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Thursday, January 12, 2012

DIY Shower Curtain (that you shouldn't try to DIY)

Chic, off-the-rack shower curtains are few and far between.  I have been on the hunt for something stylish for my children's bathroom for quite a while now.  Having a boy and a girl, the shower curtain couldn't be ballerinas or race cars...  And it's not really my style to do something super kidsy, so I started thinking back to my trip to Beverly Hills and the stylish awning at the hotel pool.  I know there is a name for this.

So since I reasonably know my way around a sewing machine, I decided to try to make a version of this for my children's shower curtain.  I did a little brainstorming and decided to buy two plain white waffle shower curtains.  I would use one as the regular shower curtain and then cut up the other to use for the valance.  I believe these were around $15 at Target, for a basic 72 x 72.  (This ended up being cheaper and MUCH easier than buying fabric by the yard which would then have to be pieced together to make it wide enough for the shower.) 

I drew a rough sketch of the valance on paper.  I like shower curtains to be really long (who wants to see the top of a shower?), so a valance would be the perfect way to add dramatic height to a cheapo Target shower curtain.  I already had one tension rod hanging in the bathroom, so I bought a second one.  The original rod would hold the plain white shower curtain with shower curtain rings (to open and close), and the second rod, hung closer to the ceiling, would hold the valance which would hide the top of the functioning shower curtain, rod, and rings.

So then I started to measure and mark on the curtain with my fabric pen, detailing exactly where the cuts should be made to make all the straight lines on the valance perfectly even. 

Measure twice; cut once.

I cut two identical layers to make a double layer of fabric, so the valance would not be see-through. 

Then I sewed it together, inside out, leaving enough open to flip it right-side out (like making a pillow cover).

I decided to use 1-inch turquoise grosgrain ribbon trim all around the edges, to highlight the style of the valance.

Adding the grosgrain ribbon is where it gets tricky.  You have to sew exactly the right size pieces of the ribbon together in exactly 90-degree angles exactly the same distance from the edge of the corners in exactly 6-inch increments for the entire width of the valance.  It's not as easy as it sounds...

The first piece was easy...

But when I had to start sewing edges together to make perfect 90-degree corners, let's just say I put my seam-ripper to good use.  Many times.  Pinning and sewing and ripping out the seam and pinning and sewing again.

Before cutting away the loose ends... (scary huh?)

And after!  Ready to hang!

The valance stays in place when you open and close the curtain itself.  I love that it hides the rod and rings, and that it adds so much height to the shower curtain, making the ceiling look much taller.

Works great with sweet little monogrammed towels and a vintage Florida wall hanging.

I am happy with how it turned out.  But it took A LOT of work to get it exactly right.  Next time I would have a seamstress make it.  For sure.


Tonia said...

I know my limitations when it comes to a needle and thread. It's great you even tried and if you try it again you'll know how to make it even better.

the Queen City Style said...

Favorite new DIY! You did such a great job! I've always admired this style of valance and figured they would be expensive custom made... not that I'm excited about the time I know this will take, but I think I am going to have to do this. Yours looks great (great job!), and thank you, thank you for the wonderful idea! Whitley

bluehydrangea said...

Love it!! So worth the effort!!

CLARA said...

Looks great! Looks like a Jonathan Adler curtain.

Pigtown*Design said...

impressive!!! good job!

Elizabeth said...

i'm glad at least one of use learned something in sewing class!! looks great!!

Donna said...

I have sewn a lot of ribbon on curtains. My last try was to use a basting glue stick to hold the ribbon in place. But StichWitchery is better. Lay out the panel and the ribbon and iron/glue it down before sewing. No pins needed. It holds so well you might be tempted to skip sewing all together.

Not a critisism, but I think your valence needs a really good steam pressing to flatten it out.

Anonymous said...

found this site looking for input(help) layering grosgrain ribbon to add to a curtain drawback. ty to donna and the suggestion to use StichWitchery(I'm starting it in the am). Love the colors on your curtains, my suggestion for next time would be to try mitered corners(like the ones on quilt bindings. come to a corner fold the trim out 90deg to rt and then fold it back straight. Prob makes more sense with diagrams.

LindsB said...

At first when I read that i shouldnt try this I thoguht it was a fail- but omg its anything but! I love this! What a great idea to hide those rings and make the shower curtain look taller- I might just have to try this in my bathroom!!

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