I know many people associate shower caps with little old ladies, but I go to the gym every morning before work and have a shower in the office afterwards – if I washed my hair every day I’d look even more like a walking bush than I already do (and washing it every day isn’t very good for it) so I’ve thus far resorted to the freebie shower caps you sometimes get in hotels in order to keep my hair dry and out of the way. Unfortunately the elastic on them eventually goes and I don’t stay in enough posh hotels to stock up, so I finally conceded that I’d have to make one of my own. It took me all of half an hour, so I thought I’d share how I did it.

You will need:

  • 3/4 yard/metre PUL (PolyUrethane Laminate) fabric – this is waterproof and often used for nappy covers
  • 3/4 yard/metre lining fabric for dressmaking
  • 1/2 yard/metre flat elastic, 1/4″ / 5 mm wide
  • Bodkin or safety pin
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread to match your project
  • Copy of the appropriate sized pattern piece below
  • Paper scissors
  • Tape
  • Rotary cutter or fabric scissors
  • Ruler
  • Wonder clips
  • Sharp pointed scissors
  • Chopstick or other pointy tool

There are 3 sizes of shower cap pattern, choose the appropriate sized based on the below:

  • Large – for those with BIG/thick/vast quantities of hair
  • Medium – for those with less hair but might want to tie it up
  • Small – for those with short hair

Print the left and right sides of your chosen pattern size, checking the 1″ test square for size. Using the paper scissors cut out both sides, then stick them together where marked.

Cut out a square each of the PUL and the lining fabric as follows:

  • Large – 20 1/2″ x 20 1/2″
  • Medium – 19 1/2″ x 19 1/2″
  • Small – 18 1/2″ x 18 1/2″

Take the PUL and fold in half, then fold again so that you have a square 10 1/4″ x 10 1/4″. Place the pattern piece so that the straight edges are aligned with the folded edges of the fabric, then using the rotary cutter or scissors cut round the curved edge. This will give you a circle of fabric.

Repeat the last step with the lining fabric.

Place the 2 circles of fabric right sides together, and clip them together all the way around – do not use pins for this step otherwise they will go through the waterproof layer and leave holes for water to get in, slightly defeating the purpose of the exercise.

Stitch all the way around the edge, using a 1/4″ seam allowance and leaving a turning gap around 2″ long (this doesn’t have to be precise, just big enough to turn everything through)

Using your sharp pointed scissors, clip all the way around the edge up to the stitching line, every 1/4″ or so, being careful not to cut through the stitching line.

Turn the cap right sides out, then use the chopstick to make sure the fabric is pushed all the way out to the seam, then clip all the way around again.

Top stitch 1/8″ from the edge of the cap, leaving around a 1″ opening to thread the elastic through at the turning gap. Top stitch again 1/2″ from the edge of the cap all the way around to create the casing to hold the elastic.

Take the elastic and without stretching it, measure around your head where the cap would sit. Cut at this length.

Take your bodkin or safety pin and attach to one end of the elastic.

Thread the elastic through the casing all the way around the cap – be sure to prevent the tail disappearing before you get all the way around! I use a clip for this, but use whatever you have handy that’s bigger than the opening.

Take the two ends of your elastic and overlap by 2″, then zigzag stitch together – do not straight stitch as that won’t stretch, but zigzag will.

Pop all the elastic inside the casing and top stitch the opening closed 1/8″ from the edge. Ease the fabric around so it’s evenly distributed.

Knock up as many of these as you like and enjoy your shower/bath!

You can find the pattern pieces below: