Recently, a good friend turned a year older and I wanted to make her a gift that showed her how crazy cool I think she is. Since her home away from home is the YMCA, I thought I'd make her a little spa wrap towel to use after her workouts. Personally, my favorite thing about the gym is putting the kids in childcare, then taking a shower and putting on my make up in peace. This little wrap lets you soak up those baby free moments in style.
Here we go...
1. 2 towels - make sure the towel is large enough to wrap around you comfortably
2. Fabric - 2 times the length of your towel
3. Velcro - 3/4 inch sew in
4. Elastic - 1.5 inch knit woven
6. Thread - should match your towel and fabric
8. Cutting Board, ruler, rotary cutter, fabric pen (these are optional, I suppose, but make life a HECK of a lot easier!)
1. Cut the edge off the towel and finish the edge. You can do this with a zig zag stitch or with a serger.
2. Cut a strip of decorative fabric 5 inches wide by 2 times the length of the short side of your towel. I had to cut two strips and sew them together in order to get the length needed. Fold in half and press so that it measures 2.5 inches wide. Finish the edges, again by zig zag or serger.
3. Gather the fabric to create the ruffle. The way that I do this is by a) setting my sewing machine to the longest stitch length, b) loosening the tension of the top thread a bit, c) sewing one line with 1/4 inch seam, then d) pulling very gently on the top thread until the fabric gathers into a ruffle.
4. Adjust the length of the ruffle until it is the same size as the finished edge of the towel. Pin the ruffle to the wrong side of the towel. Sew.
*side note - I did try pinning the right sides of the fabric and towel together as well, but it didn't sit as well.
This next part is the tough part. Hang in there...
1. Wrap the towel around your bodacious body. This should give you a good idea of just how much fabric you'd like to "take in" with the elastic.
2. Cut a strip of elastic about 10 - 12 inches.
3. With a pen, make little marks on the top of the elastic at the 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 marks. In other words, if you have a piece of elastic 12 inches long, there will be a mark at the 3, 6, and 9 inch marks (see photo below).
4. Make a small mark on the middle of the top of the towel. Then, make little marks 4 and 8 inches on either side of the middle. These marks will help you line the elastic up to the appropriate places on the towel.
5. Using a zig zag stitch, sew the side of the elastic about 1/2 inch from the first mark (which should be about 8 inches from the middle). Sew back and forth several times in order to secure it in place.
6. Using the marks on the elastic and towel as guides, use a straight stitch to sew the top of the elastic in place. Use a zig zag again to sew the other side in place.
7. Using all the strength in your mighty biceps, fold the elastic over twice and sew along the bottom of the entire casing. This will not be easy, but you can do it. You may have to do this in portions to make sure that the sides match up correctly.
1. Sew about 8 inches of velcro to the top sides of the wrap. Be sure to fit the towel around you again to assure that you are sewing the velcro to the correct sides. If the ruffle is wrapping to your left, the velcro should be sewn to the outside top of the left part of the towel and to the inside top of the ruffle side. Confused yet?
1. Cut 4 inch strips off the top and bottom of the extra towel. I used the top and bottom so that the edges can keep that nice finishing.
2. Sew the two pieces together so that the length of the strips is twice as long as the spa wrap.
3. Finish the edges.
4. Gather the towel strip (just as you did to make the fabric ruffle). This is not easy, so you may have to break it up into parts. Take your time so that the thread doesn't break.
5. Sew the strip to the bottom of the towel - right sides together. Press it down.
If you like, take it to an embroidery store to have it monogramed.
You're finished! Now get to the gym and make all the girls in the locker room jealous!