Shop-bought tea towels? Not in my kitchen…

As it’s my declared goal to make rather than buy things, my thoughts turned to making my own tea towels. My old, nice ones were beginning to show definite signs of wear. And some other ones I bought cheaply at a supermarket weren’t really that good. Tea towels have to absorb an awful lot of water, and they just didn’t do the job. But then inspiration struck, when my eyes alighted upon this wonderful fabric:

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 20.47.39

It’s a waffle pique fabric made from light cotton, and it is very absorbent. I bought enough fabric for six new tea towels, and some bias tape in contrasting colours.

Here’s my first attempt. It really is ever so easy – just attach the bias tape all the way around. Done. If you’re not sure how to attach bias tape to another piece of fabric, here’s a good tutorial. Additionally, you’ll want to know how to do mitred corners, so that the edges look neat all around. Here’s a tutorial for mitred corners. They speak about quilts in the tutorial, but the principle is the same for attaching all bias tape or bias binding when you have corners at 90 degree angles.


Basically, you sew along the left-hand side of the tape as shown, keeping just to the right of the crease, until you reach the end. Just before you get there, approximately 1 cm or 1/4″ before the edge, you stop sewing and backstitch. Take the fabric out of the machine and fold over the edge as shown in the tutorial. Then begin sewing the next seam.

When you’re done, fold the bias tape over, and secure with needles or clips. When you get to an edge, fold over your tape thusly…


… and fold over again, and secure the edge with a clip.


I also attached a strip of bias binding to one edge, so that I can hang them on a hook. Isn’t this cherry bias tape cute?


And then begin sewing down the edge all the way around, making sure that the previous seam is neatly covered.


And voilà, here’s the finished article…


For my next tea towel, I was a bit more ambitious and thought I’d try my hand at appliqué. Specifically, I wanted to make some stars using the EPP (English Paper Piecing) technique. And here are the ingredients: fabric & a strip of stars.


If you fancy a go at EPP, but aren’t sure what it is, have a look here. You can also look at some quilts I made using this method (here, and here). I appliquéd the stars on the fabric before turning my attention to the binding. The principle of attaching the binding is exactly the same as with the other tea towel.


And here are both of my new tea towels together…


I haven’t quite got round to making the other tea towels yet, but will be posting their pictures once I’m done.

Update 24/4/2016:

Finally got round to finishing another teatowel. This time with elephants!




About alycevr

Academic, translator & maker of things
This entry was posted in Crafts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Shop-bought tea towels? Not in my kitchen…

  1. ftmmax says:

    Wooohoooo! Very impressive, dear! And also, a brilliant idea.

  2. Pingback: And another teatowel! | Alyce macht Sachen

  3. Pingback: Was lange währt… | Alyce macht Sachen

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