Making for baby · Sewing

Sewing for baby: hooded bath towel set, with kimono and burp cloth

Hooded bath towel setHere’s a sweet bath time set for a baby shower or ‘welcome to the world’ gift.  I’ve combined a couple of patterns here using the same Liberty print fabric, to make a matching set that includes a hooded bath towel, kimono jacket and burp cloth.

The patterned Liberty print features sunshine and clouds, in a happy combination of yellow and pale teal. I got it from The Fabric Store (formerly Global Fabrics) – a fan-frickin’-tastic shop in Auckland. They’ve got a really large range of Liberty prints now, really beautiful and such soft fabric.

Hooded towel setI had to check the teeny-tiny kimono pattern twice to make sure I had sized and printed it correctly – its so small! Its the Newborn Kimono Shirt by Purl Soho, so I guess the clue is in the name. Even newborn, I still can’t quite believe baby will be that little. I’m trying out a couple of other baby kimono patterns as well, and will write up a pattern/tutorial comparison soon.

The bath towel is really cute … I can’t wait to see our own baby snuggled up in it. It measures 70cm/28 inches square (less for rounded corners).  I used this hooded towel tutorial by Mary Martha Mama and omitted the backing fabric to save money.

Next time I sew this hooded towel, I plan to repurpose actual towels; this was made with terry/towelling from Spotlight that was really expensive, even on sale, and definitely not as soft as good quality, pre-made towels. Buying and cutting a ‘bath sheet’ and hand towel would allow enough for two of the baby towels and, so as long as they’re bought on sale, it would come out cheaper and fluffier.

For a toddler or bigger child, a single bath towel and hand-towel can be used to make a larger hooded towel. Here’s a couple of tutorials I’m keen to try out in the future:
– The Cottage Mama’s Embellished Hooded Towel : I especially like the double-layer hood she suggests. Leaving off the rick-rack would save some time and money, but its cute.
– Today’s Fabulous Finds Hooded Bath Towel has a clever pleat in the back of the hood, that makes a really great shape.
Making hooded towels

The key to bringing the set together (and incidentally the biggest mental hurdle) was making make the bias binding. The towel alone needed 2.8 metres!

Here’s a really good tutorial I found on how to make “continuous bias binding” from a single square, rather than cutting and sewing strips. It’s a bit of a mind bender at first. I tried to puzzle it out on paper before I cut into the fabric: don’t do that! Just follow her instructions carefully (especially the bit about using dots to mark sides to join) and be amazed at how quick it comes together. You still have to iron it (yawn) but you can make loads very quickly.

Thanks for stopping by and reading,



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