Saturday, June 27, 2015

Hooded Beach Towel ~~ a tutorial

Today I made a couple of hooded beach towels for the little granddaughters.  They love to go to the beach or to Mim's house to swim.  A school of fish, they are.  

Tracking pool water into the house is an idea few of the adults appreciate.  So I thought I'd help just a little by making some hooded towels.  And to help you, I thought I'd write a tutorial that explains how I did this.

1 regular bath towel (27 X 52)
1 regular hand towel (16 X 28)
fabric scraps (fat quarter) 5 X 33
(These measurements are for the supplies I had.  You may have to make adjustments to fit your own supplies.)

To determine the length of the fabric you will need double the width of the hand towel and add one inch.  If your hand towel is 17 X 30, the final measurement is 17 x 2 + 1.  So the fabric should measure 5 X 35.  If you're using scraps or a fat quarter, you'll need to piece the fabric, but don't forget to add the extra 1/2 inch for the seams.
Once the fabric is cut to the right length, press the seams open. Then fold and press down 1/2 inch along one long side and both short edges.  Set aside for a moment.

Figure out which side of the hand towel is the right side.  (Not all hand towels have a right and wrong side.)  With right sides together (RST) fold the towel in half on the width and make a short angular seam beginning 1 and 1/2 inches from the edge.  Sew almost to the edge but stop short of the hem seam.  

Now to make the hood, lay the towel down and place one hem edge on top of the other hem so that they both lie flat.  Sew the entire length of the center back seam.  Tip: To encourage the seam to lie flat, sew in a wavy, rather than straight line.  Notice how crooked my seam is?  That's on purpose!

Now you're ready to add the colorful fabric that trims out the hood. There are two open edges of the hood, one with a seam and one without.  Lay the hood on the worktable with the un-seamed edge right side down. Pin the fabric along the edge wrong sides together.  Tip: the fabric will roll around to the other side leaving a small amount to frame the wearer's face.  You can adjust the width of this amount by moving the decorative fabric.  Look at the bottom picture on the left to see the difference.  I prefer the wider version, but the decision is the maker's.

Once this seam is made, turn the decorative fabric around to the right side of the hand towel and pin in place.  Be careful to make sure the edge is flat.  

Sew along the edge of the fabric to create a top-stitch.  Tip: I use my presser foot to keep my seam fairly even, just a point on the presser foot as you would the lines on the machine.

Now you're ready to attach the hood to the bath towel.  Determine the right side, and then fold the towel in half on the width to find the center and pin to mark.  Lay the towel on your work surface so that the center portion of the towel is flat.  Beginning at the center, pin the edge of the hood so that the center back seam of the hood is directly on the pinned center of the towel.  

Tips: I opened the hood center back seam to reduce bulk.  I also sewed this seam so that both hems lay flat by sewing a wavy line as I had earlier.  One final touch I added is a small tailor-tack at each end of the hood to help hold the seam together.  To do this, make a narrow, tight zigzag stitch about 1/4 inch long.


Karen S said...

Great idea. Your grand children will have fun with these towels.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tutorial! I'm going to make a few bath towels for my kiddos using fabric with some of their favorite characters .

Rizwan said...

Thanks for sharing this useful tutorial.