Sunday, January 16, 2022

How-to: Organic Terrycloth Hooded Towel with Applique


This tutorial was originally posted on Crafting a Green World back in 2013.

There's nothing like hopping out of the pool and into a comfy, soft, bounteous towel. But big beach towels are hard for little kids to manage, and that bleached, dyed terrycloth can be scratchy and harsh on damp, delicate skin. 

It's an organic terrycloth hooded towel to the rescue! This hooded towel isn't for babies--if you start with your own organic terrycloth fabric, you can sew this hooded towel with proportions perfect for big kids. Organic terrycloth won't add any extra chemicals to your kiddo's tender skin, and it's softer than those cheap-o novelty beach towels. 

And just in case there's any doubt who that awesome hooded towel belongs to, there's plenty of room on the back for a monogram, done superhero-style in the case of my superhero-loving kiddo, who's decided that her hooded towel does, indeed, look a LOT like a superhero's cape. 

 Need a superhero cape/hooded towel for your own kiddo? Read on for the tute: 

1. Take your kiddo's measurements, and figure out yardage. First, measure your kiddo's height--look how she's grown! 

Your hooded towel will be in the shape of a square turned diagonally, so this height measurement will be the diagonal length of the square. To calculate the length of each side of the square, use the Pythagorean theorem, in which c equals the diagonal and both a and b equal the lengths of the other two sides of the right triangles made from the square with that diagonal. No, you don't want to do that math? Fine, use this square calculator, but don't forget that your geometry teacher TOLD you you'd need the Pythagorean theorem one day! 

Using the Pythagorean theorem, and then rounding up to the next inch, I discovered that each side of my square needed to be 36" (do not include a seam allowance here or anywhere else on this project); this was a yay, because it meant that I could sew the entire hooded towel for my seven-year-old from one yard of organic natural terrycloth. 

Now, measure the top of your kid's head from front to back; this will be the altitude of the right isosceles triangle that makes up the hood. To cut a right isosceles triangle to this altitude, fold the remaining terrycloth to the bias, measure the altitude, and cut. 

Fold the terrycloth to the bias to measure the altitude of the triangle formed by the fold.

2. Make homemade bias tapeCut printed or undyed organic flannel on the bias at a width of 4", then make bias tape out of it. You will need enough bias tape to cover the perimeter of your square and the base of your triangle. 

3. Sew bias tape to the hood. Just sew the bias tape to the base of the triangle; the other two edges of the hood will be covered later. 

Sew bias tape to the base of the triangle forming the hood, then pin the raw edge of the triangle to one corner of the towel.

4. Attach the hood to the towel. Line up the two raw edges of the hood with the two raw edges of one corner of the towel. Pin well. 

Sew the bias tape around the perimeter of the towel.

5. Sew bias tape to the towel. Sew bias tape entirely around the perimeter of the towel, mitering the corners (here's how to miter corners with bias tape). When you come to the hood, you'll be encasing both the raw edges of the towel and the raw edges of the hood with that bias tape. 

I basted the applique to the towel’s back, then went back over it with a satin stitch.

6. Applique the hooded towel. Your hooded towel is perfectly serviceable at this point, but it might still need some personality. You can cut a monogram, or really anything that you wish, out of flannel, center it onto the back of the hooded towel, and applique it on using your machine's satin stitch. NOW it's got some personality! 

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