Hooded Towel Tutorial

hooded towel pin copy

With babies on the mind on our blog lately, I thought I’d share one of my go-to, easy-to-make baby gifts.  My friend Dawn taught me how to sew these years ago, and it’s been such a fun thing to know how to do!    Pair this with a bottle of baby shampoo and you’re set for your next baby shower!

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The problem with store-bought hooded bath towels is…they’re so small!  My babies out-grew theirs in no-time.  With that in mind, this is made using a bath towel and half of a hand towel.  Get a twofer going, and buy 2 bath towels and 1 hand towel and you’ll have 2 baby gifts in stock and ready to go!  I like to buy mine from TJ Maxx, etc because they’re really good quality towels, but on the cheap.

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The first step is to cut the hand towel right in half.   You can use a rotary cutter to do this, or just eyeball it along the fold line.  Set one half aside for your next towel.

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You’ll start by making the hood from this hand towel.  With right-side facing up, fold the finished edge of your hand towel up about 4 inches like this:  (Depending on the style of towel  you purchased, you might have some sort of decorative design near the ends of you towels.  If you do, that’s fine, fold it somewhere around 4 inches, or whatever looks good with the design.)

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I like to embellish my towels with grosgrain ribbon.  This is optional.  Also, if you have a decorative design on the end of your towel, you can still use ribbon to embellish, just do it above, below or on that design, depending on what looks the best to you.

Lay out where you’d like your ribbon to sit, pin it into place and stitch it down through one layer of the towel.

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After your ribbon is attached, re-fold your towel to the 4 inch mark and pin it in place on each side as seen in the below picture.

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Stitch these sides in place about a 1/4 from the side.

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Once the sides are stitched down, I also like to stitch down right along the manufacturers edge of the towel.  If you choose not to do this, you’ll just create a sort of pocket.

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Next, fold your hand towel over on itself as shown below.

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The next part is also optional.  If you choose not to do this step, you’ll have a cute little pointy hood.  Either way is good.  To insure you don’t have a point, take a plate or a glass, and either use a rotary cutter, or mark the curve with a marker and cut with scissors along the corner of the towel that is adjacent to the raw edge and the folded edge.  This is the upper-right-hand corner in the picture below.  (In the picture above, it is the upper left-hand corner.)

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Once cut, pin it in place to make sure you have both layers.

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Sew along that edge.  In addition to the regular stitch, I also serged that seam.  You could also use a zig-zag stitch to make sure it doesn’t unravel or fray to much in the wash.

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When you turn the “hood” inside out, it should look like this:

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Now it’s time to attach the hood to the towel.

I have to lay my stuff out the way I want it to look, or my brain won’t wrap around which side I’m supposed to sew to which side.  So, please excuse me, if these pictures are only for dummies like me!  You want your towel to look like this when it’s done…

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So, matching up the center fold on both the hand towel-hood and the bath towel’s center fold, flip the hood inside-out and pin it in place from the center out (towards the edge of the ‘hood’).  Repeat for both sides.

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Once it’s pinned, begin sewing.  Make sure to back-stitch on both ends, and sew very, very slowly.  At some points, you may have to even use your hand to move the needle up and down.  You are sewing through many layers of thick towel, and your sewing machine might not love it.  Rest assured, though…regardless of what kind of sewing machine you have, it can do it!  I have a very basic machine with no fancy whistles or horsepower…if mine can do it, so can yours…just….go….slow.

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That’s it!  Super easy, right?   Don’t forget you need to make another one with the other half of the hand towel!

hooded towel r copy

Also, if you want to get crazy, you could trim out your bath towel edges with the same ribbon as the hood has on it. To make it matchy-matchy.  Or, you could swap out colors of hand towels and bath towels and make them multi-colored, no one said they HAD to match.  Or, add a ruffle on.  I hope you stash this away for your next shower present–these towels are THE BEST!

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16 Responses to Hooded Towel Tutorial

  1. Anne says:

    Hooded towels are so snuggly after a bath!! I’ve linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip:
    http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-make-a-hooded-towel-3/2014/03/28/
    –Anne

  2. Shelly says:

    What a great hooded towel! Nice and thick with a super cute design! This has been on my current to do list. I will have to get started!

  3. Pam says:

    Thank you for the wonderful tutorial with great pictures!

  4. Qlt812 says:

    Love the tutorial which is very to sew (I have two great-grandsons and this is perfect)! Thanks for shareing…

  5. Cre says:

    I was looking for a project for this weekend. Found it!! I think I’ll make arm holes in the sides so that they can wear them to the pool! Great tutorial, thanks for sharing.

  6. Mary R says:

    Thanks for the tut. Just made two. One for six month grandson and the other for a baby gift.

  7. Jodie says:

    Hi there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and
    found that it is really informative. I’m going to watch out for brussels.

    I will be grateful if you continue this in future. Many people will
    be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  8. Linda W says:

    I’m going to have to figure our how to make this for a 7 year old.

    • Kath perry says:

      Hi I just caught this blog and think it’s great! Just wondering if you did work out what size towels needed for a 7 yr old?

  9. Liz Hall says:

    I have made numerous hooded towels and have personalised with names and embroidered designs on the back, they look great and not hard to do.

  10. Donna says:

    I love making hooded baby towels, however your pattern is a little different than mine. The end result is the same though. This is how I fold mine up as a gift to the new mother. After finished sewing, lay the whole towel out on a flat surface. Fold the bottom half of the towel up half way and then fold again up to the bottom of the hood. Then, roll each side to the middle til then meet in the middle. Tie a bow around the towel to hold together with matching ribbon. Open up the hood and stuff matching tissue paper where the baby’s head would be. Put a bottle of baby bath soap under the bow or tuck it inside the towel. It makes a fun gift presentation. The finished towel looks like a baby inside a blanket, just no baby in it yet. So fun!! Oh, by the way, I’ve made these for older children to use as swim towels too. Add some sunscreen and it makes a great birthday gift.

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  13. Maryann says:

    I loved it. your instructions were so clear. I am expecting my first great grand baby, now I have to make a few more towels
    Thanks a lot

  14. Nancy Flamm says:

    Hey, it’s your Aunt Nancy and cousin Carly! We were looking for a tutorial on line and guess who we found! You’re the Best, Autie. We’re going up to make it right now, and it looks super easy. We’re making it out of a beach towel for her mother in law!

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