I need to apologize for the photos in this post. I think I got too excited about playing with all of the color possibilities. I should have bought one color of towel and stuck with it. I hope you can follow this hodge podge of colored samples.
Hooded towels make terrific, practical gifts for newborns as well as older kids and can be used for the bath, beach or pool. Since they are inexpensive and super fast to make they are the perfect gift for children of all ages.
I have a personal fondness for these towels as it was my "job" to bathe my granddaughter whenever I visited her as a baby. Is there anything sweeter than the smell of a freshly bathed baby wrapped in a soft hooded towel?
So recently when grandmother to be Linda asked us how to make them I felt it my grandmotherly duty to post these instructions so she too could share in the tradition and create some memories of her own.
Here's what you'll need:
For each hooded towel you will need one bath towel and a half of one hand towel. So if you're smart you will buy two bath towels and one matching hand towel. You know. Since you can't buy a half a hand towel. That way you'll end up with two whole finished hooded towels.
You'll also need 3/4 to 1 1/2 yards of ric rac
and 1/8 to 1/4 yard of coordinating fabric.
Prewash everything before beginning.
Here are the two items that will make you look like a rock star. When your friends marvel at your perfectly straight stitches promise you will simply smile sweetly and say, "Thank you". Repeat after me: "I will not say it was just the thread and the foot". (Even though it is pretty much just the thread and the foot).
We've talked about this invisible thread before. For this project I use it in the bobbin as well as on top. It eliminates the need to change threads to match your towels and fabrics. You can sew lots of towels in many colors without ever changing threads. Such a time saver.
The foot is an edge stitch foot and is available for most machines. On a Bernina it's #10. What's so cool about an edge stitch foot is that the metal blade there in the center of the foot (see arrow below) rides right along the edge of the fabric that you're sewing to the towel. No need to try and see where the needle is, just keep your eye on the blade and keep it going along the edge of the fabric. You will need to move your needle position two positions to the left of center when top stitching. With this foot your stitches will be straight as arrows. Think of it as training wheels for your sewing machine. A great foot for teaching kids to sew too.
I'll show you more about this foot in a minute.
First you need to cut your hand towel in half.
Then fold one of the pieces in half with right sides together so it looks like this.
Remember you will get two hoods from one hand towel.
Next sew or serge across the top of your folded towel through both thicknesses and down into the fold about two inches. This eliminates points on the hood and keeps your kids from looking like little KKK members. You will use a regular sewing foot for this part if you are using a sewing machine. If you don't have a serger, trim your seam then go back over your seam with a zig zag stitch.
(In this next photo I put the serged hood on top of the other half of the hand towel so you can see how I serged and cut it).
Are you all totally confused by now?
And now a word from our sponsor:
Can we talk about sergers here people? If all you ever made with a serger was these towels it would be so worth it. Sergers cut and overlock the seams in one fell swoop. So quick, easy and professional looking. If you own a serger and never use it, get it out and use it. You'll thank me. (If your serger needs threading and servicing see me. If you want to buy a serger see me).
Now, back to our regularly scheduled program:
Next cut the fabric for your trim 3" x 44"
You will need one strip to go across the front of the hood and a total of three strips if you want them to go down the front of each side of the towel like this.
The next step is to fold back and press 1/4" along each side of your strips.
With your two secret weapons, your edge stitch foot and clear thread top and bottom attach the ric rac along the edge of the right side of the hood. Let the ric rac stick out over the edge of the towel a bit.
Now add the strip of fabric right on top of the seam where you sewed the ric rac.
Sew the other side. Ric rac is optional here.
Don't worry about the ends, we'll cut those off in a minute.
This is where the sizing comes in. In the photo below you can see that I cut off some of the green hood to make it smaller. How big you make your hood is completely up to you. Don't make them too small though because kids use these for years and years.
I always cut the bulky binding off the bottom of the hood and serge or zig zag the cut edge. (See that binding in the above photo? Get rid of that because it's hard to sew through).
Find the center of the hood and your towel and mark with a pin.
Pin the two together, matching the pins and overlapping the towel over the hood.
With the edge stitch foot sew with needle position to the left and let blade of foot follow the edge of the towel.
Be sure to reinforce the ends where the two towels are joined as these are stress points that will take a lot of wear and tear.
You can add a name or monogram if you'd like
and a cute bath toy.
Part of the cuteness factor here is the way they are folded so here ya go:
Tie with a pretty ribbon and add a bath toy.