How To: Sewing your own Shower Cap

I finally had to say farewell to my Hello Kitty shower cap as the elastic literally fell off and i noticed a hole at the top.  Now for someone with 2+ feet of hair i need a shower cap that is industrial strength and can handle the on/off, being slept in, and not develop a colony of mold.  So instead of heading off to the beauty supply store i went to the fabric store.  I mean seriously, it can’t be hard to just make a new shower cap, right?

Well turns out the answer is no, it’s not hard at all.  So not hard i can explain it to you here in just a few short steps, ready?

Step 0: Before you do anything … look for fabric.  It was a deal breaker for me if i couldn’t find a super cute vinyl to enjoy for years to come.  I found super awesome fabric, and had to compose myself at the $27 a yard price tag.  I mean it’s not even a costume!!!  Well when i did the math and realized i would only need 3/4 of a yard along with the plan to not have any elastic or trims it turned out the cost was still less then i’d have paid for a new one (especially since the last was from Japan and a plan ticket is a lot more than $25).  So, to cross this one off the list ensure you have the following supplies:

  1. Fabric – I chose a vinyl coated fabric, you want something water proof … and CUTE!
  2. Matching Thread – I chose upholestry thread as it’s thicker and will stand up to wear better than plain old poly
  3. Snaps – Sticking with the desire to have less than zero % mold i went with metal snaps instead of elastic
  4. Color Pencil – for Fabric Marking, i keep a couple of yellow ones around the house at all times
  5. Twine/String/Yarn – Something to help you draw a perfect circle
  6. Tape – Anything that will hold the yarn in place for a few minutes with moderate pressure
  7. Scissors – To cut the fabric and thread, nothing fancy required
  8. Measuring Tape – To keep your sewing honest, and so you only have to do things once

Step 1: Prep for Circle Time.  So what’s the easiest way to draft a circle?  unfortunately not what i found on most the internet when i did a couple of searches.  The super easy way to draft a circle is with a piece of twine/rope/yarn (i don’t even cut mine, afterwards i roll it back onto the ball).  As shown below, take the yarn and tie the end to the color pencil. From the tip of the color pencil measure out half of the desired diameter of the shower cap of yarn (10.5” for me so i’d have room for curlers or rags), take a piece of tape and secure the yarn at the desired length to the back of the fabric with enough room to allow you to draft the full circle.

Shower Cap 101: Step 1 - Trace Off Circle

Step 2: Draft your circle.  Now that we have everything setup, hold the color pencil up right without pulling too much on the yarn and draw your circle!  Watch that you hold the pencil upright to get a real circle, instead of an oval.

Shower Cap 101: Step 2 - Draw Circle

Step 3: Cut it out.  Now that you have a super awesome circle drawn on the back of the fabric grab your scissors and cut it from the rest of the fabric.

Shower Cap 101: Step 3 - Cut out Circle

Step 4: Slit!  Since i decided to forgo the elastic and use snaps instead i need a slit that i will finish off with some self bias tape.  I cut a 3.5” slit with 45 degree angles to allow me easy access for setting the bias tape.

Shower Cap 101: Step 4 - Cut Slit

Step 5: Binding Off.  To clean off the slit i cut strips of the fabric 2” wide for a 1/2” finished width.  Once you have set the tape tack the top edge of the triangle to keep the tape flat (skipping the detailed bias tape instructions as there are about 2 million videos online :)

Shower Cap 101: Step 5 - Set Binding around strip

Step 6: Tuck, tuck, tuck.  Without elastic we still need to reduce the total head opening size.  Shirring is out as this is super stiff fabric, like shirring a fully lined corset – pass!  So i went with tucks!  I started off with 1” total reducing tucks every 1/2” and had to step it up a bit in the middle to hit my target head circumference of 21.5”.

Shower Cap 101: Step 6 - Set Tucks Around Opening

Step 8: Bands and Snaps!  After the tucks i cut out a head band section measuring 23” long by 3” wide.  This allowed me to set the band like a bias tape with a 1/2” seam allowance and a finished 1” band.  I tucked in the ends before finishing off with the machine and then hand sewed the ends shut.  Final touch was a few snaps set at 1” to allow for adjustments

Shower Cap 101: Step 7 - Setting Snaps

Step 9: Your Done!  And in my case it’s dark outside.  It amazing how time flies while hand sewing.  I have given it a whirl both right side out for a quick shower and wrong side out for an overnight conditioner treatment, both with fantastic success.  It sure is nice to not have to wear a towel and syran wrap for those anymore.  Also the bicycles and awesome dots make this dressy enough to totally go outside with … at least for the mail ; )

Shower Cap 101: Step 8 - Ready for your head!