Friday, March 2, 2012

Hooded Towel

I'm cheap. There I said it. Between my kids and me we get invited to our fair share of Birthday parties, baby and bridal showers. I'm not complaining. I love a good party, but it can get pricey. So when I find something that is inexpensive easy and for the most part thoughtful I hang onto for dear life. Hooded towels are my go to gift for every new baby now. My daughter, who is almost five, still uses her towels from when she was born, while my son has only recently grown out of them.

I have found that JCPenney has the best sales on quality towels. Sure you can go to any Mart and find them for a few cents or a dollar less, but they aren't as soft. Also, I am a huge JCP fan for pretty much everything else they have so I'm loyal like that.

You'll need two regular sized towels and one hand towel plus any embellishments you like. Keep in mind this will make two separate towels, so you can give them as a set or spread the love. I have done solid on solid, stripes on stripes and solid on stripes. You can't go wrong. I enjoy the different color combinations.
Start by finding the center of the hand towel. I like to fold the towel in half and finger press the end.
Cut the hand towel in half. You only need one half at a time so set one of them to the side.

Now is the time to add a strip of ribbon if you choose to. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. I love animal prints especially zebra, it's my favorite. Cut a piece long enough for the hand towel. I have used Fray Check but I don't especially love it. You can reach the same results by melting the ends of the ribbon. This prevents it from becoming a frayed out mess. Keep the ribbon out of the flame. It only has to get by the flame enough to warm it enough to melt.
I pin the ribbon on each end and in the center. I then sew as close to all for edges of the ribbon as possible. I sew ribbon to both sides of the regular sized bath towel as well, I just don't have a picture of that step. The process is the same.
Now find the center of the bath towel and the center of the hand towel. Match the centers right sides together (Some people don't think there is a right or wrong side to a towel, I totally do). I don't have a surger, but I imagine it would be cool for this project. I use a zig zag stitch on my sewing machine. Sew along the wrong side of the hand towel. I usually use between an eighth and a quarter in seam allowance.
Last of all fold the towel in half right sides together again. Do you see the top of the hand towel? The finished edge? It's kid of thick, I sew about an eighth of an inch under that part again with a zig zag stitch, I then use my ruler to cut a straight line above my stitch eliminating the finished edge. It's just bulk if you leave it, but doesn't really affect anything.
Add any extra embellishments you like. In this case I used three buttons I had in my button jar. Side note: a toddler will one day use this towel and buttons can come of creating a choking hazard, keep that in mind. My mom has crocheted flowers for me to add as well, I love when she has free time for that! Maybe one day I should learn to crochet my own. (You can see in the bottom corner of this picture the top edge of the hand towel I cut off.)

When I give this as a gift I like to add a bottle of baby wash tied to the towel with raffia. No fancy wrapping required.

When I read other blogs I feel like the women lead perfect lives. They never post the normal every day flops we all encounter. I know that no one can ever measure up to the perfect lives we lead when blogging so for the sake of making myself sound less than perfect here is a quick story to make this more real life than fake planet. A friend of mine had her baby in November. I had surgery the day or two before he was born and the recovery for me was so much slower than I anticipated. I had the towel for her that just sat and sat and sat. I don't know how many times I saw her after the baby was born. Finally after countless trips to the store and visits with her I just handed her the towel last week. I said, "Sorry, this is lame there is no bow or baby wash, but I made this towel for your baby and I'm sick of looking at it." How's that for awesome?

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