Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sewing: Ribbon Dish Towels (Tutorial)


I can't help but think about Easter--I don't know which came first, this ribbon combination or the wish for something pink, yellow and spring green outside--if only it weren't still so far away. It's awfully late this year and our weather seems to know it too.

Well, I'm embarking on some spring sewing anyway! I've got fabric and patterns for Easter dresses, but first, a little warm up in the form of a quick engagement party gift. A good friend of ours is engaged and we were invited to a party celebrating the couple. When I called to find out where they are registered I was told they'd requested no gifts. I can respect that but I still didn't want to go empty handed. I thought it would be OK to bring a small, simple gift: a set of dishtowels--a nod toward their approaching domestic bliss.

I think these are both cute and practical, and sewing them make me think I need to keep an eye out for great ribbons to go in the kitchen. It's a really good way to use up odd ends of ribbon too.


These are essentially a variation on the rick rack dishtowels of a few weeks ago, but ribbon requires a slightly different application, so I created a tutorial. If you are interested click below to read more.




Finish the end of the first ribbon with a zigzag stitch...


...then turn under and stitch down.


Turn under to the back side of the dish towel and pin in place.


Stitch on the right side of the towel as close to the edge of the ribbon as possible. Keep the hemmed edge of the dishtowel aligned with a seam allowance marking on your machine. I placed my first ribbon about 1" up from the hemmed edge of the dish towel.


When you get to the edge of the towel back stitch and cut the threads.


Trim the ribbon about 1" from the edge of the towel...
 

...and finish as you did the other end of the ribbon: zigzag stitch the edge and turn under and stitch.
 

Wrap this finished edge around to the backside of the dishtowel and stitch in place form the topside.


Stitch down the other side of the ribbon as close to the edge as possible, taking care to keep the ends of the ribbon tucked neatly under the towel.

Line up the second ribbon using the first as a guide, finish ends and stitch in place as was described above.


And, repeat with the third ribbon.


Do it all again and you'll have a set. That's it! Hang them up or wrap them up!

31 comments:

Claudine said...

Love this example. I am new to sewing and this is a wonderful tutorial=:)

Question, would this also be the method that you would use if you were applying ribbon to curtain panel?

Also...your pictures are gorgeous! What type of camera do you use?

Thanks

Claudine

Anneliese said...

@Claudine: Thanks! I'm so glad you found it helpful. I would think you could use this method on a curtain panel as well, though I would do a lot of pinning! (I skipped the pinning for the short distance of the dishtowel.)

I use a Nikon D90--love it!

-Anneliese

Biteofpunkinpie said...

Very cute and pretty simple! Any suggestions for a good source to find the dishtowels?

Joy Just Because said...

Such an easy and cute idea. Thanks for sharing!
Jess

Rachel said...

Love the dish towels with ribbon and rick-rack. Where did u find your towels at? I tried to use some, but they weren't thick enough and my thread kept getting bunched up in the process.

Creative disorganization said...

Just delightful with the three ribboms...I luv ribbon, & my 11yo kidlet can't get out the door without me tieing one around her hair...all her friend have followed suit...very cute!

Lizzy said...

Do you sew the ribbon as a rectangle, or do you leave the short edge (that you have zig-zagged and folded under)just tucked under?

Anneliese said...

I found my dish towels at Target on clearance and found more a couple weeks ago! The waffle fabric is perfect. It was their "HOME" house brand. I think they have some online too...

I got some great towels at Williams Sonoma a year ago but I don't think they carry them anymore--just a flat weave. Seems everything is a bar mop which is way too fluffy!

I hope you can find some!

@Lizzy: I just sew along both edges of the ribbon, being sure to catch the finished/folded over portion on the backside. But you could certainly sew up the short edge, perpindicular to these stitches. I think either way, if the ribbon is tucked and stitched it's going to stay put! Hope that helps.

-A

Seaweed and Raine said...

Simple, effective, useful and creates a happy sunny look for the kitchen. A+

Anonymous said...

Just when will guests realise that "No Gifts" actually means NO GIFTS?
NO GIFTS - it surely can't be any clearer than that.

kmj said...

So cute! I want to go find some of those towels and make some myself! Also, I love all of your cute ribbon combos!

