DIY Shower Curtain??
July 8, 2007 9:23 AM   Subscribe

I'm going to do what seems to me to be a rather weird craft/decorating project, and I'm not 100% sure how to not screw it up.

So, we're redoing our bathroom. Yay! But, because I can't make anything simple, I want to use two yards of this Marimekko fabric as an inset on a terry cloth shower curtain. The curtain is exactly two yards in either direction. The cloth will be ordered at two yards long and is 56 inches wide. I'm trying to decide between a couple of approaches, and having not done exactly this before, was wondering what crafty Mefites might do.

Approach 1: Measure and cut out in the middle of the shower curtain a hole to fit in the Marimekko, giving myself two inches or so on any side to sew together. Use the terrycloth left over to make curtains.

Approach 2: Hem the Marimekko and attach it to the shower curtain as is, either by sewing it on, or using some other method I haven't yet thought of. Stitch Witchery seems like a Bad Idea in this context, and I think Velcro might be a little ghetto, but I'm open to whatever here.

In any case, I want to keep the upper part of the curtain, where the grommets are, and I want to try to keep the lower hem, but could be talked out of that one. I have my own sewing machine, which is up to this task, and I figure I will use upholstery thread. Suggest away, crafty ones!
posted by Medieval Maven to Home & Garden (11 answers total)
Hemming the Marimekko and sewing it on will probably give you the least chance of disaster (I am assuming you know how to use this sewing machine to which you refer). Regular sewing thread should work just fine, but if you like the look of upholstery thread use that.
posted by yohko at 9:48 AM on July 8, 2007

Why not use the Marimekko as an applique on top of the terry? I guess that's your #2 option, and it seems the easiest.

I'm not crafty enough with my sewing machine to do it all in one step, so I would help the inlay piece first, then attach. Perhaps with one of the decorative stitch settings on the machine.
posted by janell at 9:48 AM on July 8, 2007

Approach 1 will show the wrong side of the inset on the inside of the curtain and is a bigger pain in the neck to boot.

Approach 2 is the way to go -- just hem the inset and sew it on the outside. Use ribbon trim over the seam for a more finished look.
posted by ottereroticist at 9:48 AM on July 8, 2007

Nthing the applique. The two fabrics are going to be completely different weights and textures, and it'll likely hang funny if you try to piece them together. Cut the Marimekko panel to the size you want, press the edges under, hand-baste it on the curtain where you want it to be, and stitch it on with whatever straight or decorative stitch you like. You're right about the Stitch Witchery and the Velcro.

You mention that the curtain is two yards long and wide, and you're planning to order two yards of the accent fabric. That doesn't leave you any extra to finish off those ends. I don't know if that site lets you order fractions of yards, but you should definitely get at least a half-yard more, and if you have to buy a whole yard more, I doubt you'll regret it.

If you want matching curtains, I think matching curtains in the (admittedly very expensive) Marimekko print would be pretty damn adorable.
posted by doift at 9:54 AM on July 8, 2007

Response by poster: Re: the size of the Marimekko - I think that the hem on the top and bottom of the shower curtain will be at least two inches or so - at least that's how the one I have now is. I am getting the curtain ahead of ordering the fabric to be sure. That's plenty to press under at the top and bottom, I think. . . . I would love to have curtains out of it, but the room is kind of small and I think it might be a little overpowering. Not to mention my husband is going to tolerate a pink bathroom . . . so neutral curtains are sort of a present to him. But, they DO make tea towels in that same print . . .which are probably going to be in the room regardless!
posted by Medieval Maven at 10:04 AM on July 8, 2007

You could install a matching set of grommets on your Marimekko, and let them hang together and separately at the same time.
posted by jamjam at 10:08 AM on July 8, 2007

Another vote for the applique. Edgestitching (top stitch close to the edge) is probably your best bet with this project. Careful with upholstery thread in a regular machine. Sometimes it can jam in the bobbin. I haven't had much luck with it.
posted by LoriFLA at 10:36 AM on July 8, 2007

Use any extra of the Marimekko that you might end up with (after finishing) to sew onto neutral colored hand towels. Just a stripe like the shower curtain. Not too much and I'm sure hubby will appreciate. Very nice!!
posted by pearlybob at 10:54 AM on July 8, 2007

I like jamjam's suggestion; it seems easy and clean looking (in the design sense). Applique' on a machine can be tricky- it's hard to keep everything smooth and not puffy or saggy, or to avoid having rough edges show under the stitching. In a damp environment, you may find the two fabric responding in different ways-this won't be obvious at all if you use a two-curtain approach.
posted by oneirodynia at 2:34 PM on July 8, 2007

It's not very clear how you would like to use it as an inset (I guess you're not sure yet yourself), but if you had a large width, you would need to stitch the panel down at intervals so that when you push back the shower curtain, the fabric also moves equally instead of bowing out. In that context, lines of black stitches following the vertical black lines of the fabric might work, assuming the repeat will allow that. I can't imagine you'd want to alter the pattern of something so stylish, but you could also play layering your own pattern of stitching over to contrast with the design.
posted by artifarce at 3:42 PM on July 8, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for the input! This has made the whole process a lot clearer to me, which is awesome. I am seriously considering the option of hanging it separately now . . . especially since that will make cleaning of that piece easier and separate from the shower curtain, and also makes the shower curtain replaceable. I might bless/curse you with an update sometime soon (assuming anyone would want to know about my bathroom!).
posted by Medieval Maven at 6:56 AM on July 9, 2007

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