DIY Custom Full Length Shower Curtain

DIY Custom Full Length Shower Curtain

By Jessica Rhodes - home decorator and the owner of blog Park and Divisions

image of finished shower curtain

When renovating my bathroom, I knew having a full length shower curtain would make all the difference, and I knew I’d have to make it myself to get the perfect length. Custom curtains are so much fun because there are so many fabric options to choose from. I used Fabric.com to find a few options I loved, and ordered samples to try out in the space.

These were the samples I chose:

image of fabric samples

Featured Fabrics

Choosing Fabric

I ruled out the berry colored block print and the stripes immediately because the colors didn’t sing in the space. I loved the Schumacher floral stripe and large floral and the poppy red Genevieve Gorder print - I left them up in the bathroom for a few days to decide.

The two large-scale prints competed with the floor too much and became the main focal point of the space, which wasn’t what I was looking for from the shower curtain - there are lots of elements in the room that I wanted to stand out.

image of finished curtain

The Schumacher Woodperry Linen was the winner - the rich linen and subtle print enriched the wall color, complimented the large scale floor pattern, added layers and interest, but didn’t overpower the room.

To surround my shower, I needed three separate shower curtains - I did this instead of one really long shower curtain because there are three sections of the shower curtain rod divided by three connections to the ceiling.

image of top of curtain

I used the height and width of the shower curtain liners - 72”x72”, as a reference when deciding how long and wide I wanted my final shower curtains to be. The width of the liners - 72” - was perfect. They were able to shut comfortably and still had some volume. The length of the liners was about 8 inches short of floor length. So my final curtain size would need to be 72” wide by 80 “ long.

image of blank shower curtain

Then, I had to determine the number of yards I needed. Here is the drawing I made to figure that out.

Determining Dimensions

image of sketch

First I looked at the width. The fabric came in a 52 inch width. I needed the finished curtain to be 72 inches wide, so I would need to connect two sections of fabric together to make that width. I allotted 2 inches for seams on each side of the 52 inch section - one inch for the side hem (folded over for a 1/2 inch hem) and one inch for where it would connect to the other piece of the panel.

That meant the other panel would need to be 24 inches wide, with 2 inches alotted for the seams - again, 1 inch where it would connect to the other piece of the panel and 1 inch for the side hem. So, I would have a 52 inch panel and a 24 inch panel and together, after hems and seams, it would be a 72 inch wide panel.

measurements

For the length, I had to figure out how many yards each width of the panel would need to be. I knew the panel needed to be 80 inches finished. I added 4 inches to the bottom for a nice, wide 2 inch hem once folded over. I usually put a 4 inch hem (8 inches of fabric alotted) for a curtain panel, but I didn’t want the extra weight here.

For the top, I alotted 2 inches, for a finished 1 inch hem. That would leave me room for the buttonholes to go in the top hem. So the total length needed to make an 80 inch curtain would be 86 inches. That comes to 2.4 yards.

measurements

I would need 3 full width 2.4 yard panels for the wide sections of each panel. I would need 2 more 2.4 yard sections to make the 3 narrow sections of each panel - if I split the full width of the fabric in half - and I’d have one narrow panel of 2.4 yards left over.

So 5 full widths of 2.4 yards comes to 12 yards of fabric total needed for this project.

12 yards circled

Making a Full Length Shower Curtain

Cut the Length

To make the curtains, I started by rolling out the fabric and cutting the 5 lengths of 86 inches. I used a square to make sure my lines were straight before I cut - you can square it up to the selvage edge or to the stripe if your fabric has one.

image of ruler on fabric

Cut the Width

Then, it’s time to cut the widths off fabric. Three of the lengths are already at their required 52 inch widths. The other two lengths need to be cut to 24 inches each. Measure all along the fabric and cut the widths. You’ll end up with four 24 inch sections (you only need three).

image of pencil and ruler on fabric

Sew the Panel Sections Together

Now it’s time to sew each of the full 52 inch panel sections to the 24 width panel sections. Having a 1 inch seam allowance gives you a little room to play. I wanted my seam to be in the white section between the stripes so it would be less noticeable when I joined two widths together for one panel - like so:

fabric against itself

Lay the panels right sides together, and figure out the spot on your fabric where it would be the least noticeable to have a seam.Pin the sections together near where the seam will be.

image of pinning fabric

Sew the sections together — you should be able to see where you’re aiming for the seam to be through your fabric — that’s how I did it. If not, measure in and draw chalk lines where you need that seam to be so you have something to follow as you sew the seam.

sewing fabric

Once the seam is sewn, open up the two sections and iron the two sides of the seam down flat on the wrong side of the panel. Then, sew down each side of the seam so it lays flat and doesn’t fray. The shower curtain liners will cover these seams.

ironing fabric

Sew the Side Seams

Use a ruler or straight edge to fold the sides over 1 inch and press. Then, fold the hems under themselves for a 1/2 inch hem and press again. Stitch the hems closed.

image of ruler on side seams

Sew the Top and Bottom Seams

For the top hem, use a straight edge to fold the top over 2 inches and press. Then fold it under for a 1 inch hem and press again.



folding process

Fold the corners under as shown in the photo for a clean corner before sewing the hem shut.

image of folded fabric with corner

For the bottom hem, use a straight edge to fold it over 4 inches and press. Fold under for a 2 inch hem and press again. Fold the corners under as with the top hem and press before sewing the hem shut.



Add Buttonholes

I made my buttonholes 3/4 inches long because they were going on a thin hook. Make sure you make them big enough to fit over your hook.

image of hooks

If your finished curtain is the same width as your shower curtain liner, an easy way to figure out buttonhole placement is to line them up at the top and use the same placement as your liner grommets. I used math and small 3/4 inch paper markers to figure out my spacing because I wanted the spacing to be a little different than the liner grommets. Mark buttonhole placement and size with a pencil.

image of buttonholes

Your sewing machine should have a buttonhole foot and specific buttonhole settings.

image of knob

Some also require you to thread the machine differently for buttonholes. Read your owners manual and practice on scrap fabric if you’re not comfortable creating buttonholes. Add buttonholes along the top of all panels.

image of finished buttonholes

And you’re done! Iron the fabric smooth and hang!

image of finished curtain

image of finished curtain

image of finished curtain

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