Thursday, September 22, 2011

Unfurled Ideas Part Two

Carol Sloan here.

I'm back with the tale of my Shower Curtain Unfurling...
or the unfurling of the shower curtain idea...
or the “I don't know if I'll ever do this again” shower curtain story...

It could simply be called the “Try to find a commercial shower curtain that you like before you decide to make it yourself” story.

All jokes aside, I love the curtain that I made.

BUT I learned some really good lessons from this experience.
1. Lean wayyyy in to your sketchbook, really flesh out your ideas before jumping in without a     well thought out plan.
2. Work on a teeny tiny baby shower curtain FIRST (you know, before you make that great ole big one)
3. Lay out the step by step BEFORE you make the curtain. (duh)
4. Have everything ready so that you will only have to take the curtain down ONE time (instead of the five or six that I did). (can I get another “duh” from the peanut crowd?)
Can you see where this tale is unfurling to?

I am a “let's try this and if we screw it up we can fix it later” kinda girl.
I get great ideas (or they seem like it) and jump right in without figuring out the best way to do it.

It works a lot of the time.
But some of the time, I make things really hard on myself.
This may have been one of those times...

I was so excited to get going on the appliqued flowers that I couldn't wait to have all my supplies.
I didn't have enough (suitable) green fabric so I contacted one of my fabulous fabric dyeing friends for help.

It's great to have “people”, ya know?
My friend, Patsy Thompson, whipped out a couple of fabulous greens to choose from. They were so luscious that I had to use them both.

What got me in trouble (not real trouble but “too much time messing with it” trouble) was that I went ahead and began sewing on some flowers before I had all of my supplies.
I finished the first flower and had to hang the shower curtain back up (cause we had to take a shower...).
The next day I realized that while I had sewn around the large green background fabric, I had neglected to secure the colored petals onto the flower. I used Mistyfuse (which I totally LOVE!) but I wanted to make sure that the smaller petals were there to stay.
Well – I had to take the shower curtain back down to do that.
And, yep, you guessed it – I had to put it back up that evening (cause we had to take showers, ya know).
And on it went...
I must have taken that curtain up and down , um...well, several times.
Wayyyy too many times actually.
I later realized that the easiest thing to do would have been to leave the old curtain up while I was working on the new one.

So, the actual step by step of it was this -

1. Draw a simple line drawing of a flower.

2. Create a Thermofax screen of the drawing (I can do this for you!).
3. Screen print the flower onto five different colors of red/orange/yellow fabric as well as five separate prints onto green fabric. I used red or orange fabric paint for the red flowers and green paint for the green ones.
4. Heat set the fabric paint per manufacturers instructions.
5. Apply Mistyfuse to each fabric flower per instructions.
6. Using the screen printed lines as a guide, cut out each petal of the red (yellow/orange) flowers.
7. Using the screen printed lines as a guide, cut apx 1/8” to 1/4” away from the outside line of the flower shape. You will have the entire flower shape cut out as one piece. Look at the close up below to see how you will be using the green fabric. It will make sense to you after this. You can also see the lines of the screen print below.

8. Place the small petal pieces that you cut out onto the green flower shape. You will be able to see the lines for each petal on these shapes making it very simple to line things up.
9. Iron to activate the Mistyfuse per manufacturers instructions.
10. Using a small zig zag stitch with mono-filament thread, secure the petal shapes to the green background piece. Do this on all of the flowers.
11. Lay out your flower garden on the shower curtain. Vary the height of each flower to give more interest. Fuse in place.  
these are the flowers pinned in place

12. I used strips of torn green fabric for the stems of the flowers, varying the length of each one. I tied the pieces together, leaving the ends a little longer to mimic leaves. I cut the tips of the “leaves” at a slight angle.
13. Pin the stems in place.
14. Stitch each stem with a straight stitch, then secure each flower by zig zag or straight stitching around the edge of the flower.
15. Quickly hang the shower curtain and grab a large glass of wine to celebrate your creativity.

So there you have it.
How one spark of an idea unfurled into a home dec DIY project.

And to think that it all started with a new makeup bag...


  1. This turned out great! I'm inspired to try one myself....or get you to do one for me?
    Denise in WNC

  2. Hi there,
    you are 'Allowed' to work that way. This is (in technical teacher speak) called being an Active learner. We (yep, I am one, too.) we learn by doing. We can do the step by step stuff for the other learners AFTER we do it in reality ourselves. doing, undoing, redoing etc.
    The other learners need us to do the experimenting you know. but you are right about trying it small first. :-)

    And it looks very good! Well done.
    Sandy in the UK

  3. Oh, I love this... so charming. I want to try it. What a great example.

  4. The curtains turned out great. Love the bold graphic design.

  5. Bravo Carol, very inspiring! I may try some DIY home dec! I love reading your posts!

  6. I agree with Sandy. Learn as you go. Then you can step it out, as you did, to teach others. Thanks for the inspiration; the curtain is GORGEOUS!

  7. Thanks everyone! It looks much better in real life than the pics. Much better. I forgot to mention that I used a rectangle piece of clear vinyl on the top corner as a spot to grasp the curtain (for those with dirty hands!). I stitched in on right at the top corner of the curtain.

  8. Well I too am an "I am a “let's try this and if we screw it up we can fix it later” kinda girl.
    I get great ideas (or they seem like it) and jump right in without figuring out the best way to do it." kind of woman. If I chose to do it the "right" way I'd seldom get anything done!

    Your curtain came out great in the end and by the time another project rolls around like this you'll probably be beyond the pains of this one and jump right back in again - makes me think of childbirth which means it's worth the pain in the end!

  9. Love the end result! I too am a dive right in and see what happens type of person.


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