Friday, August 15, 2014

Pinterest Challenge: DIY Hooded Towel


So, we're continuing with the Pinterest challenges this week. :)
I'm determined to make my way through at least one of my boards!

This week I did a really fun, easy and inexpensive project to celebrate my newest niece-to-be. :)
This "pin" is for a tutorial by DesignsBySessa.

These hooded towels are great baby shower or birthday/Christmas gifts.  
I LOVE her idea to take the project one step further and personalize the hooded towel with a coordinating fabric. 
So fun!

So, here we go!

What you'll need:
-1 regular bath towel
-1 hand towel (you'll only be using half of it)
-Sewing machine and coordinating thread
-Coordinating fabric (at least 1/4 yard)
-For optional applique, Iron-on Adhesive (I use Heat N Bond Lite)

First thing first, check out this tutorial by DesignsBySessa:

This tutorial was great, but there were a few things that gave me trouble with this little towel project.
So, here are a few tips after working through it, and I hope they'll help you too!

1.) Pre-wash your towel, especially if you're going to add any applique. (My least favorite step, but it's worth the annoyance.) :)

2.) It's probably obvious to you, but I struggled for a while trying to figure out how to fold and cut the hand towel.  :) The answer is: hamburger fold, not hot dog fold.  :)
I just cut it evenly in half so that I could make another hooded towel of the same size out of it.

3.) Be prepared for little pieces of towel to fray and fuzz, so be sure to sew a zigzag stitch along the edges of the hood you sewed together.  This will help the towel last from wash to wash. (I hope.)

4.) Make sure you pin the binding/bias tape securely in place to the edge of the hood. I cut my fabric to the dimensions she suggested, and it worked really well.

Note: Unlike this tutorial, I left the hood "pointy." It's more elf-like that way... which is always good. ;)

 Use a straight stitch for sewing the fabric to the hood.  Also, when you're sewing along the edge of the fabric, check your placement to be sure you're catching the bottom/inside edge (the side touching the sewing machine) in the stitch.  It had a tendency to slip, for me.

Outside (right side) of hood

Inside (wrong side) of hooded towel

5.) When sewing the hood to the bath towel, I used a straight stitch, then a zigzag stitch closer to the edge of the hood piece.  Be sure to backstitch as well. 

Use a pin to make the center of the bath towel.

6.) The personalization with applique is optional, of course; but it's a wonderful and easy way to make the towel just a little more special. :)

For the applique, trace or draw your design onto the paper side of your iron-on adhesive.  

Remember, the image will be backwards on the fabric, so if you're making a letter for a monogram, invert the image of the letter if you're drawing it onto the iron-on adhesive paper.

Cut around your design and iron it onto the wrong side of your fabric, according to manufacturer's instructions.

Cut out the design carefully and peel off the paper backing.

*Note: You may have noticed that I also ironed on some fusible interfacing to the fabric before applying the adhesive. I thought it would make the fabric stiffer and more likely to keep its shape over time.  I really don't know it was necessary, but it was an experiment.  Feel free to skip that!

Iron the cut-out fabric onto the towel. (I use a small scrap of fabric between the applique and the iron, just to make sure I don't scorch it by accident.)

Now you're ready to sew on the applique!  I used a zigzag stitch, but in hindsight, I should have shortened the stitch to make it a big more secure.  Sew closely to the edge of the fabric, and backstitch when you're done.  Take your time! :)
*Note: Play with the stitches available on your machine for the applique... you're not limited to zigzag stitch!

Back (wrong side) of towel after sewing

Finished (but un-embellished) elephant :)

I stitched the outline of its ear with the machine and used embroidery floss for the elephant's tail, eye and water drops.  Feel free to embellish as you like!

Here is the finished product:

Just have fun. :)  If you have 8 (almost 9!) nieces and nephews like me, these make great Christmas gifts!

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