Friday, June 15, 2012

A Simple Hand Towel Tutorial

Hi! This is Lindsey today! I am the marketing manager for A Joyful Soul Fabrics. I am going to be showing you a tutorial on how to make a simple hand towel that you can use in the bathroom or in the kitchen! These can make great housewarming or wedding gifts! These would also make some cute burp rags! I make these towels as well as shower curtains and sell them in my Etsy shop Showered in Chic.

If you are having one of those days where you need to feed your craving to do something creative, but are low on time...this is the perfect project for you! It is inexpensive (especially if you have some scraps lying around) and only takes about an hour!

This is my first tutorial, so hopefully it makes sense! Here we go!

The fabric used in this towel is from Heather Bailey's Fresh Cut. You can find it in the shop here: Fresh Cut 2012.

Step 1. Cut your pieces.
The first thing you want to do is get all of your fabric ironed and cut to size. I used two coordinating prints with a band on the top and middle and a ruffle on bottom. The towel I used has a waffle weave texture, but probably any cotton towel will do! You can cut your bands as thick/wide as you want them, but just be sure you have more than half of the towel for wiping your hands! Cut the top and middle bands so they are overlapping the edge of the towel by about 1/4" on each side.

Because the bottom band is a ruffle it will shrink in length. In order to ensure you have a long enough ruffle to cover the width of the towel, cut the bottom band twice as long as the towel. I did not have a scrap piece that long so I cut the bottom striped band in half horizontally and pieced them together to make a longer strip. Here is where my tutorial skills are obviously at the beginner stage! The picture above shows it before I cut it in half and sewed the two pieces together to make one long strip. Hopefully you will just have one piece that is long enough so you do not have to piece. If you have to create your own strip with two like me, just sew the two short ends, right sides together with a 1/4" seam allowance.

 Step 2. Hem your ruffle.
Start with the bottom ruffle band. Once you have your ruffle band all ready (one long piece or two sewn together, doubling the width of the towel), fold over 1/4" twice with the iron and hem the bottom of the ruffle.

Step 3. Set your stitch for sewing the ruffle.
To make the ruffle, set your machine to your straight stitch with the stitch length at the longest and the tension at the highest. Now, just run your bottom band through at the raw edge and it will automatically ruffle with these settings. I like to back stitch on only one end. Don't forget to put your settings back to normal!

Step 4. Attach your pieces. 
Attach the ruffled piece to the center piece by sewing right sides together with a 1/4" seam allowance. Attach your top band to the middle band the same way.

Step 5. Zigzag stitch all edges.
Even though the edges will be hidden once sewn onto the towel, I like to run a zigzag stitch along all my edges to prevent fraying. This is a trick if you do not have a serger.

Step 6. Make your fabric the size of the towel.
Line up the ruffle with the bottom of the towel and fold under and iron down all edges to match the size of the towel. Don't forget to fold under the top for a finished edge at the top.

Almost done! Now its time to attach the fabric to the towel!

Step 7. Start and stop sewing at the top of the ruffle and go around the three edges that are folded under.
You want the ruffle to keep its "ruffleness" so don't sew past the bottom of the middle band. You want to keep the ruffle loose. Attach the fabric to the towel with about a 1/8" seam allowance back stitching at the starting and stopping point. I like this seam allowance smaller. It just has a cleaner look.

Sew around all edges turning at the corners by leaving the needle down and lifting the presser foot.

Step 8. Attach the middle of the fabric to the towel.

The last step is to secure the fabric in the middle by sewing along the edge underneath the ruffle. Just flip up the loose ruffle and sew a straight stitch along that seam that connects the ruffle to the middle band.

You did it! Now admire your work and pat yourself on the back for completing your pretty towel in 8 easy steps!

Thanks for letting me hang out with you today! 
I hope you find this tutorial easy and you have fun with this project!

1 comment:

A Joyful Soul Fabrics said...

Awesome tutorial! Thank you, Lindsey! I'm off to sew up some tea towels to match Franny's Housecoat! If you haven't checked out Lindsey's etsy shop, Showered In Chic (, you really must! Her work is beautiful!