The following is a post from contributing writer Jasmine.
Several years ago my daughter made me some beautiful hand-knitted dish clothes. They sat in a kitchen drawer for over a year because I just couldn’t bear to use something so pretty to clean my dishes. One day she opened the drawer, pulled out a dish cloth, and made me wash dishes with it.
It is amazing how much more enjoyable washing dishes became. From that moment, I decided I wanted to use more beautiful handmade items in my daily life. These simple vintage tea towels bring me back to the days when handmade items were a part of every homemaker’s daily life.
- Tea toweling (Tea toweling can be purchased from local quilt shops or online. It comes in a variety of sizes with both finished and unfinished edges.)
- 1930’s reproduction fabric
1. Cut two panels of the reproduction fabric (5 1/4 x 17 inches).
2. Turn under edges (of one of the panels) 1/4 inch. Press. Turn under 1/4 inch again. Press.
3. Sew around all edges.
4. Repeat steps 1-3 on second panel. You should now have two hemmed panels measuring 4 1/4 x 16 inches.
5. Cut one piece of toweling (21 1/4 x 17 inches).
6. Turn under edges of toweling 1/4 inch. Press. Turn under 1/4 inch again. Press.
7. Sew one side of the toweling to a reproduction panel, leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Repeat on the other end of the toweling with remaining panel. Press towel.
8. Embroider if desired. Here is the link to the ducky pattern I created for this project.
I had to laugh when you said that you didn’t want to use the dish cloths because they were so pretty. I would have done the same thing. 🙂 I was looking at your tutorial and finished pictures and thought how nice they look, but I didn’t notice something that I thought might make it “ever so much more so” nice and that would be a simple finishing seam along the edge where the two cloths meet…after pressing the decorative fabric flat, go back and do a finishing seam all along the flatten seam. (the seam underneath your ducks) It will keep your fabric from “bowing out” or curling and makes it lay flat. I hope you don’t mind me mentioning it. I took a sewing class many years ago and the teacher told us that the difference between a “homemade” look and a “professional” look was that simple finishing stitch. I think she is right. Beautiful towels! 🙂
Thanks Karen! No, I don’t mind you adding to the post at all. I love it when others are willing to share. I am going to have to try the finishing seam you mentioned. I am planning on helping my daughter make some for her hope chest so we will be be busy with these for a while.
I think I could do this…as soon as I learn where the on button is on my sewing machine. 😉 I’m so trying this, for real! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks Lana! It’s as simple as driving…just steer the fabric and give it some gas : )
Wanda Barefoot says
Thank you for sharing. I agree, a top stitch would give it a nice finished look. If your sewing machine has decorative stitches you could even step it up a notch and give them a nice decorative top stitch or add a strip of coordinating ribbon. Love the duckies! 🙂