Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Amy Butler Shower Curtain!

It's no secret that I love Amy Butler. I guess it was only a matter of time until each of the rooms in my house had some kind of Amy Butler fabric in them! A shower curtain seems like such an easy project, right? Well, stick with me and I'll give you some practical tips to help you sew a new shower curtain of your own.

A little less than a year ago, I picked out her Arabesque in Ivory for a nursing cover that a friend made and left it hanging in the bathroom.

 "Hmm," I thought. "That looks good in here!" It even went with our existing bath towels. Although we have a teeny-tiny powder room, there's no reason it can't look great! This the view from inside the doorway:
 A close-up of the edging I used to add visual interest and a little bit of weight to the bottom:
 A shot of the curtain top, with a grand total of TWELVE buttonholes!
Looks really nice with our pearl grey paint color and white beadboard walls! Wish I could get you better pics, but it's not easy with such a skinny room! Believe it or not, we actually had an even more miniature bath in the first apartment my husband and I had in Minneapolis...so, to me, size doesn't matter as long as it's pretty. And when we start shopping for our "forever" home later this year, I'll just be happy to have more than one powder room!! :)

The finished size of this curtain is about 73"x73", just a tad larger than a standard shower curtain measurement of 72" x 72". To make this curtain, I purchased 4 yards of fabric cut into 2 yard sections. Then I put the two 2-yard pieces right sides together and peeked between them to see if the fabric designs lined up, which they didn't. Sigh! I had to pin and then check the alignment...pin and check...pin and check...until I was fairly pleased with the pattern match-up. Obviously, this wouldn't be an issue if you used a solid colored fabric.

Once I had my sections pinned together properly, I trimmed off the excess fabric leaving about one inch of a seam allowance. You could easily do less of a seam allowance, but I get nervous and like to leave myself with plenty of room! Then I sewed the two pieces together using a french seam because I don't have a serger. Here's an easy tutorial if you want to try out a french seam: How To Create a French Seam. You could also finish your raw edges with a zigzag stitch or serge it, then press your seams open.

After that, I took my excess pieces of fabric that I cut from the seam area earlier and decided to use them as edging around the top and bottom areas of the curtain. I cut each piece to the same width as the finished curtain and then folded each piece horizontally, right sides together. Since the plan was to sew buttonholes along the top for the shower curtain hooks to go through, I figured it would be best to use a double thickness of fabric for that area. I'd suggest adding light interfacing inside the edging/buttonhole area too, if you are so inclined.

The next step was to sew my edging pieces to the main body of the curtain. I lined up each piece right sides together, raw edges together, and sewed it with a 1/2" seam allowance. I finished my raw edges by trimming them with a pinking shears and then sewing over the edges with a small zigzag stitch. The final step was to hem the sides of the curtain. For this, I pressed the edges under twice and then top-stitched. Here's more info on how to sew a basic hem: Sew a Simple Hem.

Since I had twelve curtain hooks, I needed to sew twelve evenly dispersed buttonholes on the top edging of my nearly finished shower curtain. For this, I used my old curtain as a guide for where to place the holes, and then marked the placement with a chalk pencil. Some of the first buttonholes I ever made are on this curtain, and it was shockingly easy!! (If you can guess...I did a few test buttonholes on scrap fabric just to get my bearings!

My Singer came with an automatic buttonhole foot, but very skimpy directions on how to use it. Here is the video tutorial I found that really helped me with my automatic buttonhole foot: Sew a Buttonhole. I also suggest reading this excellent article on sewing buttonholes from Sew for Home if you're also new to sewing buttonholes.

I still can't believe I'm all done sewing this shower curtain! I'm totally loving it. In the end, each panel measured 36 1/2" wide and edging pieces were about 2"x73". I think it took me about 6 hours total to sew up this project, but I could definitely make it again in less time. What do you think? Ready to start your own shower curtain?? Please contact me if you have any questions, I'd love to help!! :)

Here's a sneak preview of two new projects I currently have on deck! First, Iris Shorts from Colette Patterns.
So far, I just have my paper pattern pieces cut out. This will be my first time using Colette Patterns, and I'm hoping to write a review once I'm all done! Now, if I could only settle on a good fabric to use!

Yep, that's me stenciling with fabric paint onto burlap! Eventually these hunks of burlap will be accent edges on our living room curtains. Can't wait!! Have a fabulous week!!!


Laura May 3, 2012 at 4:08 AM  

What a fantastic shower curtain. Worth all of the buttonholes for that.

Bridgette May 3, 2012 at 6:41 AM  

Thanks so much! We're loving it, even after the initial excitement died down...ha! :)