullness to the curtain, consider trimming it.
I found a complimentary pattern polka dot fabric I liked a lot. It tied it all together, in my opinion. I bought 2 yards. I cut 6 inch wide strips down the length of the fabric. I attached 2 strips together (right sides facing, I used a 1/4″ seam allowance and then pressed the seam open) 4 times to create edges for each side.
I turned both long edges under 1/8″, ironed it; folded in half lengthwise, and ironted it. I then used a 1/8″ seam allowance to attach it to the front. When I got to the edges I turned the edges under and hemmed it in. I folded the strip over, pressed it, then used a 1/8″ seam allowance again to attach it to the back.
I did this on all 4 sides.
To give it a completed look I then edge-stitched all the edges in the trim. It just gave it something a little extra.
Whew. SEWN! YAY!
- Now you go have a glass of wine.
- Next day, get ready to find a way to attach your shower curtain to your rings/rod.
You could use cafe rings but I was worried about those lasting if they got wet and in a humid environment. I choose to use grommets.
To start, I tacked on a fabric reinforcement for the top sash before installing the grommets.
Grommets are SO easy to use, folks. I used them in scrapbooking for years (when I did that craft – now I just blog).
You can buy this whole contraption thing that will help with grommet installation. I skipped that expense.
These really are easy, promise. You start by cutting a small hole in the fabric where you want it, then insert the grommet (shiny, smooth side out to the front). Turn the piece over, stick the awl from your installation kit on top, centered on your grommet, then bang the crap out of it with a hammer until all the sides turn down and out like a flower. (Yes, I know, I should write instructions pamphlets for a living…I am so pro.) In case my instructions are far from helpful to you, you can get a great tutorial on grommets here.
I can’t tell you all how much I adore this shower curtain. It fits our space and personality perfectly, and it is certainly one of a kind.
Again, this isn’t necessarily a pattern but I hope that this little tutorial helps you make one of your own! If you try it, please leave me a comment and let me know if it worked for you and how it turned out! I would love to hear!
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