Friday, September 14, 2012

Hooded Baby Towel Tutorial

Yes, those towels with the little frog face are cute, but after the first 6 months, they're about half the size you want.  My oldest daughter is 6 and she's still able to use the same size hooded towels I made for her when she was born.  Sure they might seem a little big for the tiny newborn, but who doesn't like a little extra absorption for those after-bath surprises that newborns throw at us?

It's about as easy as a sewing project can get.

What you'll need:
one full size bath towel
one matching hand towel
matching thread
sewing machine with a needle for heavy fabrics

What you'll do:
1. Pre-wash your towels and dry on medium heat.  This gets the towels clean and the heat drying will help avoid any extra shrinking in the laundry later.

2. Cut the finished edges off of the hand towel on each of the SHORT ENDS, leaving the long edges in tact.

3. Fold the hand towel in half, shorter ends together. Mark the centers of both edges with a water soluable marker or pins. Place one side of the long edge slightly over the other and pin in place.  Starting at the edge (instead of the point), machine baste together toward the point leaving 1-2" free. Top stitch with a zig-zag stitch setting your machine's stitch length short and the width at its widest.  You've just made the back seam of the hood.

4. Turn to inside out with right sides together. Take a tuck across the point of the hood and pin in place, right sides together.  Cut off the point so there is a straight line approx. 5" seam across.  Sew a 1/4" seam allowance and press seam down.  Zig-zag top stitch, encasing the raw edges.

5. On the remaining long edge of the towel (the front edge of the hood), turn under 1 1/2" (wrong sides together).  Pin in place and straight stitch along the edge.

6. Make a double pleat at the raw edge of the bottom of the hood, bringing 1 1/2" toward the center seam from each side. Baste in place.

7. Fold bath towel in half and mark the center.  Lining up the center of the bath towel with the back seam of the hand towel (wrong side of bath towel to right side of hood), pin and baste together as you did for the top seam of the hood (overlapping edges and stitching together).  Lightly press seam toward the hood (so the bath towel lays flat).  Zig-zag top stitch along the seam as before, encasing edges.
NOTE: Unless you're using an industrial sewing machine, be careful when sewing over the pleated section as it could break your needle if you speed over it.

You're done.  If you're an experienced sewer, it'll take you about 30 minutes to an hour.  Feel free to add trims like chenille rickrack or cotton ball fringe to the hood or edges of the towel.


  1. i don't sew. period. but i love your blog and the thing i like most about this one is your nails - so fun! i love the towels too - we were given one as a gift when Jorja was born and I agree - they are the best.

  2. Screw waiting for kids. I"m making one for me!