Sunday, December 22, 2013

Hooded Towel Turorial

When I was a little girl, my Mimsey (maternal grandmother) made me a hooded towel. I loved that towel to pieces. I still have it! See?

Not my best picture, but you get the point... Which is that hooded towels are awesome. There is no shortage of tutorials on the internet for how to make a hooded towel. I'm certainly not trying to reinvent the wheel, but I just didn't love any of the tutorials I found. Why? They were just towels! Nobody used pretty printed fabrics like the towel I grew up with and dearly loved. This year, for Christmas, I wanted to give my kids towels like my Mimsey made for me. I took all the things I loved about all the tutorials I found, and whirled them up in my mind-blender to make this special towel. After making the first towel, and realizing how easy it was (a great easy beginner sewing project!) I decided to make a hooded towel tutorial. It's easy, and it's a cheap project. You can make these towels for under $15, less if you shop with coupons! With sales and coupons, this project cost me around $12. 

Now, onto the hooded towel tutorial! Please forgive the picture quality, I'm using my iPhone camera tonight. I'm rushing to finish all my last minute Christmas presents before tomorrow... Yes, I sew all night on December 23rd. Tradition!


1 1/2 yd flannel or 100% cotton woven
1 1/2 yd coordinating 100% cotton terry
Cutting mat
Rotary cutter
Sewing machine

Fold flannel selvage edges together.

Cut one piece of flannel that measures 44" by 28". With my flannel, the width of the fabric was 44", so all I needed to measure was 28" and then slice away! This will be your towel backing. 

Repeat for terry. My terry happened to be 48" wide, and required a little more trimming. Make sure you measure yours and trim it if needs be. 

Next, cut one piece of terry 16" by 48". Again, that happened to be the width of my fabric.  Cut this piece of terry in half, giving you two pieces that are 16" by 24". 

One will be your hood. I like to use the second piece for a hand towel. If you want to follow along with that project too, now is the time to cut a piece of your flannel that is also 16" by 24". Set that pair aside. 

Now, let's make a hood! Start with your 16" by 24" piece of terry.  

Fold in half, widthwise. 

Sew along the short sides:

Turn right sides out so that you have a pouch. 

Now, we'll turn the pouch into a hood!  I'm a rightie, so this is how I do it. If you're a lefty, just use the opposite hand/corner than what I say. It makes no difference in the finished hood. 

Take the left hand corner in one hand, like so. 

From the outside of the pouch, place the right hand corner in your other hand... Like a sock puppet. 

See how it kinda looks like a puppet mouth with my hand in there? No? Well... Pretend. ;-)

Next step, put the left corner into the "mouth" (right hand corner) of your "puppet" and hold onto it with your right hand. 

Shake it out, but be sure to hold that inside corner while you do!

Starting to look like a hood, eh?

Flatten it out, and you're ready for the next steps!  Trust me, you just finished the hardest part of the whole project. 

Set your hood aside and grab your 44" by 28" flannel and terry. Match them up and pin, right sides together, but leave one of the long sides unpinned for now. 

On the long side you left unpinned (this will be the top of your towel) find the center. Now, we're going to use our hood as a template for a second. Match the center seam of your hood to the center of the towel.

Mark with pins about an inch away from the widest part of your hood on both sides. For me, that made a space about 17" wide.

Stitch around, starting and finishing at your markers, leaving that large opening to turn your towel. Turn it right side out. 

Now, my very favorite part... Adding the hood and topstitching. 

Match up the center seams, turning the insides under as you go. I do this by pinching on each side like this:

And pulling taut. It will tuck the unfinished edges under. Be careful, as the terry has a bit more give than your woven will. It's a good idea to press these edges under before moving on. You don't have to, but it certainly makes it easier. 

Match up the center of the towel with the center seam of your hood. Tuck the unfinished edge of the hood into the opening. Make sure the opening of the hood is facing the same direction as your towel. Best way to do this is to fit the pieces together with your printed fabric down and your towel facing up towards you. 

There are two ways of attaching the hood... You can just keep it pinned in and topstitch around the whole towel and call it good, or you can zigzag stitch along the inside where hood meets towel. 

Hard to see... But that's what I did. It tacks the seam down nicely, and gives it a little added reinforcement. Either way, you'll want to topstitch around the entire towel to give it a finished edge. 

And with that, voila! Hooded towel!

I think he likes it! Good thing he's only 7 weeks old and doesn't yet understand the concept of a Christmas present! ;-) He'll "unwrap" it tomorrow... Meaning daddy or I (but most probably big sister) will unwrap it for him. 

The cool thing about these towels is that they grow with you. It's huge on Remington now, but the hood still fits my head. The kids can use these towels their whole childhood. Hooray! 

Now, if you cut out the extra piece of flannel waaaaay back in the beginning of the tutorial and want to make the hand towel, here's what you do. Match up the terry and the flannel, stitch around leaving an opening to turn. Turn, topstitch, and bam! Matching hand towel. Here's the one I made for Miss Madeleine:

Very girlie... She'll go nuts over it. Ha! 

Enjoy your towel making!

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