xmlns:fb='http://ogp.me/ns/fb#' OriginalStitch: Fabric Reinvintage: Make a Shower Curtain

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Fabric Reinvintage: Make a Shower Curtain

Showering in reinvintage style!
The Husb threatened to hotfoot it down the nearest gigantesque supermarket and buy a shower curtain at the weekend.  He has been nagging for a new shower curtain for yonks.   I, however, did not want to buy a new one, unless I could find an eco-friendly one, so I ensconced myself in the workroom. 

Over the last 10 years or so, I seem to have amassed quite a collection of shower curtains - there comes a point in every shower curtain's life when the mouldy mildewy bit at the bottom begins tickling yer tootsies in none too pleasant a way, and so down it comes, off gets chopped the bottom (ooh, weird English, hm?) and the rest is washed, and put away.

Till now.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen - the new all-singing, all-soaping, all-frothing patchwork shower curtain is born!

What do I need?

Got old bits of waterproof fabric you could use yourself?  How about: old camping materials such as tents, canvas, cagoules, groundsheets if they're not too thick; and look in the charity shops for old shower curtains; often you'll find them completely unused, still in their packaging.  And tell friends you want their scuzzy old mouldy ones.  They'll look at you with disgust, but hey, you're used to that, right?  You'll also need your sewing machine, invisible thread, heavy duty needle in the machine, and your rotary cutter and mat for the easiest cutting method.

How To Make a Strippy Patchwork Shower Curtain

1) Measure the width and depth of the curtain so you have some dimensions to work to.  Mine was 71 x 71 inches.

2) Divide by 5, so that you are working with strips - I wanted 5 horizontal strips in mine.  71" divided by 5 is 14", ish.

3) Keep the top of the curtain, where the holes are.  Fold it so it's in a manageable chunk, all the holes at the top, and cut to a depth of 14". Voila - there's your first strip!  Also remove the little weights from the curtain bottom hem.
Measure to depth of 14"
4) Now cut 14" depth strips from all your fabrics.  If you're using old shower curtains, all your strips will be roughly the same - 71" x 14".  But if you're working with all sorts of offcuts - cut them into rectangles/squares, ensuring two opposite edges are always 14" - the other measurement doesn't matter (in fact you're going to make them all different lengths on purpose to get the scrappy uneven look) but you will be stitching all your 14" sides to each other so they must match.
Start cutting folded strips at 14" mark

Add a few daft captions 
5) Once you have your strips, cut them into all sorts of different sized 'bricks' - the shortest being about 10", the longest maybe 25", and keep them all stacked up.  I couldn't resist stitching a few silly phrases onto mine, but be warned - doing this means you have to plan where they occur in the next stage, if you want them to look truly 'random'....often looking truly random means planning heavily!  The way mine accidentally came together meant I had all my phrases on the left of the curtain. Which I pretend is fine...but if you were planning it, you'd want them more evenly dispersed.  Ahem.
Cutting different sized bricks from my strips

6) Now start to stitch 'em together!  Use invisible thread, a good fat needle size - at least 90 - and a decent seam allowance - minimum half an inch.  Stay random when you grab bits to sew together, don't try to be too orderly about it - I didn't go dot, flower, fishes, plain; it was more like dot, plain, dot, fishes, plain, flower, fishes, flower, dot, fishes, plain.....and the same goes for the different sizes.  Stitch 14" to 14" sides, making sure you're stitching right sides together (although 10 points if you can see really quite a few wrong side flowers and fishes on mine....you can't? No, didn't bother me either...!)  Keep stitching, so you're creating a long continuous strip. Measure how much you've made every now and then.  In theory you need 71" x 4 so that you end up with 4 shower curtain width strips.  Then stitch another good-sized brick on so you have a bit extra for seam allowances.

You'll end up with mounds of stitched bricks

7) Now, cut the big long strip into 4 strips - making each one about 73" would be sensible, and lay them on the floor to see how best to order them.  You can see what I mean now about the phrases can't you?!  All on the left.  Doh.  Let's name these top to bottom, Strip 1, Strip 2, Strip 3 etc
Swap them about till you like the order

8) You will now stitch the strips together. Start with your original shower curtain top, and stitch it to Strip 1 along the long edge.  Remember right sides together - and you may need to 'neaten up' your long edges using your rotary blade and mat first.  The long strip sides must be straight and neat before you start to sew.  At this point, you are wrestling with mountains of crinkly shower curtain, so like, chillax, yeah?! Take your time...get it right...when you've finished stitching the Top (Holes) Strip to Strip 1, go and get Strip 2 from the floor, and stitch to Strip 1 and so on, till you have your whole complete shower curtain!
Lay the Strips right sides together

9) Hem all round the three edges to finish off, and if you have kept the weights from your old curtain, try stitching them into the bottom hem.  It's not dastardly important, folks, but it does make it hang better.

And there you have it!  A singularly individual shower curtain, which you can pretty much guarantee no-one else has, we think...yes?  We would LOVE to see any images if you make one of these - so send 'em to enquiries@originalstitch.co.uk and we will definitely show them off the universe for you.

Off you go then - go rummaging for waterproof things....


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