When I was a teenager, I believed you had to shower every day. Well, since I put it that way- I still do, but after my first son was born, I found it was too much work to wash and blow dry my hair every day, and in our arid climate, my hair was getting dry and brittle. In order to save myself time and energy, and to help my hair get healthier, I decided to stop washing my hair as frequently. Of course, trying to just shower without getting my hair wet at all was impossible. My hair would become limp and frizzy and I would have to style my hair all over again. Shower caps were the natural solution, and for a while I used the disposable shower caps you sometimes get in your hotel room. But those can easily get holes, or the elastic stretched out, and let's face it- they're just not cute. Naturally, I decided to make my own. I wanted a simple solution- I didn't want to layer fabrics, or plastics, or have to spray scotch guard. I didn't want to hem. Or iron. So I took a vinyl table cloth that was too long for my square kitchen table. And I cut it into a circle, and I sewed elastic around the perimeter. Done. It worked wonderfully, and I even gave some out as gifts a few Christmases ago. Now, I am ready to make more- I really need one in each bathroom, and I would like to be able to give more as part of a spa- themed gift. I promise this is easy.... here are the particulars, tutorial style:
Flannel-backed vinyl tablecloth, scissors, pen, newspaper, pins, 1/4" or 3/8" elastic, ruler and/or tape measure, sewing machine.
1. Make your template.
Easy Way: pick a diameter for your shower cap circle (measurements below based on "average" head sizes, perhaps 21 or 22 inches):
18" diameter (9" radius) is snug, good for short hair.
19" diameter (9.5" radius) is roomy, good for medium- long hair that needs to be clipped up.
20" diameter (10" radius) is quite spacious, perhaps for large hairstyles.
22+" diameter is for your bouffant hairdo needs. :-D
FYI, my head measures 22 inches and an 18.5" cap diameter is perfect for my head.
Hard(er) Way: Measure your head circumference around the largest part. Let's call the number you get "A". Now divide A by PI, or 3.14, then multiply it by 2.65. That gives us the diameter, or "D". Divide D by 2 and there you have your radius ("R").
A/ 3.14* 2.65=D D/ 2= R
R is the number you need to make your template.
Now that you know the radius of your shower cap circle, let's go ahead and make the template. Take a piece of newspaper (or wrapping paper, or whatever you have on hand that's big enough), fold it in quarters, then in eighths, then sixteenths. Then take your ruler, and measure and mark your radius measuring from the pointy end. So, if your radius is 10 inches, then measure 10 inches from the point and mark it at intervals of about an inch. Then connect your marks and cut on the line. It really doesn't need to be perfect. When you open it up, it will look like a circle even if it is a tiny bit wonky.
2. Cut out your shower cap circle.
Pull out the (preferably cute) tablecloth you're going to use. Buy it on clearance, or use one you already have (that could stand to be shortened a bit).
Lay out your shower cap template on the vinyl. Pin it, and cut the whole circle out.
Now remove the pins and newspaper and admire the circle that will soon be a lovely shower cap.
3. Pin the elastic to the circle.
To make this step easier, you may want to mark eighths around the circle with pen or using pins, as I did below.
Take your elastic and cut a length that is about 3-4 inches less than your head measurement (so, with my head being 22 inches, I cut an elastic that was about 18 inches long). Sew the two ends together with a zig zag stitch.
If you want, you can make marks on the elastic to correspond with the marks on the circle. Then pin the elastic in intervals around the circle.
4. Sew the elastic to your circle.
Set your machine to a wide zig zag (just about as wide as the elastic) and start sewing the elastic to the fuzzy (wrong) side of vinyl circle. I didn't get a good picture of this step, but just know that you are really going to have to stretch the elastic, and you'll probably need to pinch the vinyl to make little pleats every inch or two. This is the most tedious part of the process, but it actually goes pretty quick. Finish it up with a back stitch, and you will be set to go.
The cap will look great in your shower, and even better on you! It might even inspire your inner diva, who knows?!