Sewing for Sister Day 2

Today’s project is for sisters young and old. Be forewarned, this is so easy you might just be overwhelmed with a desire to make dozens of these and get lost in terry cloth and beach towels.

The Beach Blanket Bingo Towel

This project was inspired by my baby sister and her love/hate relationship with…..a beach towel. You see my sister and me too for that matter, LOVE to lounge by the pool or the ocean whenever possible. It is one of the few ways to stay cool here in Alabama.

Me and my younger sister.

But what always happens? You get to the pool, scope out the perfect chair, lay your towel on it and less than 10 seconds later it is blowing away, falling off the back or simply wadded up into a terry cloth ball in the seat of the lounge chair.

You have all seen the solution. These towels with the flap/pocket on the back that range on the World Wide Web from $20-70 dollars. Sorry my friends but I refuse to spend that much money on something that literally cost pennies to make. So make one I did….with pockets. So take that Land’s End.

Ridiculously expensive beach towel with back pocket.

This project is so simple and fast it took me all of 20 minutes and less than $5. That’s right…..5 BUCKS. I waited until my local fabric store had the terry cloth on sale and all you need is ½ yard for a regular size beach towel.

Beach towel and 1/2 yard of matching terry cloth fabric

So here goes.

First lay out your non-pocketed beach towel and measure its width. Then decided how deep you want you pocket to be. Most of the ones I found online were between 10” and 20” so I chose the happy medium of 15”. So for me my new pocket was 30×16, because I added the extra inch to turn the bottom hem up.

First turn the bottom edge to up ½” and then over again ½”. You can use a serger here for a rolled hem, or just turn it over once. I chose to do the double fold to add some weight to the bottom edge so as not to “snag” it on the back of any chair that might have sharp corners or rough edges. Hew the bottom edge for a nice finished look.

Finished hem of back pocket

Then it is as simple as putting right sides together and sewing along the side, across the top and down the other side. Obviously you wont sew  the bottom because that is what becomes your pocket. Clip the corners and turn it out and there you have a pocket back beach towel.

New back pocket pinned, right sides together, to original towel

Newly finished pocket towel

But why stop there? You will likely have enough terry cloth left to make a side pocket to hold sunscreen, phones…whatever. Here is how I did mine. I literally took the leftover terry cloth, cut one about 1” shorter than the other and did the same hem technique on the shorter piece only this time it was the top side. I then placed right sides together and sewed up the 2 sides. Now I am left with one huge pocket. I then got some things I usually have with me by the pool, sunscreen (a must people, every time you go in the sun. Skin cancer is no joke) my cell phone and a bottled water. I laid them on the new pocket and roughly drew some lines to create 3 smaller pockets. Sew a straight stitch along these lines and viola, you have a 3 opening side pocket for your towel. Now all you need to is sew it, right sides together to the towel and presto…a neat place to keep your most used pool items. (Be sure to sew the pocket onto the towel so the openings are facing up, don’t laugh I might have learned this one the hard way)

Side pocket

Now you can be the envy of the pool and know that you paid less than the price of your fancy umbrella drink for it. I hope my sister enjoys her new towel….if she ever gets it….I might keep it for myself.  But hey these are so easy to make everyone in the family can have one. Come back tomorrow when we take a step away from the sewing machine to look at some sister photo inspirations and delve into my Pinterest obsession. (It is really bad folks, hours have been lost to that evil genius of a website). Hope you enjoyed this super fast and easy summer tutorial. Happy Sewing and see you tomorrow.

Sorry for the lack of pictures of the finished towel. My camera has gone a bit nuts and needs to be looked at…hopefully it is just overworked and needs a nap. Also I found then using a “stronger” needle on this project works better….meaning I used a 90/14 sharp instead of my usual 75/11 ballpoint. All those layers of terry cloth need a more substantial needle to get through them. 

Donya

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Make Mommy Happy 30 Minute Dress

As seen on CraftGossip.com
Ok, so have you ever been all psyched to go someplace, like thinking about it for weeks, all planned out what to wear down to the shoes and then…….you live in Alabama and it storms like when Noah built the ark the day before and the temp drops 20° and it is now going to be down right windy/cold on the big day and that outfit that makes you feel super pretty and oh so fashionable will now make you look like you don’t have a brain in your head because you don’t pay attention to the weather as you freeze from the lack of arm/leg coverage and on top of all this you are 7 months preggers and feel like a whale? Really….just me….odd. Anyway this was my dilemma on Friday night leading into Saturday. Nice way to start the weekend huh?!

