s4h-janome-mc15000

Facebook Twitter Sew4Home RSS Feed Follow Me on Pinterest

Sew4Home

Super Fast & Super Cute: Kitchen Towels with Ribbon and Fabric Borders

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

I'm of the opinion you can never have too many kitchen towels. It's an extra bonus when they are so pretty they actually make you want to clean up! We started with plain white store-bought towels, then added fabric and ribbon strips to build a band of beauty along the bottom. Tie up three or more with a bow and a sweet handmade tag, and you have a bundle of lovely linens to give as a gift.

Each towel uses just one 2½" x 22" fabric strip and two ribbons. This is a great project for scraps, or for any left over jelly roll strips in your stash. We used scraps from our stash of Tula Pink's Parisville for FreeSpirit Fabrics. 

All the beautiful ribbons we used are available online now directly from The Ribbon Retreat in the colors we selected as well as many, many more.

Pre-wash your towels as well as fabric strips and ribbons prior starting. Kitchen towels are meant to be able to handle a lot of laundering and you don't want the pieces shrinking at different rates; that leads to unattractive rippling. For more about preshrinking, see our tutorial

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

Click to Enlarge

Supplies shown are for ONE towel.

  • 1 solid color, store-bought dish towel: we used a basic, waffle weave white dish towel set we found at a local variety store, which measured 20" wide x 29½" high
  • Scrap, Jelly Roll or ⅛ yard of 44-45" wide fabric for the center accent strip
  • All purpose thread in colors to best match ribbons
  • 1 yard of ⅜" ribbon: we used solid grosgrain in Tropic Lilac from The Ribbon Retreat
  • 1 yard of ⅞" ribbon; we used Polka Dots in Dark Orchid with White and Mint with White from The Ribbon Retreat
    NOTE: Your towel width may vary, measure first. You need one narrow length of ribbon and one wide length of ribbon, each the width of your towel plus 2".
  • Glue Dotsor Steam-A-Seam (optional)
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pencil
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Straight pins

Getting Started

  1. From the accent band, fussy cut one 2½" x 22" strip.
    NOTE: The 22" length fits our 20" towels. Measure the width of your own towel and add 2".
  2. Cut one narrow length of ribbon and one wide length of ribbon to match your strip length (22" in our samples).
  3. Press your towels flat and remove all tags.
  4. Use your see-through ruler to mark and draw a horizontal line across the front of your towel(s) approximately 2" up from the bottom hem.
    Click to Enlarge
    NOTE: Determine your best placement based on your own towels. I used the hemline as my guide rather than the bottom of the towel because I found the bottom of the towel to not be a truly straight line.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

  1. Take the 2½" accent strip and the ribbons to your ironing board.
  2. On the accent strip, fold in each end 1" and press.
  3. On each ribbon, fold in each end 1" and press.
  4. Take each towel and lay it face up on your work surface so the drawn horizontal line is visible.
    Click to Enlarge
  5. Place a center accent strip, right side facing up, on top of a towel. Line up the bottom edge of the accent strip with the drawn horizontal line. The folded outside edges of your accent strip should be flush with the hemmed sides of the towel. If they aren't perfect, re-press the folds as needed to make an exact match.
    Click to Enlarge
  6. Slip one folded and pressed end of a narrow and a wide ribbon over the folded end of the strip. The narrow ribbon goes on the top of the strip, the wide ribbon on the bottom.
    Click to Enlarge
  7. Center the ribbon over the raw edge of the fabric so the fabric's raw edge is completely covered.
    Click to Enlarge
  8. Stitch a vertical seam as close to the edge as possible, through all layers, to secure the ribbons and the strip.
    Click to Enlarge
    NOTE: If you are using two colors of ribbon, as we did with two of our three towels, this will mean you will have a visible seam against one of the ribbons. It's okay... keep breathing. This seam is at the very back of the towel. Mine worked out nicely because, as I always say, my Janome machines stitch very precisely even right on the edge of the fabric. Love that!
    Click to Enlarge
  9. Repeat to stitch the opposite ribbon ends in place.
    NOTE: You may need to futz with the ribbons' folds in order to adjust them to perfectly fit the edge of your towel and insure the ribbons and the fabric lay nice and flat.
  10. If you're making more than one towel, before stitching everything in place on your second (and third or more) towel, take a minute to check the position of everything to make sure the ribbons and fabric will line up horizontally when the towels are hung side by side. This is important, because with ready-made towels, you can't assume the hems are identical from towel to towel
    Click to Enlarge
  11. Using your ruler (and eyeballing it), confirm your ribbons are straight side to side and secure them prior to stitching. You can simply pin the ribbons in place or use an adhesive, such as Glue Dots or Steam A Seam.
    Click to Enlarge
  12. Carefully edgestitch along both sides of each ribbon. I used my optional Janome Clear View Quilting Foot, which has a variety of awesome bright red guide lines to help keep even the tiniest of seams straight. 
    Click to Enlarge
  13. Press well.
    Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Liz Johnson

Section: 

Comments (4)

Sewinbear said:
Sewinbear's picture

Thank you for coool, easy, thrifty Christmas gift idea!!! Will add crocheted Dishclothes & WELLA! Great gift set!!  (also Super idea for Wedding Showers too! Or sweet New Home gift too! )

Anonymous said:
Anonymous's picture

Thank you for all the wonderful projects, I specially love kitchen towels and these are just beautiful!  I seem to have the hardest time finding plain kitchen towels that I like, and I love the ones you used for this project, where did you find them?

daisygirl said:
daisygirl's picture

Thank you! It seems it is a simple and affordable way to change kitchen towels from boring to WOW.

Add new comment

*Sew4Home reserves the right to restrict comments that don’t relate to the article, contain profanity, personal attacks or promote personal or other business.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.