Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Simple Project: Ruffled Kitchen Towel Tutorial

I've been wanting to make a ruffled kitchen towel for the longest time, and when my order of Moda Mochi Dot Linen/Cotton fabric arrived, I knew this was the perfect fabric.  It is a bit heavier than regular cotton, and has a nice texture.  Once I figured out the steps to make the towel, a tutorial seemed in order.  If you want to make one of your own, gather your materials and I'll show you how.

You'll need:  5/8 yard of linen/cotton fabric for towel (or a purchased one), 1/3 yard fabric for ruffle, 1/8 yd fabric for band, thread to match towel, ruffle and band.  I recommend pre-washing all your fabrics, especially the linen/cotton (or purchased towel) which shrinks about 10% (air-dried), and any that are dark.  The black rooster fabric bled quite a bit.  After pressing, cut fabric as follows:

Towel fabric - 20" x 30"
Ruffle fabric - 11" x WOF (width of fabric)
Band fabric - 3 1/2" x WOF

We'll make the towel first. Press a 1/2" hem on both long sides of towel fabric.  

Fold under 1/4", pin hem and sew on each side. 

 Repeat on short sides.  Your towel is now ready for the ruffle.

  Fold fabric ruffle fabric so that selvages are together and trim them off. 

Fold in half right-sides-together so that the fold is along the long edge.  Pin each short edge and sew a 1/4" seam on each one. 

Clip the folded corners only (not shown), turn right side out, match raw edges and press.

Now it's time to gather the ruffle.  Choose your longest stitch length, loosen your bobbin tension and run a line of basting stitches 1/4" from the raw edge.  Leave thread tails on both sides.  Tip:  Write down or snap a quick pic of your settings before changing them.

Carefully gather up your fabric until the ruffle is approx. 1/4" longer than the width of the towel.  

Place the ruffle on the towel so that the bottom extends about an inch lower than the bottom edge of the towel. Let ruffle extend a tiny bit over the sides of towel (like 1/16"-1/8").

Stitch in place over the basting stitches (don't forget to put your stitch and bobbin settings back to where they were).

Now it's time to make the band.  Measure the width of the ruffle at the top.  Add a scant 3/4" to the measurement and cut band that width.  (We are adding a little bit for turning.)  

Fold in half right-sides-together like you did for the ruffle, and pin along short edges.  Sew a 1/4" seam on each end. 

Clip folded corners only.

Turn right-side-out and press with raw edges together. 

Place band on top of ruffle, raw edges together and pin.  Be sure your band is straight and even across the towel. If your ruffle edges peek out a little on the top, don't worry, just make sure the band raw-edge is no higher than the ruffle raw-edge.  Sew 1/4" from top edge of band. 

Flip band up and pin in place. 

Sew sides and top of band with matching thread.  Edges of band should extend a tiny bit (1/16"-1/8") over the sides of towel for good coverage. 

Pin and sew sides of ruffle to towel.  Ruffle should also extend a little beyond the sides of the towel.  


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