the baby has been growing like a weed in his first year. when he hit 28.5″ in length at six months, we noticed that he had outgrown his bath towels along with most clothing meant for a 12 month old.
and so, we decided to whip out our sewing machine and get to work targeting a bath towel 35″ square, which would hopefully tide baby over for the next 6 months or so. and indeed, at 9 months, the towel is still keeping baby toasty and dry after bath time with the unanticipated benefit of being a fun new toy for curious ‘lil hands and feet.
here’s what we did . . .
- Fabric: 1 yard of terry cloth that is at least 48″ wide (or you will need to purchase 1.5 yards of terry cloth that is at least 36″ wide but less than 48″ wide). we used a 16 oz organic terry cloth that we had in our stash that had a width of 60″.
- Double Folded Bias Tape: 1 cm wide and approximately 160 inches in total length (shown: Liberty Cars B)
- Matching thread
- Pins, a sewing machine, and fabric scissors or rotary cutter
Some Prep Work
- First, cut a 35″ square. This piece will become the body of the towel. (we included the selvedge edge as part of the fabric that we cut. terry cloth can be a bit tricky to cut, and it’s easier to use the selvedge as an anchor edge. if your selvedge edge like ours is less than 1 cm in width it will be completely covered by bias tape and will not show in the final product. if larger than 1 cm, you may need to trim down the selvedge edge so that it can be covered by the bias binding tape).
- Then, round each corner of the square like the photo below. You can either approximate the rounded edge or find a household object that’s got a rounded edge (we used a mouse pad) as a template. The rounded edge make it easier to fit the bias tape around the corners.
- Next, cut out a right triangle (one where the two side equal in length meet to form a 90° angle) with sides 12 x 12 x 17″ long. We did so by locating a 90° angle on the remaining scrap of fabric, measuring 12 inches on each of the equal sides of the triangle, and then drawing a line to connect the two points (we marked the two points with a black marker so that it would show up on the photo below).
- Round the tip of the triangle as well.
Now to Sew!
- Pin the bias tape against the long edge of the triangle. We’re using fabric that is identical on both sides. But, if you’re using terry cloth that’s got a right side and wrong side, what you need to do is pin the bias tape against the right side of the fabric. Double-folded bias tape tends to have one folded side that is larger than the other. Open the smaller side (leaving the larger side folded) and align the raw edge of the binding against the raw edge of the terry cloth. Sew along the crease of the first fold (about 3/8″).
- When complete, fold the bias tape over the raw edge of the terry cloth.
- Pin it down, and then with right side facing sew as closely to the edge where the bias binding meets the terry cloth.
The stitches from this step should be invisible on the right side, but visible on the wrong side.
- Pin the triangular piece to the body of the towel as shown in the photo below (the right side of the the triangle should be facing towards you):
- Sew along the two equal sides of the triangle about 1/4″ from the edge to attach the hood to the body of the towel. Trim the excess bias tape from the edges (not shown).
- Then sew the bias binding along the entire exterior edge of the square towel as before. Except, when pinning the bias binding at the spot where the ends meet, allow the ends to overlap about 1/4″ and sew along the width of the bias binding to join:
one last tip, when going around the rounded corners, we use a few extra pins and go super slowly on our machine . . . sometimes manually operating the wheel.