Monday, June 15, 2009

Need a Hooded Beach Towel?.....Then Make One!

Finally, a sewing project to talk about. With the weather heating up, we have been preparing for our upcoming camping trip to Yellow Stone. This weekend was a practice outing.....yes we practice camping. We took a quick weekend run out to a nearby Provincial Campground and learned a few things.....
  1. You need to bring lots of bug spray.
  2. You should also have an alternate bug plan such as mosquito netting.
  3. You really should pack towels and water toys.
  4. Sunscreen is a good idea.
  5. And lastly your kid's eye can swell nearly shut from just one black fly bite on the be bringing some antihistamine just in case.
It was a fun trip aside from the black fly bite!.......and it got me thinking about updating Ike's beach towel hoodie. Ike had received one as a present many years ago and while well used and's age was beginning to show, and it was getting too small for him. So last year at the end of summer I picked up several large beach towels with the thought of making them into hooded beach towels. After having no success trying to locate a pattern online....I made a copy of the old one....and this is what I did.

Make Your Own Hooded Beach Towel

You will need at least two matching beach towels, preferably with a vertical scene or a random pattern on it. One towel will be for the poncho part and the other will be for making the hood. I got four hoods out of one towel, so I made four hooded beach towels out of five matching towels. The towels do not absolutely have to match...they could be coordinating. The standard inexpensive beach towel like I purchased end of season for $3 each give a length from the shoulder down of about 30 inches and are appropriate for my 7 (almost 8) year old boy who is just over 4 feet tall. Larger towels may be more appropriate for bigger kids. Make sure to measure your kid's head circumference to make sure the size neck hole I've recommended is appropriate. What ever your child's head circumference is, just add 2 inches to that number and divide by two to determine the length of the slash you will cut. The hood piece width may need to be adjusted if you change the slash length as well. It should be (slash length +8 inches)/2. So for Ike's case that's (10.5+8)/2 =9.5". These numbers are just a really just want to make sure the length at the bottom of the hood has enough fabric to turn the corner and turn towards the front center of the do not need them to meet. See top photo...there is 5 inches of open neckline in the inch or two more or less is not a big deal.
  • Take one beach towel...mine measured 29" by 60".
  • Fold it in half so it is now 29" by 30".
  • You will cut your neck hole 10.5" long centered along the 29" fold.
  • Find the center of the fold and cut a 10.5".
  • I found that cutting a more rounded end to the slash line made seaming around the end of the slash easier. So I made my 10.5" cut look more like a Q-tip than a straight line, by rounding the end cut into a curve. I also came back with the regular sewing machine and reinforced this curved seam as it seems to be a stress point.

  • The front edge of the that will sit across you chest needs to be finished off.
  • I serged this edge all but the outside inch at the ends of the cut, then turned 1/4 inch under (towards the inside or wrong sides together) and stitched it down.
  • The rest of the edge will be finished off when the hood is attached.
  • Cut hood piece from second matching towel.
  • Cut a piece across the narrow edge of the towel to make a strip 9.5" wide, and in my case 29"long. You can check and see that the measurement taken from one shoulder...over the head and down to the other shoulder is less than the 29" length. That way, you'll know that the towel will rest on your child's shoulders...there need to be some slack in the hood depth......or the shoulders of the poncho might be riding up around his ears. 29 inches should be more than safe as it would even be ok for me.
  • The first piece cut will have 3 finished edges. Use the 29" finished edge to be the facing edge of the hood. You can get two such pieces from one towel by using the opposite ends of the towel. If you cut a section from the middle of the towel, you will need to serge one long edge and turn it under, or turn the long edge under 1/4" and press, then turn under 1/4" again and top stitch in place to make your own finished edge. If you are finishing your own edge you should add and extra 1/2 to the width of the cut strip making it 10" by 29".
  • To make the hood, I folded the towel in half right sides together so that my 9.5" by 29" piece was now 9.5" by 14.5".
  • Sew along the cut edge with a 1/4" seam allowance and zigzag over raw edge to finish or use a serger for the seam if you have one.
  • Join the hood to the cut slit with right sides together matching the center of the back of the hood with the center of the back of the towel and pinning in place.
  • Sew with a 1/4" seam allowance and zigzag edge to finish or use a serger for the seam if you have one.
  • And you are done. Once I figured out the error of my threading the serger it only took about 20 minutes to make one.
This is a description of what worked for me, and will hopefully be enough to get you going on one of your own should you be interested. Hope it's helpful!


Yarni Gras! said...

good idea! Thanks for sharing.....:-)

Khris said...

Hi Debbie...will you please contact me with regards to the FRIENDS swap I am hosting...thanks...hugs Khris

LittleRed said...

I'm now on the lookout for some girly beach prints to make some for Ike's friends. These have been fun!