Monday, November 21, 2011

Dish Towels Made Pretty

Take a plain, ordinary dish towel and make it pretty! 

The possibilities are endless with these embellished dish towels. The first style has a nice finished look with the fabric band along the bottom of the towel, topped with ric rac trim. The second style is more casual and fun with a raw-edged ruffle. This project is a great way to use up scraps!

You will need plain dish towels to start with. I used flour sack dish towels from Walmart.

For the fabric band style, you will need 5" strips of fabric (the width needs to be 1" longer than the width of your dish towel). You will also need rick rack.

For the ruffle style, you will need 2" strips of fabric. I used 2 strips of fabric per ruffle. The number of strips you use depends on the amount of bunching you do as well as the width of the dish towel.

Step 1: Iron the dish towels. If you use the flour sack dish towels, you will need to use a lot of steam. They are soooo wrinkled! This was the most time-consuming part of the project for me.

Step 2: Let's do the fabric band style dish towel first. Take your 5" strip of fabric and iron each side under about 1/2 inch. You will need to trim the length to fit your dish towel.

Step 2: iron under edges

Step 3: Top stitch the band of fabric to the top of your dish towel. Since you ironed all edges under, there is no turning involved. 
Step 3: stitch band to front of towel

Step 4: Sew the ric rac on. Be sure to tuck the ends under. 
Step 4: Sew on ric rac

You're done! 


Now for the ruffle dish towel...

Step 5: Decide where you want the ruffle to go on your towel. My bottom ruffle was about 2" from the bottom of the dish towel. 

Step 6: Lay the fabric strip on your towel where you want it to go. Tuck under the end where you are going to start sewing. 
Step 6: Lay fabric strip down and tuck under end

Step 7: Slowly stitch down the center of the strip. Create the ruffle by bunching up the fabric as you go. If you run out of fabric, simply tuck under the end, add a new strip, and keep sewing. It will just look like more ruffle. Stop when you get about an inch from the end of the towel. Trim the excess strip, tuck under the end, and finish sewing the ruffle.
Step 7: Stitch ruffle, bunching fabric as you go
Step 8: If you want a second ruffle, lay the strip right next to the first ruffle and sew just like the first one.

Step 8: Add second ruffle
Step 9: Run the ruffled towels through the dryer to make the strings come loose on the raw edges. Trim the strings.
Now you have beautiful dish towels!

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