March 2, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday! A Hooded Towel for Sally

We like to play with baby dolls around here, and we love "props." Here's how you can use a spare hand towel or cleaning rag* and a baby washcloth* to make a doll's hooded towel. Yay for repurposing! This is a quick and dirty version, because I have limited time and I know my daughter won't care how fancy it is. There are plenty of ways you could put a little extra into this project, and I'll try to mention a few of those ways as we go.

*You can really use any fabrics you have on hand if you don't have towels or wash cloths to spare.

Babydoll Towel Tutorial (1)
  • A hand towel or cleaning towel. If it's already square, that's nice because you won't need to do any hemming. I used a "multi-surface" towel that came with a package of cleaning supplies. You'll want to measure and cut this to fit your doll and hem if needed. Mine happened to be just the right size from the get-go.
  • Baby washcloth. It's nice to use a contrasting color or print. I used a cheapo baby washcloth that came with a bath set someone had given us. If you need to trim this piece to size, you can leave the edges raw.
  • Scissors.
  • Thread.
  • A water soluble marking pen, or something of that nature. (Or you could skip this one and just wing it.)
  • Cutting mat and ruler, optional.
  • Sewing machine or needle.


Babydoll Towel Tutorial (2)
1. Lay your hood fabric on top of the towel fabric, lining up one corner so you can see how far down you want the hood fabric to come.

2 & 3. Use the diagonal lines on your cutting mat and your ruler to mark a diagonal line across the hood fabric, making a triangle. Or, eyeball it. Mark with the water soluble pen. Be sure to allow for the hem you will add to the bottom side of the triangle.

4. Cut along the line.

Babydoll Towel Tutorial (3)
5. Hem the long side of the triangle, the side that will go across the baby's forehead. (Why are my pins facing the wrong way? I don't know.) Because I was using a fabric that will fray, I used a zigzag stitch. I chose to fold under the hem and stitch, but you could zigzag or serge over the raw edge or straight stitch over a folded hem, depending on your fabric and preferences. You could also use some bias tape along this edge.

Babydoll Towel Tutorial (4)
6. Lay the hood fabric and towel fabric right sides together with the corner lined up. Pin the layers together, if desired.

7. Sew the two layers together with 1/4" seam allowance (or whatever you prefer). I chose to round the corner on mine.

8. Because you're stitching these with wrong sides together, you are actually folding in the sides of your towel fabric, which you'll see when you turn the piece right-side-out. That means the sides of the towel are going to roll in a little below the hood piece. (You can see it a bit in photo 9.) If this bothers you, you can angle your seam out at the very end of both sides. Once you're turned right-side-out, you can then hand stitch a few stitches to sort of flatten this out. Or, see other options below.

9. Trim seam allowances as needed. You may want to clip your corner; I chose not to because of the fraying nature of the fabric. Turn right-side-out.

If you don't like the look of the raw edges inside the hood or of the curled sides of the towel, you could do either of these instead:

a. After turning right-side-out, top stitch around the entire piece, making your allowance wide enough to enclose the raw edges inside.

b. Lay the towel fabric down right-side-up and the hood fabric on top of that, also right-side-up. Attach bias tape around the entire piece, enclosing both layers. Now they're stitched together, the towel stays flat, you have no raw edges inside, and you have a nice, finished look.

Babydoll Towel Tutorial (5)
10. Wrap up baby! (This is Sally. I know she isn't authentically bathing, as she is still fully clothed, but we prefer to keep our babies dressed in photos, ha ha!)

I hope this all made sense. (Please let me know if I've confused the bejeepers out of you.) There are a lot of ways this project could be improved on if you wanted to make it a little more "professional" and better constructed. I hope showing you the quickie version will at least get you started (or be just the ticket for those of you who are like me and don't want to expend too much energy, ha!).

Now you can get started playing. Bath time!


Anonymous said...

what a great tutorial! i'm sure this could be adapted to make hoodie towels for big babies too!

Tweed Delights said...

Cute idea - I like the re-purposing element too. Inspires me to try a tutorial sometime : ) said...

Very cute and SO perfect for me! I've be searching for a kid-related project for the last hour-you rock! I'll be linking.

On a side note, I had a Sally too! She was a Cabbage Patch and that was the name on her "birth certificate." I loved that name and thought I would name my child Sally one day too. Oh and all my animals. We had a Sally dog and a whole litter of Sally kittens. =)

Katy said...

Great idea! Thanks for sharing.