The last piece of my bathroom makeover puzzle is now finished and in place, so today I’ll show you how to make this extra long shower curtain with the pleated ruffle (pluffle ) accents.
The main part of the shower curtain is actually a queen size flat sheet. Since most fabrics are 60″ wide at most, and a standard shower curtain is 70″ to 72″ wide, a queen size sheet seemed like the best option, and I just happened to have an extra one on hand.
I wanted the finished curtain to be 70 inches wide and 90 inches long, with a 12-inch accent band at the top, so I cut the sheet to 74 inches wide by 81 inches long. That allowed for two inches at the bottom for a hem, two inches in each side for a hem, and one inch at the top for a seam where it would join the accent fabric.
Along the bottom edge, I turned the fabric up one inch, and then turned it up another inch, and pinned and ironed the hem in place.
TIP: Don’t use any of the pre-sewn hems in the sheets!! Cut those off and start over. Sheets are sewn in so quickly, in such mass quantities, and the hems are always puckered and pulled. If you try to use those on your shower curtain, it will never hang straight, and I guarantee you’ll be disappointed with the results.
Next I cut strips of the accent fabric for the pleated ruffles. I cut them 7 1/4 inches wide. The size of my pleated ruffles was determined by the width of the stripes, but of course, you can make them smaller or bigger.
Then I turned the fabric with the right side down, and turned up the long side and ironed in the crease.
Then I turned down the smaller side and ironed in the crease.
Next, I measured up from the bottom of the main fabric 2 inches, and placed the strip of yellow fabric on top with the small flap of fabric on back towards the top. Then I measured over about three inches from the side, and pinned in a small 1/4-inch pleat.
I continued making 1/4-inch pleats every 2 1/2 inches, pinning them in as I went.
I pinned two rows of pleats in before I sewed them on. I just stitched right on top of the pleated ruffle about 1/2-inch from the top.
**TIP: If you do this project, I highly suggest pinning one row at a time, and sewing it on before pinning the next row. Also, since you have to sew with the pleats and not against the pleats, it’s much easier if you pin the pleats the opposite way I did mine. I wish I had thought that through before spending an hour and a half pinning pleats.
After I sewed on the four rows of pleats, I started on the top of the shower curtain. I cut two strips of the accent fabric about 24 inches wide, and sewed them together end to end (since the fabric was only 60 inches wide, and the shower curtain was 70 inches wide). Then I sewed the band to the top of the white fabric with a 1-inch seam.
Next, I measured up from that seam 12 inches, and folded the fabric to the back, pinned it in place, and ironed in the crease. Then I measured down five inches and trimmed off the excess fabric.
Next I unpinned the fabric, unfolded the fabric, and refolded it so that the raw edge of the fabric was right along the ironed-in crease.
Then I re-folded it along the ironed in crease, and stitched along the bottom. This gave me a 2 1/2-inch header along the top, with three layers of fabric, which is ideal for inserting grommets (or extra large eyelets, which is what I actually used).
I used my shower curtain liner as a guide to mark the spacing of the grommets with pins.
To insert the grommet…
- I used the barrel of the eyelet to mark the size of the circle,
- Cut out the circle with scissors,
- Placed the eyelet, with the barrel pointed up, onto the tool base*,
- With the right side of the fabric facing down, inserted the barrel of the eyelet through the hole,
- Placed the smaller piece, with the “teeth” towards the fabric, over the barrel of the eyelet, and
- Used the metal eyelet setting tool* and a hammer to flatten and join the two pieces.
(*If you don’t have these tools, be sure that you purchase the eyelet package that includes the tools, available at JoAnn Fabrics and other fabric/craft stores.)
TIP: Don’t hold the tool with your fingers when hammering!! You have to whack at that thing pretty hard to get the eyelet set properly and securely, and if your hammer glances off the tool and hits your finger, you’ll be in a world of hurt. Ask me how I know. :) I suggest using a big pair of pliers to hold the tool in place while whacking away with the hammer.
With the eyelets set, the only thing left to do was hem the sides of the curtain. I did that just like I did the bottom edge — fold 1 inch towards the back of the curtain, then fold another inch, pin, press, and sew.
I personally think this would look great on windows, too. I’d actually love to see two of these used as drapery panels! Who wants to volunteer for that and then send me pictures?!
And now that my shower curtain is done, my bathroom is finished! It did end up taking me 20 working days, which was my goal from the beginning. I can’t wait to show you the full before and after tomorrow!