Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hanging Dish Towel Tutorial!

Becca here with a tutorial for a really fun sewing project that I think would be great for a beginner even, and turns out super cute!  I can make several towels start to finish in just 30 minutes.  You can easily customize the towels for the different seasons and holidays by changing the towel or the print of the fabric on the hanging part.  I've made Christmas and Fall dish towels, as well as several cute towels that are good for all seasons.  The dish towels also make a great fun gift that's easy to customize, and sure to be used!  I love that little hands aren't constantly leaving my (formerly clean) dish towels on the floor by pulling on them.  The same idea can also be used with hand towels in the bathroom to attach them to the bathroom towel holder so they're secure there as well.  I based my tutorial off of a project idea in an old magazine issue of "Simple Quilts & Sewing".  I tried to take detailed pictures & give accurate descriptions for each of the steps, it really is just sewing a few straight lines, but please leave a comment or email if you have any questions or clarifications, I'd be happy to respond.  Enjoy, and we'd love to see photos of your completed dish towels!

First, gather your supplies.  I used this pack of two "tip towels" with pumpkins embroidered on them that I picked up at the dollar bins at the front of Target for $2.50.  Being fingertip towels, they are smaller than a traditional dish towel, which I would normally cut into half to make two hanging dish towels, whereas these fingertip towels I left whole.  You will also need a small amount of coordinating fabric.  1/4 yard is plenty to make several towels.  Lastly, you will need a type of closure for your towel.  I used a snap here; I've also used sew-in velcro with great results. 

If you are using a full size dishtowel, cut it into half, shortening the length into two equal pieces.  Across the top of your towel, the cut edge if you've trimmed it, make two pleats.  I used the creases of my towel from being folded at the store as my guide, pulling the fabric with the layers pinched together, wrong side together, and then folding it over again, and pinning into place.  See photo below for clarification.

This is what the towel will look like after you've added the pleats.
The whole towel after the pleats have been made & pinned.

Measure the width of your towel across the top, with the pleats still pinned into place.  You can see mine was 6 1/2 inches across.

Begin cutting into your fabric for the top part of your towel 1/2 inch farther away from the edge than your towel with pleats was wide.  In my example my pleated towel measured 6 1/2" across, so I started cutting 7" from the edge of my fabric.

Continue cutting a large rectangle from your fabric approximately three times longer than you want the fabric top of your dish towel to be when it's attached to the oven bar.  Since my towel was fairly long, and I wanted a fairly short fabric top, I made mine 12 inches tall, the minimum length that will work.  If I were using a traditional dish towel that I had cut into half, I would have made it more like 16-18 inches tall.  So your rectangle is 1/2" wider than the measurement of the top of your pleated towel, and three times longer than you want the finished folded fabric top to bed, no less than 12".

Fold a 1" hem up on each short end of the rectangle, wrong sides together & press, as shown above left.  Fold rectangle into half lengthwise, with right sides together, so the pressed turned up hems are on top of each other.
 Sew down each short side of the folded rectangle, as shown on the right & left sides here.

Turn fabric rectangle right side out, keeping the folded up hem edge at the bottom and iron flat.

Fold left side over to meet right.

Folded into half, right side to meet left edge, as shown above.
Sew a straight line across the top of your folded rectangle, 1/8" from the top.
Open your rectangle, as shown, so that it forms a triangle 'pocket' and your top seam is now down the middle. 
Line your still-pinned & pleated towel up with your fabric topper.
Begin inserting the towel into your fabric top.  I remove one pin at a time, holding the pleat into place, and then repinning it through all layers of both the towel and the fabric topper.  You want to insert a full inch of the towel into the fabric top.

The towel fully inserted into the fabric topper, pinned into place.
Stitch two straight lines across the fabric topper.  I leave everything pinned into place and sew over the pins, so it's sure to stay nice & straight without shifting.  Since this is something you know is going to be pulled on, make sure that you're catching the towel in both rows of sewing.
Remove the pins & admire your handiwork.  You're almost finished!
I used a snap setter I got for Christmas last year to apply snaps to these towels.  Your local craft store will more than likely carry this style, which I highly recommend.  It is for setting the KAM Snaps that come in a wide variety of colors and 'click' when you snap them closed.  For under $30 you can easily get the snap setter tool, as well as several hundred snaps.  Sew-in velcro is another great option, and Hobby Lobby carries a lot of different colors that they run half price fairly often (and it's very reasonable to start with).
Fold the top of your triangle over to determine closure (snap or sew-in velcro) placement.
You're finished!  Admire your handiwork, and start planning what cute towels you're going to make next!
Enjoy having a nice clean dish towel that stays hanging where you put it!  I think these make a great gift that anyone could use, and the possibilities for different 'looks' by changing the towel or fabric top are limitless. 

1 comment:

  1. my friend has an Aga and im going to make some for her and myself and everyone else, these are great , many thanks for an easy to follow tutorial xx