During a major cleaning phase, a friend passed along a whole stack of very stylish vintage towels she had been collecting over the years. I thought long and hard about what could be done with these towels, to maximum effect. The size of vintage towels is a tricky business. Too small to wrap around most people and comfortably cover all after a bath or shower. Too big to be used as a hand towel. They could be individually spread out throughout the bathrooms in the house for display only, hung up or stacked on shelves.
Then, it hit me- the easiest upcycle job ever- they would make perfect oversized beach towels! Basically the easiest project ever- after you’ve collected the materials. Line the towels up in the color and pattern combos you prefer. Look closely before you sew them together, there is definitely a front and a back on most towels.
Most of the towels lined up to be close enough in size to sew right together. Trim and hem the vintage towels that are too long to fit next to the other towels.
The repurposed vintage towels have definitely become a family favorite. Excellent for laying on in the sun. Perfect for covering up when you’ve had enough sun for the day. So now you’ve got a great reason to go thrifting! Stand out in all the right ways at the beach, lake, concert in the park or picnic with your up-cycle savvy vintage towel brilliance. And it’s absolutely the easiest DIY sewing project you’ll ever tackle.
Hello and happy 2014! Sorry about my missing-in-action status but it was a crazy month with sewing, Beehive Bazaaring, skiing, holiday festivities and now cleaning and organizing for the new year.
In the midst of the madness I managed to sneak in teaching a video class for Atly on how to make my drawstring backpacks.
Here’s a bit about Atly, in case you don’t already know, it’s a fantastic website or forum for expanding your horizons and skills, learning something new with beautiful video classes on all kinds of topics (and upgrade possibilities within the classes for personal instructor feedback.) No dark, obscure YouTube tutorials shot in dirty houses that you realize aren’t really what you needed to know after painfully watching and waiting for way too long. …this may have happened to me once or twice… Just straightforward, visually motivating, well-done classes.
The great part of this class is learning the EASY WAY to put in a zipper and how to install grommets for connecting the handles. So, without further ado, here a link to my drawstring backpack class.
If you need some inspiration for fabrics and backpack designs, here are a few more backpacks I’ve sewn up.
Here are some t-shirts I’ve been making for the Beehive Bazaar. They are sooo very fun to make, I could make them all night, oh wait I already did…
Iron On tees DIY
This is such a fun and easy iron on tees DIY. You can make tees, patch jeans or other articles of clothing, customize a bag or even towel with this method. I used favorite images from favorite fabrics, but you could use solid fabrics cut into letter shapes and a million other possibilities. Let the creativity fly as you customize, embellish and individualize your goods. Tip: a custom bag or tee shirt is a great party favor, especially for kids parties.
You will need:
Two sided iron on paper called Heat n Bond, available at any fabric or craft store.
Tee shirts (or other articles of clothing) of all-size and colors.
Fabric to cut up and iron onto the clothing articles, I used all cotton fabrics.
Iron, scissors, sewing machine.
As you can see in the pictures, after ironing on the fabric, I reinforced the edges with a blanket stitch. Reinforcing is best done on a sewing machine, any stitch you like will do. It’s a good idea to sew down the edges because clothing will be washed over and over and the ironed on fabric will inevitably fray with that sort of wear and tear.