Sunday, October 11, 2015

Custom baby hooded towel - a tutorial

Recently my friend Heather asked me to recreate what she said was the best baby gift she received for her son to give to a friend who is expecting a baby girl soon.  It is a hooded baby towel made with a real towel so it is much bigger, thicker and snugglier.
I borrowed the one her son received (he still uses it 8 years later) so that I could see how it was made.  It really is easy and turns out so nice so I thought you might be interested in seeing how it is done.

For this project you will need 1 standard size bath towel in your choice of colors and 1 matching hand towel plus enough ribbon to add to both ends of the bath towel and one end of the hand towel in the appropriate width to cover the flattened area of the towels.  Heather purchased this Royal Velvet towel from JC Penney's and brought me this pretty Purple Polka Dot Ribbon to use.  I believe it was a 9 foot roll. 

First cut a length of ribbon to the width of the bath towel, adding a little bit on both ends to tuck under.
Using coordinating thread and a 1/8" seam from the edge of the ribbon, sew it to the towel, making sure to tuck the ends under as you get to them, pivot at the corner and then continue down the side.
Do the same for the opposite end of the towel.  Here is this one all done.  It is so much prettier already.
Next add a length of ribbon to one end of the hand towel.  Then measure 12" from that end and.....
...cut off the excess.  Yes, if you are wondering, it was tough cutting that wonderful thick towel.
Fold the hand towel in half, right sides together.
Sew together the two rough cut sides.  I don't have a serger so I used a close zigzag stitch instead and went over it twice to give the seam added strength and this enclosed the raw edges a bit.
This is the completed hood.
The next step is to actually sew it to the bath towel.  On the long side of the bath towel, find the middle and place a pin there.  Open up the hood part and do the same.
Match up both center pins and then pin the long side of the hood to the bath towel.
Take it back to your machine to sew them together, adjusting the edges of the pieces as you go to keep them aligned.
Again I used a zigzag stitch here.
Then to give the seam added holding power I went back and also stitched a straight line along the edge right under the line of zigzag stitching.  You can choose to do this or not depending on the towels you use. 
Here is the hood completely sewn to the bath towel.
Viola!  The completed custom baby hooded towel.  I so like this better than the premade ones.
If you are wondering what I did with the part of the hand towel that was cut off.  Well I just couldn't waste it.  Instead I had just enough ribbon left to sew to the other end and after folding under the raw edge twice and securing it together, I used a decorative stitch on my machine to give it its own flattened area at the opposite side (I have no idea what they call that part of a towel).  Now the new mom will have a matching wash cloth to go with the hooded towel.
Heather also brought me a matching washcloth so I too added ribbon to that one and this is the completed 3 piece set.
I had to beg Sunshine to model it for me quickly for a couple of photos so that you can see just how big this is.  All she wanted to do was go and play.  You can't blame her as yesterday was a beautiful day here.
I really love this project and will definitely be making one for friends that have new babies in the future.  This is so much thicker and more luxurious than purchased hooded towels and it is a ton bigger so they will get that much more use out of it.

I hope you like this little tutorial and please share pictures of any versions that you make.

6 of you added your own colorful comments:

  1. What a fun project and great tutorial. Thanks Michele!

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  2. That came out great! I love making hooded towels...such easy gifts and they always want another later!

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  3. I love handmade baby shower items, too. I love making them. A hooded towel is not one I've made yet, but I aim to...and I received one as a shower gift for little C last year. She added sections of Lightning McQueen fabric and red RicRac to decorate a thick yummy black towel, then embroidered his name in red thread along one side of the hood.

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  4. I used to give these all the time!!!!! I used the face towel as the hood......but, I think, these may be too small now to use in that way.....the hand towel idea seems better. Very nice tutorial!!!! Thanks!!! Will just have to "Pin" it!!!!!!!!

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