Monday, June 27, 2011

Towel Robe!

Oh my gosh!  This is a great way to recycle your old or unwanted towels.  This will only cost you what you have around the house and any embellishments you might have tucked away in your sewing kit.

You will need

  • 2 Large Bath Towels for the lower body of the garment
  • 1 Medium Bath Towel for the top of the garment
  • Sewing Machine
  • optional hand towels to make pockets or to make a belt
  • optional buttons, ribbon, embellishments of choice
  • And lots of time!

This is actually the first item I have sewn since high school, so it has been a long time and believe me this item is not without its flaws and imperfections.  However, it is not the type of attire that will be worn outside of the home, so there is really no need for perfection anyway.  It's just a robe, right?!
This is actually a gift I am sending to my great Aunt.  I think she is going to really enjoy it.

So what you will start to do is attach the 2 large bath towels together.  First you take the edges that will make your first seam and sew straight away on that line inside out.  Pin everything before you start sewing on the machine.  When you are done, it will be the side of the body of the garment.  Next you will start on the top part of the robe with the medium bath towel folded in half lengthwise.  Your project will look like a "T" basically at this point and the folded part will be cut into to create an opening for your neck.  You will already start to see your robe take shape as the medium bath towel will also serve as your sleeves too.  Now is the time to cut out your neckline.  You can just wing it or you can measure the half-way point and then cut in, making a half moon cut through both pieces of material.  Now make sure the robe is turned inside out and connect the back part of the medium towel to the center point of the large bath towel back.  Measure the sleeves on both sides to make sure you have an equal amount of fabric to account for an even sleeve on each side.  Once you attach the back, you can also attach your sleeves by seam at the elbow area.  By this point you can really tell what it is you're making.  Then of course, the front part of the medium towel goes onto the front part of the large towel to complete the basic steps of the robe.  I may not be writing this in the exact order of how I completed it.  But you will be making your own mark on this basic freestyle pattern.  Also note that the terrycloth will really get thick depending on your towel thickness.  So keep that in mind with your machine, (should you need a heavy duty needle or footpress).  Remember, everything is inside out.  I only say this because I am a novice and if someone else is too, you really may not have this information.  A good rule of thumb is to try it on as you go too.  This will definitely help you determine if you are heading in the right direction!

Now you can attach the other side of the large bath towel so it will look like a "pullover" at this point.  You will now have the basic design put in place.  Your towels have now been joined at all seams.  So you have a seam going down both sides, around the back, around the front, and under the sleeves.

Now would be the time for personal choices and design.  I decided to cut all the way up the front since this is for an elderly person.  I felt easy access was safer than her trying to put it over her head.  You could very well just stop at this point and have a pullover robe.  I did try the robe on at this point, and it was kind of constrictive and a little claustrophobic.  So if I ever made one for myself, I would make the front opening style.

I preferred to cut up the center.  Make sure you measure the width and cut in at the half-way point of that measurement.  For instance, if it is 26" wide, put a pin at 13" and use a ruler or something to guide your cut straight.

The last bit of business to do is to hem your neckline, the bottom if you wish ( I had to hem because my recipient is elderly and short and did not want her to trip), and the front will need to be hemmed at about 1-1 1/2 in. for a clean look.  Now you can add buttons or tie ribbons, a belt and loops, pockets, pretty much anything you want. 
I know this tutorial isn't that graphic and you do have to use your imagination for the most part.  But any questions I can help with, please leave a comment.  Please let me know how you like this too!  I will be really interested to hear if anyone gives this a try, and what the results are.

Enjoy! :o)

Some other shots with my "sort of" willing participants:

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