The Big Hooded Towel

We all want the perfect gift...  and finding the right gift can sometimes be hard - especially for children that you might not get to see all the time.  Do they already have that toy?  What size are they in?  Is it their style???  Well I can thank my sister for cluing me in to the PERFECT gift for kids and toddlers.
The BIG Hooded Towel!

Ok, I know it isn't exactly a new idea - but it is seriously the gift that can never go wrong.  Hooded towels are of course great for the summer - the beach, the pool,  and splashing around in the sprinklers.  But, they are also wonderful year round to use as a bath towel.
Personalize it with fun fabrics, their name, a super fun design - and voila, the perfect customize-able gift for any child.

I went a little crazy making these for Christmas this year.  9 towels for my nieces and nephews, it was fun picking towels and coordinating fabric that matched their favorite colors!

I will share with you how I made this full sized towel - It worked on my 2 year old nephew and also fits on my head,  WOHOOOO, no more worrying about size or growing out of it by next year!

For this Project, you will need:
1 Large Bath Towel
1 Hand Towel
1 Fat quarter of coordinating fabric
Heat And Bond (or any two sided heat activated adherent)
Sharp Scissors
Hot Iron

*I also highly recommend the Alphabet included in the Personalized Towel and Tote Bag Pattern by The Sewing Loft - the pattern includes full pattern for an adorable tote and then a variety of designs and a full alphabet to applique to your hearts' content.  Th alphabet made this project so much easier and more professional looking than when I try to free hand.

Lets get started!
-Lay out your hand towel, cut 5 inches off the LONG side of the rectangle (discard the 5 inches)

-Cut a 4 inch wide strip of your coordinating fabric 2 inches longer than the long side of your hand towel.
*I cut two strips from my fat quarter, sewed them together along the short end,  and pressed the seam open

Making a Personalized Name:
-Pick the letting you want and write the name on the BUBBLY side of the Heat and Bond (NOT THE PAPER SIDE) -  use a marker or gel pen so it will show through to the other side

-Iron the name onto the WRONG SIDE of the correct size piece of coordinating fabric
-Cut out your letters (I found sharp scissors worked great, but you can also use an exacto knife - or if you have one of those awesome silhouette machines, even better!)

-Peel off the paper backing and iron your letters where you would like on the towel to set the adhesive

- Using a long straight stitch on your machine, sew around the edges of each letter about 1/8 to 1/4 from the edge.  This will keep the letters in place for many washings to come (you can do a satin stitch, but it takes more time and patience than I have ;op).

Making the Trim for your hood:
-Take your 4 inch band of fabric and bring it to your ironing board

-Fold the edges in so that they meet in the middle and press along the whole length
-Open one edge and pin along the long (CUT) edge of your hand towel - Right rides together
-Stitch in the fold

- Fold over the edge of the towel and pin in place
*At the start and end, lay the binding flat,  fold your inch of overhang in, fold in half. This will contain any raw edges and prevent fraying

- Stitch along the front 1/4 inch in from the sewn fold (make sure you are catching the back pressed fold)
- Top Stitch along the Folded edge 1/4 in from the edge

Attaching the Hood:
- Fold your hand towel in half - pin together the side opposite your trim and stitch with a 1/2 inch seam

- Fold your Towel in half and mark the center with a pin along the top edge.

- Line up the center of the bath towel with the hood seam (right sides together) pin in place out from the center.

- Stitch along the edge of the towel binding (back stitch at each end)

VOILA - Gorgeous towel for every occasion!

My favorite towel this year, has to be the Spidey Hood - now I don't have an embroidery machine (YET) so I can't do the amazing custom embroidery that I have fallen in love with, but I did stumble upon this awesome Spidey hand towel at Ollies of all places.  The embroidered hand extends off the edge of the towel and just screamed out to me that it wanted to be a hooded towel.
To make the hand work, I just layered the hood on top of the main towel and stitched them together (right side to wrong side rather than right sides together).  I LOVE it, and I think my nephews will too!!!