Worship Your Domestic Goddess! Worship Her!

July 28, 2008

I finally did it.  After about 2 months of thinking about it, several weeks of looking around and deciding, a number of days of waiting for things to show up in the mail, and a handful of hours of labor, I have replaced our disgusting vinyl shower curtain liners with hemp curtains I sewed myself.

We have a great old claw-foot tub with a retrofitted showerhead, which necessitates two standard-sized curtains to corral the shower-spray.  In days of yore, we would buy a couple of cheap-ass vinyl liners from a dollar store, scrub them when they got gross, until they got too gross or we had visitors coming to stay, and then we’d pitch them and replace them with new ones.  So wasteful.  Also smelly and noxious.  Mmm, delicious off-gassing polyvinyl chloride!

So I started looking around for more permanent, “greener” solutions.  I decided on going with (slightly pricey) hemp fabric, because in addition to being washable, hemp is more durable than cotton or linen, and is naturally mold-resistant.  Since I don’t want RB to have to wash the curtains every time he does laundry, that seemed like the best choice.  I searched for commercially sewn hemp shower curtains, but they were quite expensive (starting at $60, plus shipping), and since we’d need two, I decided to make my own.

I bought 4 yards of hemp summercloth (a lighter weight fabric with a nice drape) from Hemp Traders, and after finding a grommet tutorial (I love Sew, Mama, Sew!), I decided to go that route, rather than making a couple dozen buttonholes on a machine without an automatic buttonholer.  The financial layout was less for supplies for both home-made curtains than it would have been for one commercial curtain, so I felt better about dropping money on it.  All the stuff finally came in late last week, and Sunday after RB laundered the fabric, I stiched them up while listening to Bill Moyers Journal and The Prestige.  (How fucking awesome is Bill Moyers?  I should write that man a mash note.)

It took a while, because every raw edge had to be cast-over to prevent fraying before I could even hem, and it’s a very loose, stretchable, woogly fabric, so none of my hems are perfectly even, but I’m pleased with how it turned out, anyway.  I just did a zig-zag stitch along the selvage edges, and I like the unfinished look.  It’s hemp, for maudesake. RB was home (his afternoon outdoor concert plans were thwarted by electrical storms), and watching the project come together, by the time I was ready attach the grommets, he was all excited to “help.”  So he had his shake-n-bake moment, and I didn’t get my fingers pounded.  Works for me.

He hung up the finished products, and then I had a much-needed shower/test-run.  Not only did they keep the water in the tub, the weight of the fabric kept the curtains from billowing and touching me, and because I hemmed the curtains a little shorter than the standard length,  they don’t drag on the tub floor or risk getting stepped on.  Win + Win + Win = Winningness!

Also, since I’m gloating:  we went to a BBQ on Saturday, and I decided at the last minute to bring the pickles I’d made, along w/ some melon from our farm share and veggie dogs for us.  People were totally freaking out, as if I’d invented the pickle or something, and they ate the entire quart.  They did turn out really well (yay!), but now I don’t have any left for myself (boo!).


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