Anneliese said...

@Anonymous: You raise a great point about the etiquette of it all. Perhaps I should have refrained from bringing a gift. Since it was small, unwrapped, and given discretely to the bride-to-be, I was hoping she'd appreciate it as a simple way to underscore my well-wishes. It was the type of gift I would have given just to say "congratulations," party or not. That said, I'm a supporter of etiquette, rather traditional actually, and I believe in continuous self-improvement...:-) So maybe next time I'll do differently.

Brooke said...

Those are gorgeous! I know "anonymous" raises a good point about gift etiquette, but I also understand the desire not to show up empty-handed. Is it still appropriate to take a small gift for the hostess?

Denise said...

This turned out great and I scheduled a feature for it this afternoon at Extreme Personal Measures.

Denise
Extreme Personal Measures

A Pretty Life in the Suburbs said...

So simple and gorgeous!
Jo-Anna

Rachael @ The Little Birdie said...

What a lovely {and quick!} idea! Great for little spring gifts. :) I am your newest follower and I would love to invite you over to link up to my Tuesday linky party at The Little Birdie!

http://littlebirdiebaby.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

A reader for a while but not commented before. I'd just like to say I agree with the Anon commenter, if no gifts are specifically mentioned then it is correct etiquette to respect that wish and not take anything at all. Why else would the request for no gifts be made?
Personally I certainly wouldn't feel the need to take something, wrapped or not. The need is perhaps yours, to feel valued.
Emma

Karen said...

I love this sweet idea and it will work well in my pink kitchen since I have trouble finding pink towels. Thanks for letting us know where to try to get those terrific looking towels. I say take a gift when YOU want to. Big Hugs, Karen

Lisa Crockett said...

They are just as beautiful on your blog as they are in person. It was great to see you. :)

Lisa (aka, the "blog stalker)

Laura and family said...

I love these :) If I can find the dish towels @ Target, I am going to make them for my son's preschool teachers for Easter. Thanks!

Melanie said...

I love this idea! Absolutely adorable. I don't normally comment, but was a bit astounded to see that a couple of anonymous posters were reprimanding you for your gift. I believe that your friends would accept your gesture in the spirit intended. Most people that just have a need to feel "valued" wouldn't take the time to make a handmade gift. They would bring something over the top. Thanks for sharing your lovely idea.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial! I am in the process of making them for a shower present. Most younger people who ask for no gifts mean "nothing big". A simple little gift like this is a great idea! Some people here sound like they have a bee in their bonnet. Pay no mind to their mean spirited comments.

Kristi said...

If only I knew how to sew....

Julie said...

Great idea. I love how you can personalize these so easily.

Anonymous said...

Thank-you for the GREAT ideas. My kitchen has several different colors, finding towels to match is very difficult. This pattern will help me a lot. I'm also thinking of making these as gifts to give my co-workers @ Christmas time. Almost everyone can use towels.

Happy in red said...

Fabulous idea, thanks for sharing!
Esther.

Whitney said...

These are so sweet! I love them... thank you for the tutorial. I am making dish towels to give out as favors for a bridal shower I am hosting. I was wondering how the ribbons do in the wash? I was going to decorate towels with bias tape to avoid any issues in the washer but can you comment and tell us if ribbons hold up okay after washing? Thank you again!

Anneliese said...

@Whitney: I think if you have good quality fabric ribbon it will wash just fine! I actually haven't washed any aggressively because I give most away and use them seasonally. I would just advise to finish the raw edges really well so they don't unravel. Thanks for your comment!

Steph said...

I just wanted to say that I think it was very nice of you to take the time to post such a great tutorial, and to make these beautiful towels as a kind gesture for your friends. I think the anonymous criticizer needs to get a grip! Lol
Thank you again for sharing your knowledge, because without people like you, sewing can end up a dying art. We live in such a throw away society, and many people are quick to just buy whatever, instead of mending and creating. It is nice to see someone who shares their gifts with others, and your talent for sewing is definitely a gift!
Thank you so much!!
:) Steph

Life With Lucy said...

These are super cute! Thanks so much for sharing- such a great detailed tutorial that I most definitely plan to use!!!!

خياطة و تفصيل said...

very nice thank you so much ^^

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