So as I sat watching the storms roll in on Friday all I could think of is “Great now what am I going to wear tomorrow?” As you know from reading my earlier post I am a HUGE nay, COLOSSAL fan of Alabama Football and this Saturday was the spring football scrimmage game. Trust me people it is an event not to be missed and I had looked forward to it for weeks.

So come Saturday morning the weather was sooooo not cooperative and the cute little non-maternity big giant whale looking dress was not going to work at all. So what is a resourceful Mommy with a serger, an old t-shirt and some red knit to do….make a new dress!!! Woot Woot!!

So here it is the Make Mommy Happy 30 Minute Dress. I knew it had to be super simple because I literally had only an hour to whip something up, so I looked in my closet to see what I could cut into and in true Tim Gunn fashion “Make it work”.

I found this old, stretched out tee I had from my first pregnancy, note the 2007 at the bottom, so we know we won’t be wearing that again. It was ¾ sleeves so that would help with the coldness issue and was white which is one of Bama’s colors. Bonus this is a maternity shirt so it would accommodate the uhhh “girls”.

So I put it on and roughly marked where to cut it off, right below the bust line. So then I took my rotary cutter to it and BAM, I had the top half of a soon-to-be maxi dress.

This next part was the tricky part. I had a big cut of red knit, Bama’s other team color, so I knew I had enough to fit the bump but had never done a maternity anything before. I don’t like the look of most maternity dresses because they all seem to have WAY too much fabric in the front panel for me. My baby belly isn’t that big yet so I don’t need a tent of a dress. Plus I kinda like it to “fit’ and show off the pregger bump.

I knew I wanted it long, to again combat the cold, so I measured down from the edge of the cut t-shirt to ankle length (for me it was 40”), taking into account for seam allowance (ended up being ½”) and cut the fabric to that length.

Then came the fitting the bump part. I knew the easiest/quickest way would be to cut it on the fold rather than sewing 2 panels together. Being short on time I literally held the cut fabric around me, again taking into account for the seam, and pinned it down a couple of inches. I then slid it off and measured what I had pinned. For me it ended up at 41” and with the ½” seam I cut it to 41 ½”.

Remember the other end is the fold

Then I ran waddled to my trusty serger and got to work. I sewed up the skirt first. Simple enough, one seam up the side and it was done.

Then I took the cut off shirt and matched a side seam to the new skirt seam I had just made. The fates must have been smiling on me because the shirt and skirt ended up lining up perfectly, no gathering needed. (I told you the shirt was kind of stretched out). If I were to do this over, which I am totally going to, I would put some gathers in the front to add a bit of fun detail and again show off the bump, but this was about time and ease.

So once I had the shirt pinned to the new skirt, right sides together I went back to the serger and sewed it up into a full dress. As for the bottom hem I left it raw. That is the awesome thing about knit, you never have to finish a hem if you don’t want to.

That was it!! I was done. To dress it up a bit I put on a belt that went with another dress and voilà a new maxi dress in 30 minutes (and a darn cute one if I do say so myself).  When I make this again I will likely do a “waistband” (how funny to think of having a waist this preggers) that ties around back.

It isn’t perfect and the seam joining the skirt to top got a little puckered as I wore it but under the belt no one could see. I actually got a couple of compliments on it and it made me feel cute and super proud of myself and at 7 months pregnant that is worth its weight in gold!

So if you have 30 minutes and some fabric to spare give it a whirl. What do you have to lose, an old t-shirt and an episode of Mickey Mouse Club House? Happy crafting and thanks for reading.

On a side note, I was truly inspired to make this dress by Mim over at MadMim. She has a whole series of Sewing for a Belly. I will so be making the Airport Maxi dress very soon. Thanks for the inspiration!!

Here are some linky parties I am showing this dress off in this week. Thanks for the parties ladies.

Sumo Sweet Stuff

The Girl Creative


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