After gift sewing in December, I decided it was time to make myself something fun. January department store sales promotions, of towels and linens, provide us with a chance to personalize a towel with a quick addition of elastic, hook & loop tape, trim, and embroidery.
I chose an embroidery design from the Appliqués for Sweatshirts Embroidery Designs and fabric for the appliqué. Appliqués are ideal to add to terry cloth since the fabric rests on top of the nap, not embedded in the nap! Or, you could leave your towel wrap unembellished.
Give shaping to the towel
- Divide the lengthwise edge of the towel into quarters; mark with pins.
- Pin the elastic to the wrong side of the towel, meeting the ends of the 18″ of elastic to the first and third quarter marks. Position the elastic 1/4″ from the upper edge of the towel.
- Zigzag the elastic end to the towel.
- Turn under 1-1/4″ along the upper edge, encasing the elastic. Pin.
- Attach a zipper foot and stitch close to, but not through, the elastic.
Note: This is a simple process. If you’d like to read more detailed instructions along with illustrations, check out the instructions in the book, Nancy’s 30 Favorite Gifts to Sew.
- Attach the hook and loop tape or Velcro.
- Position and stitch the soft side of the tape on the inside edge of the right front, starting at the corner.
- Position and stitch the hook side on the outside edge of the left front.
Now, personalize your towel wrap
- Make fabric trim. Cut 1-1/2″ crosswise strips of fabric and insert through a 3/4″ bias tape maker. Press. Instant trim!
- Topstitch the trim along the sides of the towel. Since my towel had grooves along each side, I covered the non-terry cloth sections with trim.
Stitch the appliqué
- I hooped a tear-away stabilizer, black in color. Then pressed a square of a fusible stabilizer to the wrong side of the towel in the area where the towel will be embroidered.
- Then, with a touch of adhesive spray, the towel is applied to the hooped stabilizer.
- The first stitching of the embroidery is a tack-down of the embroidery’s background fabric. After stitching, trim.
- Before stitching the decorative stitch, add a layer or two of a wash-away stabilizer. The stabilizer gives the embroidery a base, preventing the stitches from embedding in the nap of the fabric.
- Before adding the next appliqué fabric, tear away the excess stabilizer.
- The next section to be embroidered is the body of the dragonfly. A piece of cream-colored fabric is placed over the embroidery field, the machine stitches an outline, and the excess fabric is trimmed away. Now it’s time for the decorative stitches to be sewn to cover the edges. (I’m not showing every embroidery step, I think you get the idea.)
- The fabric for the body of the dragonfly is positioned, stitched, trimmed, and stitched again.
- After the embroidery is complete, tear away the top stabilizer, spritz away any of remnants of the wash-away stabilizer, and remove the towel from the hoop.
- Ta-dah! What an attractive design!
29 More Projects to Sew!
For more project ideas, check out Nancy’s 30 Favorite Gifts to Sew.
Watch Machine Embroidery in Six Easy Steps (Part One and Two) on Sewing With Nancy online.
Bye for now,