Created with Melly and Me’s Snug as a Bug fabric from Riley Blake, main print in white, and a towel from the local supermarket, this project is a great first sewing project or quick make for a new arrival in the family.
Great makes for new sewers, and great gifts for new babies!
27” x 24” towel or terry towel fabric (we bought a standard 70cm x 130cm towel, which had some ribbing at each end that we had to cut off to get the right size.)
The total for the main fabric is 38” x 24” (24” x 26” for the main towel, 12” square for the hood and 12” square to make the bias tape).
Now cut the towel into 3 pieces, start by cutting a rectangle 24” x 26”, then cut a 12” square from the leftover towel, you will now be left with a third piece of towel for your dribble cloth/s, which you may want to cut down, our dribble cloth is approx. 15” x 12”.
Place one of your triangles on top of a 12” square of fabric, so that the right side of the fabric is facing you. Then sew a seam along the longest edge (marked with a blue line on the image below). If you haven’t already done so, trim the main fabric so that it is in line with the towel triangle.
Put the hood to one side, and take your large piece of towel. Place it on your table and smooth out any creases, place your main fabric on top (so that you are looking at the back of the fabric) and smooth that out, then pin the two pieces of fabric together at regular intervals.
Take your ruler and mark out a square measuring 23.5” x 25.5”, if you don’t have a ruler like the one shown below, use anything in your house with a definite right angle, to make sure your square is square – a large book for example.
Now take a bowl or plate and place on a corner, so that both sides of the plate are touching the lines of the square. Play around with different size plates and bowls until you get a curve you like, then mark it on the fabric. Repeat this on the other 3 corners.
Peel back the main fabric from one corner and place the hood you made earlier over the exposed towel, so that the main fabric is facing you, the sewn edge is running across the towel (see blue line on image below), and the raw (unsewn) edges line up with the edges of the main towel, then fold the main fabric back over and pin back into place.
Sew a seam around the edge, placing the sewing machine foot so that the outside edge of the foot is in line with the drawn line (so that the sewing will appear inside the shape), starting about half way down one of the sides. As you sew round keep the edge of the sewing machine foot in line with the drawn line on the fabric (following the curves on the corners). Stop 3-4 inches from the start, so that you have left a gap for turning out.
Find the gap you used to turn the towel out and sew up the gap using a ladder stitch. If you are new to ladder stitch I recommend watching the following You Tube clip link, it is really clear and you will be stitching invisible seams in no time!
Done! Now for the dribble cloths.
Decide how big you would like the cloth/s to be and using the same technique as for the hooded towel, draw a rectangle onto the cloth and create curves on the corners, then cut out (our dribble cloth is 12” x 15”).
Now for the bias tape. You need to draw 2” strips on to the back of your bias tape fabric, but at a 45 degree angle, by creating strips ‘on the bias’ you end up with fabric which is stretchy enough to smooth round corners without accidently sewing in any creases. If you have a quilting ruler (see image below) place your ruler on the fabric so that the 45 degree line is straight, the edge of the ruler will now be at 45 degrees and you can draw the first line.
Measure down from the first line 2” and draw a second line, repeat this until you have marked 2” strips across the whole of the fabric.
Cut the strips out, straighten the short edges and sew them together, right sides of the fabric facing, and then iron the seams out flat.
Now iron the strip in half and then open back out.
Now you need to fold the bottom raw edge up, so that the raw edge meets the crease you have just ironed in, iron into place. Repeat this action with the top edge.
Then fold the whole thing back in half, using the original crease and iron once more.
You have just made bias tape!
The best way to attach the tape is place it on top of the dribble cloth and open it out (on one side), so that the raw edge is lined up with the raw edge of the dribble cloth (as below).
Fold over the short edge at the start of the tape, so that you can see the raw edges, and they are facing the way you are about to sew.
Using the longest stitch on your machine, sew the bias tape around the cloth, making sure the stitches stay between the raw edge and first crease on the bias tape.
When you get to the join, where the two ends of your tape meet, place the second end of the tape over the end you have already sewn into place (see images below) and carry on stitching until you get to the end of the tape.
Turn the tape over the edge of the cloth, so that the middle crease (the 1st one you ironed in) is now the edge of the cloth and all the raw edges are tucked under. Turn the stitch on your sewing machine back to your normal stitch length, and then sew a seam all the way round the cloth.
Click on free patterns and guides, at the top of the page, to see more great makes!