I love the $1 section at Target there is usually something that can be used in the studio or repurposed and the other day there were some fingertip towels with cute designs on them. One set was green with apples and the other set purple with owls.
While I was tempted to buy them they’re not the sort of towels that we would typically use but, on the other hand, we did need towels for the kitchen. I want some towels that can hang on the stove handle and that I can use to dry my hands. I saw the potential in the Target towels so I bought two sets of the towels – two towels for $1 – not bad.
I also bought some ribbon in the same $1 area because coincidentally it matched the towels, there was some green ribbon with apples and some other ribbon with owls – so far so good.
Back home I plundered my fabric stash to find some fabrics that would go with the towels. I found some assorted red fabrics to go with the green towel and a yellow fabric to go with the purple.
To turn the towels into kitchen towels I made a template that was around 4 inches wide at the base and about 6 inches long. I drew it on paper, cut it out and tested it over the stove handle to make sure it would work (I’ve learned my lesson there!).
To gather the towels I started out by cutting off the top of each of the towels and I then ran a set of long running stitches through each of them. I pulled the thread to gather the fabric and knotted it so the towels were gathered to around 4 inches wide.
I then took pieces of fabric that were around 12 to 14 inches long and wide enough and folded them in two to use for the towel tops. I turned under one bottom edge of the fabric and pinned it to the front of the towel so that both front sides were facing the same way. I machine stitched along this line to not only anchor the towel to the fabric but also to hold the gathers in place.
Then with the fabric right sides together and the pattern pinned on top of the fabric I stitched around the outside of the pattern. I kind of like making paper patterns like this because you can use them as a stitching guide and then reuse them over and over again.
Once I’d stitched outside the design I unpinned the pattern, trimmed the fabric to shape and then cut small darts into the stitching line around the curves so that they would fold correctly.
With three sides stitched I turned the fabric topper inside out so that the right sides faced outwards and so it fitted over the front of the towel with the towel securely contained inside.
Then I pinned around all the sides and machine stitched around the top of the towel. I find this row of stitches helps keep the top of the towel flat later on when it’s being washed and it won’t twist and you won’t have to iron it.
Across the bottom of the fabric topper the stitches secure the towel yet again.
To finish off I hand sewed a piece of ribbon over the stitching line to hide it.
I ironed a small piece of adhesive Velcro to the inside of the towel topper so it would attach to itself over the stove handle and I sewed a small button on the front of the towel to use as a faux embellishment. The towel isn’t actually held in place with the button but it looks like it is.
I didn’t have enough of the same red fabric for both towels so I used a different fabric and a plain ribbon from the one dollar pack for the second green towel. For the purple towels I did exactly the same thing this time using the owl ribbon from the ribbon pack and affixing some wooden buttons (http://www.buttons.com/p-3226-madre-cacao.aspx) from JHB to the front.
I’ve already put the lot through the wash and they’ve held up really well. The result is some highly useable kitchen towels and my sole investment was time, some scrap fabric and some buttons from my stash.
It’s a cute project and the towels look just great hanging in the kitchen. You could use the same process to turn any inexpensive towels into kitchen towels.