Sunday, December 10, 2017

DIY Tea Towels

I have a lovely friend who also just finished up her Masters and is job searching, and she asked me to teach her to sew in order to make a couple "power outfit" pieces to make her feel both badass and totally herself for interviews. That's exactly why I love making my own clothes: there's a power to being able to make something from nothing, and that something is made exactly the way (uh-huh, uh-huh) I like it.

But before jumping into power pieces, I wanted to do a quick and easy project to get her comfortable using a machine and used to the process of pressing, pinning, sewing (washing, rinsing, and repeating).

Enter: tea towels. Perfect for sewists who have just returned from living abroad and who have nothing that adults should have (like kitchen linens) and equally perfect for sewists who have an enormous stash that needs busting. I fit both categories and thought it would be a great way to get her comfy and take a few more pieces of fabric out of my seemingly endless stash.

Here's what you'll need:
  • A piece of 100% cotton fabric roughly 20 x 25 inches. A fat quarter will also do the trick just as nicely. I prefer quilting weight cotton since I like my tea towels to be relatively substantial.
  • Matching or complementary thread
Here's how you do it:

1. Fold over the raw edge of your fabric 3/8 inch. Press.

2. Fold over another 3/8 inch. Press and pin.

3. Optionally: trim the excess to reduce bulk and fold the corners under to create mitered corners.

Before trimming the bulk—not half as pretty!

4. Sew all around the edges, using a 3/8 inch seam allowance to get right at the edge of your hem OR using the right edge of your presser foot as a seam allowance guide.

5. At the corners, with your needle down, pivot to stitch along the overlapping hem edges (or mitered corner edges), then backstitch to the stitch line for the next side and continue on your merry way.

Here's What You Make:

The Final Product

It's a super quick project, less than 10 minutes from beginning to end, most of which is pressing (Unless, like me, you have to pause to shake a fist at the world every couple minutes because you're listening to Code Switch and getting heated about the Census while you sew—then maybe it's closer to 12 minutes).

And now I have pretty, me-made kitchen towels! This was a great first intro to machine sewing for my dear friend, gearing her up for beginner garment making. Watch this space for more on her sewing lessons!

1 comment:

  1. What a great idea! A lot of my friends have expressed an interest in sewing and this would be a perfect intro project for them!-Trish (@floralsflannels)


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