Monday, 30 April 2012

DIY Handtowel Tutorial

I've found that I somehow seem to have an over-abundance of tea towels and yet only ONE hand towel in my kitchen. Which I'm finding to be incredibly annoying, because I'm forever having to wash it (and when I do, I have no spares to use)! So, I decided to turn a few of my extra tea towels into some hand towels. 

This is my first attempt at writing a tutorial, so I hope that you find it easy to follow! Let me know what you think =)

You will need:
1 tea towel
1/4 metre fabric
Approx 15.5 inches of 1.5 inch wide ribbon
Hand towel template (print it here)
1 button
small square of velcro
sewing machine and other sewing supplies

Step 1
Cut your tea towel in half (you can use one tea towel to make 2 separate hand towels! Yay for re-purposing!)

Step 2
Take your ribbon and pin it across the bottom of your tea towel somewhere. Be sure that you fold under the edges (which are still hanging over in my photo) so that the frayed ends don't show once sewn in place. I used about 15.5 inches of ribbon - I got this measurement by taking the width of my tea towel (which was 13.5 inches) and adding roughly an inch to either side.

Step 3
Use a straight stitch to sew along to length of the ribbon, both top and bottom. Then sew down the very outside of the short edges. You should end up with something like what can be seen in the below photo.

Step 4
Turn your tea towel over so that it is ribbon side down (with the raw edge of tea towel at the top and ribbon at the bottom). Fold it over one third of the way.

 Step 5
Now you need to turn this fold back on itself and pin in place. This part sounds a little confusing, so I hope that the photos help you to get a clearer picture of this step.

This is what your Step 5 fold should look like from the top:

Step 6
You will need to repeat Steps 4 & 5 for the other side of the tea towel. Both sides should be pinned in place. This photo is the view from the top, showing the completed folds. When you measure across, it will need to be about 6 inches wide (so adjust your folds to suit this).

And it should like this when you are looking at it flat on the table:

Step 7
Sew a quick stitch across the folds to hold them in place.

The front of your tea towel should now look similar to this:

Step 8
We are now going to move onto making the top for our hand towel =)
Fold your fabric in half (right sides facing) and trace around the hand towel template you have printed out (print it here). Cut around the shape you traced.

You should now have two identical pieces.

Step 9
Place the two pieces right sides together and sew 1/4 inch seam around all of the sides, except for the bottom. Trim off the excess fabric around the edges and cut some small triangles into the corners, as you can see in my photo. Turn the whole thing right side out (you may find it helpful to use a pen to push upwards when turning through the long part).

Right side out, it should look like this:

 Step 10
Fold under the bottom of your hand towel approximately 1/2 an inch (this hides the raw fabric edges) and tuck the tea towel a couple of inches into your hand towel top. Sew a straight stitch 1/4 inch from the bottom, through the two parts. You may choose to sew another line a 1/4 inch from the first one, however this is optional.

This is how it should sit (although I haven't yet stitched it together in this photo):

 Step 11
There are two different ways to add your button here. You may choose to do a traditional button with a buttonhole. Or your other option is to do what I did, and use velcro (my husband has now proceeded to inform me that this is actually cheating! I beg to differ haha).
If you are using my 'cheating' method, take your two halves of the velcro and place them onto the hand towel. Sew firmly in place.

Step 12
Last step! Woohoo!
Now all you need to do is hand stitch or machine stitch your button on the opposite side of where you sewed the top velcro piece. And you're DONE!

ENJOY the satisfactory feeling you get when looking at your finished product =) Hang it proudly on your oven or a kitchen cupboard handle and feel the satisfaction every time you dry your hands!

 Now get cracking on using the leftover half of your tea towel to make a second one! Get creative and add extra ribbon or lace or embellishments or whatever your heart so desires!

Would love to know what people think of my first tutorial, any feedback would be very much appreciated =)

I'm off to go have some dinner....mmmmmm yummy.....a little bit of pea and ham soup, followed by a walk with my husband and our puppy, then topped off with spaghetti bolognese. Bring it on!

Emilley xx

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