These dishtowels are the result of the marraige of two new products that have us ooing and ahhing. We're talking about the stunning hand dyed linens from Weeks Dye Works and the whimsical yet elegant 100% cotton measuring tape trim. The moment we laid eyes on the linens we knew they would make luxurious dishtowels, perfect for gift giving. We thought it would be fun to take it one step further and add a trim that was both decorative and functional. When we placed the measuring tape trim onto the linens we all literally gasped! It created something that was simultaneously timeless and modern. Linen is the best material for dishtowels because it's super absorbent and it doesn't leave any lint behind. Linen is one of the most "humectant" fibers, which is a fancy way of saying it retains and absorbs moisture better than just about anything else. Because the staple fiber of linen is very long, it is a truly sturdy fiber that makes it the perfect choice for such utilarian objects.
We are in love we these absolutely gorgeous hand dyed linens from Weeks Dye Works. It is made specifically for counted thread embroidery and cross stitch, but its soft hand got us thinking about sewing with it. It comes in the most beautiful range of subtle, tonal colors from creamy ivories to earthy browns. We created this project to celebrate this linen's beauty and its practicality all at once! Plus, it will be such a treat to see it hanging by the sink every day.
We added a little loop to make it easy to hang with our favorite twill measuring tape trim to add a little whimsy. The finished towels are both practical and beautiful, sophisticated and fun. They'll make a great gift, or you can keep them for yourself!
To make a set of three dishtowels: one large 17-inch x 26-inch and two small 12 1/2-inch x 17-inch dishtowels:
- One 27 by 36-inch pre-cut piece of Weeks Dye Works 30 Count Linen (the example uses the "Straw" color)
- One yard of Centimeter Tape Trim
- One yard of 5/8-inch Inch Measuring Tape Trim
- One yard of 3/8-inch Inch Measuring Tape Trim
- A spool of 100% cotton thread in color 1040
- A fabric marker
Note: If you'd like a less expensive alternative to the Weeks Dye Works Hand Dyed Linen, you can also use Essex from Robert Kaufman which is a linen/cotton blend.
Cutting and Hemming
Cut your linen piece in half so you have two pieces that measure 18-inches x 27-inches. Then cut one of those pieces in half making 2 pieces that measure 13 1/2 x 18-inches. You will have three pieces, two small and one large.
Each of the towels is put together in the same manner, regardless of size.
Press one of the short sides of your piece a 1/4-inch up and then fold it over again on top of itself 1/4-inch (thus hiding the raw edge) and pin this double fold into place.
Top stitch the fold down. The side with the fold will now be referred to as the wrong side.
Repeat these steps to hem the opposite short side of the piece making sure to fold the hem towards the wrong side.
Repeat the same process to hem one of the long sides towards the wrong side of the towel. You can cut the tip of the corners of this side off to reduce the bulk. Make sure to back stitch at the beginning and end of this seam.
Attaching the Trim
You will now have towel that is hemmed on three sides. Orient the towel so the long raw edge is on the left and the wrong side is facing up.
Using your fabric marker mark a 1/4-inch all along the raw edge.
Pin the measuring tape trim along the 1/4-inch marking leaving a 1/2-inch tail at the bottom and a 5 1/2-inch tail at the top. Make sure the measuring tape's numbers are going in the right direction so that the numbers get larger towards the bottom.
Edge stitch the trim along the inside edge, as shown above (seam is on the right hand side of the trim).
Turn the towel so the right side is facing up. Fold the measuring tape trim over to the right side, covering the raw edge and pin it into place. At the top create a loop by tucking the end of the tail a 1/2-inch into the seam as shown above. Do the same with the 1/2-inch tail you left at the bottom (this will not form a loop but rather it will hide the bottom end.)
Pin the loop into place.
Top stitch the other side of the trim onto the towel. Sew a small horizontal seam at the bottom of the loop to anchor it in place.
You're all done! Repeat for the remaining towels to finish your set.