Crafty Manolo » Throw a Towel Over It

Throw a Towel Over It

By Twistie

I woke this morning to a torrential downpour. Thank goodness Mr. Twistie took out the window fans the day before! Our bed didn’t get drenched. Neither did his home recording studio. Whew! Dodged a bullet there!


All that rain got me thinking about ways of sopping up moisture, and then I began to wonder why we so rarely think to make our own towels. I actually do have one handmade towel. A friend of mine made me a nifty hand towel for the bathroom in navy terry cloth with a fab strip of tiger stripe for decoration. Awesome and practical.

But really, when you get down to it, how hard is it to make a towel? A little absorbent cloth, some thread, a few straight lines of stitching… and voila! custom towels that perfectly match our decor! It can’t be quite as simple as it looks, can it? Because if it was, people would do it all the time, wouldn’t they?

So of course, I went looking for details, because that’s the kind of person I am. And I quickly realized that it’s very difficult to find instructions to sew a simple, basic bath towel.

I found plenty of instructions for making hooded towels for babies and small children, mostly starting with commercially made towels.

I found instructions for gussying up commercially made dishtowels to decorate your kitchen. Cute, but not what I was looking for.

I even found instructions for making cute, cloud-shaped towels for washing your dishes without potentially scratchy scrubbers. It’s a great idea for reusing those worn-out jeans, too. Still, not precisely what I had in mind.

Decorative folds, additional embellishment, handy tips for cleaning and storing… every single one of them assumes your towels came from the store, pre-made by a commercial resource.

So I guess I’m just going to have to try this myself. I’ll measure out my favorite bath towels, find a good source of nice, bristly terry cloth, get some matching thread, and sit down to hemstitch merrily in front of the television.

After all, how hard can it really be?


3 Responses to “Throw a Towel Over It”

  1. Sarah R Says:

    I think it’s a conspiracy with the towel-makers: if we forget how to do this sort of thing, we are stuck buying their versions. After all, like you say, how hard can it be? Good luck! If you figure out how to make a homemade bath sheet, I hope you post instructions here!

  2. Kyra Says:

    Apart from the fact that most commercial towels are woven to the finished width and use the selvedge as the edge, I think the hard part will be finding good quality terry toweling.

  3. Twistie Says:

    @Sarah R: It really mostly seems a question of sewing straight hems. If you’ve got a sewing machine, it would probably only take minutes. Still, if I do follow through on this, I’ll definitely get Mr. Twistie to take some photos so I can post them and tell the tale.

    @Kyra: Taking my favorite large towels and doing the quick and dirty nose-to-fingertip measuring process, I find that they measure approximately one yard wide and two yards long. A quick search for terry cloth for sale online turned up multiple sources of pretty heavy-duty terry cloth purported to be suitable for making towels. Most of this cloth was the standard 45″ width making it an extra fifteen inches.

    But I have to say, that with Mr. Twistie being over six feet tall and my liking to be really swathed in a good towel after a shower or bath… that extra fifteen inches not only saves me two long hems, but makes for an absolutely ideal towel for my purposes.

    In fact, the most frustrating thing thus far has been finding colors I like. But I did find a rather pretty shade of lilac that I could see myself wrapping up in….

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