Thursday, June 27, 2013

Hooded Towel

When I was little, I used to have a hooded towel (and so did most of my brothers). My oldest son got one from one of the baby showers I had for him. I wanted towels for my girls as they each grew too big for the baby towels. 

My mom made one for my first daughter, but then I had two more, so it was time to figure it out. I mean, it's just some towels sewn together - how hard can it be?

Turns out, it's not hard.

 And it's an easy present to make that doesn't cost much, but will get years of use.

My mom lines the hood, but I prefer it unlined. 
(If they grab it wrong the hood separates from the lining, making it look like 2 hoods sewn shut at the confusing, especially for my kids. But it does hide the seam in the hood.) 
You can do it either way - but you have to figure out lined on your own b/c I'm not showing it today. :)

You'll need:
1 bath towel
1 hand towel
thread (to match towel)
ribbon, rickrack, or other decoration to cover a seam (at least as long as the longest side of the bath towel)

Because I have an embroidery machine, might as well make use of it!
I do that first.

 (When embroidering on terrycloth, use water soluble stabilizer on TOP of where you're going to embroider. or else your stitches will get lost in the loops of the towel fabric and it won't look as crisp. I don't bother with any other stabilizer. The towel's got enough stiffness as it is - try cramming it in a hoop.)

You'll want to trim the stabilizer as close as you can to the design and then put the towel through the washer/dryer (which hopefully you did before you started this project also).
If you leave the stabilizer all on there, it turns into a sticky globby mess that just can't all wash off and you will do more work trying to get it off than if you just trimmed it to begin with!

Now, let's start cutting/sewing.

Then, I cut my hand towel down smaller (it will be your hood). 

First fold it in half (hamburger style).
then, trim off some from the side and some from the open end (opposite the fold).

The amount depends on how big a head you're going to put in this towel.

(You only need the top right piece. The others are shown so you can see how much I cut off.)

I found a guide once that suggested how much to cut off of each side. It used the band (the lines going across the hand towel that I cut along) - and told how much of the band to cut off depending on baby, toddler, child. And suggested 4" off the side.

I cut closer to 5 1/2" off the side since this is for a 1 year old and because even my 6 year olds still have head space left in their towels (which I cut at 4"). I think the 10 year old finally fills up his hood. 

You only need about 1/2" for seams.

Now, toss those other two pieces (or save them for something else).
If you can tell which is the front/back, fold it right sides together.

Stitch along the side (left cut side shown in picture above)
If you have a serger, use that. Otherwise, do a straight and a zig zag stitch.

 Now, open out your hood so the seam is going vertical and facing the table and lay it on top of  one of the long edges of the bath towel, overlapping about a 1/2" (more or less - doesn't matter)

The hood and bath towel should both be wrong sides facing the table.
The hood should be ON TOP of the bath towel.
The center seam of the hood should be aligned with the center of the bath towel - 
The hood seam should be perpendicular to the long side of the bath towel (perpendicular means it makes a T).


Sew hood onto bath towel, keeping the overlap amount constant.
I sew along the bottom edge of the hood.

Then I flip it over and sew along the top edge of the bath towel (so there are two *mostly* parallel seams keeping the hood attached to the towel).

See? Now you just need to cover the rough edge of the hood

I sewed rick rack onto this one, but I have also used grosgrain ribbon. You could even used a strip of fabric with the two long raw edges turned under.
Be sure to turn under the ends of whatever trim you use so they don't fray at the edges of the towel (or wrap it around to the other side of the towel at each end and sew in place.)

 *This is obviously not being modeled by the 1 year old I made it for, but I had to take a picture before I gave it to him at the party. Clearly, it will grow with him. :)

Last note - if you don't like the point at the top of the hood, you can (from the inside or wrong side), flatten the point into a triangle and sew across the base. (If you've ever boxed the corners of a bag - same concept.) Then either leave the triangle or zig zag/serge along the seam and trim off the triangle.) I kind of like the point...but just giving options.

No comments: