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Quick and Easy Bathroom Decor - Trimming Towels

We are starting to ‘spruce up’ our family home in preparation for down-sizing sometime in the future.  Since wallpaper is now ‘out’, my hubby surprised me by stripping the paper in the bathroom on our first level while I was gone on my last business trip!    That being done,  I had to ‘take action’.  This last weekend I painted and stitched and now it is done!  Since I take photos almost constantly as I sew and design creating my pattern line, snapping photos has become second nature as I sew.  With gift-giving season in site – (as can quickly be seen on Pinterest!), I think decorating some towels like this could make very quick and easy gifts.  Also – how about this for a wedding gift?

My first inspiration for ‘decorating’ was to go find some really pretty hand towels at the nice department store at the mall during the August white sales.  Sorry this inspiration photo is kinda upside-down, but it is still easy to see that it is just a wide band of fabric and some gimp trim.  Simple enough, for sure!

Then off to Hobby Lobby I went to find a fabric I liked.  You can see the mint/brown paisley in my towels.  I initially bought just 1/2 yard, then eventually went back for 3/4 yard to back the sheer window treatment.  At 30% off, they did not cost much.  Fabric in hand, I trotted myself back to the department store to purchase four very good quality hand towels at ‘buy one get one free’ plus a 35% off ‘senior discount’…even these towels which – OMG, started at $18 each, became affordable!

Towel inspiration

This is the towel treatment that inspired my own version…


In this step I’ve taken a wide band of the fabric and stitched its right side to the WRONG side of towel just above the lower binding, and turned in both ends about 1/2″.  The depth of fabric with which you chose to work will be determined by how wide you want the ending ‘band’ to be.  See the 3rd photograph below.



Next, I gently pressed it out, away from the seam so that I could wrap it up and around the bottom edge to the right side of the towel.


You can see in this photograph above how the top is folded down and then the sides are folded in, and when laid on the towel, it will cover the twill band of the towel itself.  The last step was just to stitch the top folded edge down then to stitch along each end.   I decided to do one of the brown towels and one of the green towels with this technique.


For the other two towels, I decided to do a narrower band, centering it over the center twill band of the towel.  I stitched it right side to right side for one edge as you can see in the uppermost edge of the print above.  Then, folding it under and pressing so that the same amount of loops of the towel is exposed on the other side of the printed band.


On my BROTHER Quattro I selected the buttonhole applique stitch to secure the loose ends of both styles.  You can see it in the screen above.  It was handy to be able to see that the stitch began at the right most edge of the stitch pattern.  I aligned it all so that the straight stitching at the left sunk down into the towel loops, off the left edge of the fold, while the right ‘width’ jump stitch penetrated the print fabric.

One could do all types of things for this step – for example:  Adding a trim, couching yarn, selecting a more decorative stitch, using monofilament so that it did not show at all……This is the fun of sewing – especially with a machine as fun as my BROTHER Quattro!




And here is are my completed towels – on the towel bar that i also installed myself!!!

 I certainly could have – should have done some hooped embroidery on my towels as well, but  this was really a one day weekend project.  I may well add some hoop embroidery in a paisley pattern at another time!


This is the best photo I can get of this tiny half bath.  I can tell you that I thought I had hoped 1 quart would be enough for paint, but – no, back to Lowe’s we went yesterday for a second quart!  Let me explain the window treatment…as it is in the front of the house, and a ‘regular’ window, it needs to be a privacy type treatment.  I wanted some light to come through, so it worked to just hand baste a flat piece of the focus paisley fabric behind the taught cream sheer.  In case you’re wondering, in the corner is a ‘Digerido’ – an Australian type of horn we bought at an art fair.  I really kinda used it as a color scheme.  We’re still figuring out how to ‘stand’ or hang it on the opposite wall…….

Below are two more ideas of which I snapped photos  during my initial shopping trip.  The blue scallops are simply  bias cut strips of different tones of a sheer fabric.  This treatment was done on a piece of white fabric which was then attached to the towel in a manner similar as I did.  The same treatment was to be found on a very pricey shower curtain!


Below is another interesting trim idea… A piece of fabric with tucks both folded in towards a center where there is a length of ribbon stitched, as you can see  where I’m holding the tucks outwards for you to see.


I’ve shared this project here to give you some ideas and perhaps a few techniques as well.   Send me photos of how this sharing might have inspired some of your own decorating creativity!   

Machine Embroidery With Terrycloth and More

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Comment by Patricia on August 28, 2014 at 7:00am

love it, they are oh so lovely

Comment by Phyllis Chambliss on August 23, 2014 at 1:48pm

I like that I deal I am going to try it thank you.

Comment by Katforever18 on August 18, 2014 at 9:37am
I love your towels but I really love your curtains.

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