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Hooded Towel Tutorial

on Aug 8, 2010 in accessories, sewing, tutorial | 3 comments

Are you needing a hooded towel to round out your summer? Whip up a few for the Labor Day parties next month. Or if you’re like me, give them as baby shower gifts. I received my first one 10years ago and thought “This thing is HUGE, but, um… thanks.” As it turns out, my gift-giving friend noted that the adorable baby towels on the market only last for the first couple of months. I can safely say that the purple towel we received is still in pretty good condition. Its gone through 3 kids and I’ve since made others for my sons. (The boys like to pretend they are Jedi’s wearing the towel around the house- of course….)

So without further yammerin’ on from the family story book, here’s the How-To on sewing a hooded towel. Its sporting a never-fray, flat-felled* seam variation. That will be cool, right?

**click on any picture to see it larger**

Hand Towel (roughly 16″ x 28″)
Bath Towel (roughly 30″ x 54″)
Matching Thread
Measuring Tape

First, fold the short ends of the hand towel in towards the center. Each fold should be about 5″ wide. When I fold in the sides, I like to hide the tag inside the fold. The main bath towel wash/care tag will be visible, and really, one is enough, right? The way the short ends are folded, laying on the towel, pictured above- that will become the “right side” of the hood.

Stitch along the factory hemmed edge to hold the folds. I stitch right where the terry cloth meets the factory hem. I find the big terry cloth loops hide the stitching line very well.

Match the right sides and fold the hand towel in half in half to form the hood.

Stitch along the top edge of the hood using about a 3/4″ or 1″ seam allowance. You want to use a wide seam allowance so that your sewing machine won’t have any trouble going through the any layers of towel. Back stitch at the beginning and end of this stitching line.

While the hood is still folded inside out, measure 11” from the top edge. (This is the edge you just stitched.) Use your scissors to cut away the lower portion of the hood.

Also, while its folded, make a small notch on the cut bottom edge at the fold. This will mark the center of the hood. Turn the hood right side out. Don’t “rough it up” too much while you turn it, or you’ll have terry cloth loops all over your sewing space.

Fold the large towel in half to find the center of one of the longer sides. Mark this center with a pin.
Lay the right side of the hood on the right side of the towel. Match the center markings. Pin the hood to the towel about 1/2″ from the factory finished bath towel edge. This will act as a “graded seam” so that we can apply the flat-felled seam finish. (Boy that sounds scary- but its not. )

Stitch the hood to the towel using a 1/2” seam allowance. Back stitch at the beginning and end of the seam.
Ok, here’s the fancy flat-felled seam part. The first picture above is the seam, from the inside of the hood. Simply, fold the towel’s finished edge up, over the cut edge of the hood. Pin the finished towel edge along the inside of the hood.

Stitch from the inside of the hood along the edge of the bath towel’s finished edge. Back stitch at the beginning and end.
This type of seaming completely conceals the raw seam allowance. Cut terry cloth frays like no-body’s business, so I encourage you to try this seam finish on this project.

Wow- could this tutorial BE any more orange? =)

*A flat-felled seam is a seam finish traditionally done on the right side of a garment to finish the seam and hide the seam allowance. You can find a flat-felled seam on the side seam of jeans.

If you make it, feel free to share it in the ReannaLily Designs Flickr pool.


  1. I love it! Thanks for the tutorial. I can't wait to try it!


    August 8, 2010

  2. It is very orange! Great OSU color 😉 Thanks for the tute. I may make some for baby showers. You're right about the store bought ones only being used for the first few months!


    August 8, 2010

  3. I received a hooded towel also, 16 years ago and we are still using it for child #4! And yes, it did seem huge at first!! Thanks so much for the tutorial – I've been wanting to make another one – they are great!! So glad I found you through your birthday giveaway!! Congratulations on a successful year 🙂


    August 19, 2010

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