Sunday, August 5, 2012

Hanging Around

Over the last few days I decided to finish up a little project I had planned a few months before we moved here, new hanging hand towels for the kitchen.  Ones that didn't tie on to the oven handle but buttoned or snapped on since one or more of my cats likes to eat anything resembling cording and another likes to pull the ones I did have loose and take them off to hide.  And ones that were a little newer and cleaner than the ones I bought back in '95.  Yeah, I've had my kitchen and bath towels since '95 and they are most definitely showing their age.
Here's a sneak preview of what we are making today, my prototype.  It's already in use if you can't tell!

First thing to do is locate towels you want to hang in your kitchen, pic something you like because each towel is going to make 2 of them, and pick something with a design that runs both ways from the center so that there's nothing upside down on one of the towels.  I bought 6 hand towels at a discount store on clearance that I liked, one of which was supposed to have been a gift but well, I packed, moved and forgot where I put them all until I found them stashed in stuff I don't normally use the other day.

Find some fabric that matches the towels, you really should only need a fat quarter or less for each one.  Find buttons and/or snaps to match, whatever you like.  Wash your towels and the fabric, helps during the handling and gets the initial shrinking and dye loss out of the way.

Now you need to mark the middle of the towel on the back with a pen or pencil or fabric marker of some sort.  Beware, the next couple of pics are of my ancient, well used, towels (and yes that's as clean as it gets any more) because I forgot to take pics of my progress for the first few steps!

Next we are going to fold over the sides, to the middle and back out, matching that center line, so that it looks like this:

Then we are going to sew 2 lines of stitching using your presser foot as a guide on either side of that center line.

Then you cut along that line and create 2 towels that look like this:
Now we need to make the fabric hanger.  You can use whatever fabric you want, scraps, extras, anything.  If you are like me, you don't often turn down orphaned fabric and have a bunch of out of fashion stuff in small pieces that you can piece together into the hanger.  The size will depend on your towel.  Mine, folded and sewn this way is 5.5" across the cut end and I'm using small bits of fabric and a 1/4" piecing foot so I would cut 2 pieces 6" wide and around 10" long, which also depends on your oven handle size and button size.  I have a large oven handle and am using 1" buttons so I figure that's a good place to start!

With those 2 pieces of fabric, make a tube.
Then you need to fish your towel into that tube and align one end, make it nice and flat on that end.
Then stitch down that straight end using your regular presser foot as a guide, then again using a zig zag stich of some sort just to make sure it's not going anywhere.

Flip the tube right side out, straighten it up and iron it.
Then you'll need to tuck that free end back into the tub far enough to account for your button hole stitch or snaps, making sure to leave enough room for it to fit over your oven handle loosely.  I folded these in about 1.5".  Then top stitch around the edges with one of those fancy stitches you've been wanting to use.
Add the button hole and button.

Or the snaps.
And you are finished!
Yes I know, I'm missing 2 more of the towels, namely the one with the veggies on it.  I'm looking for just the right buttons for those!

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