Monday, June 4, 2012

The Pratesi project - recycling towels

Face Towels

So back to towels, which dovetails into my learning new techniques on my sewing machine, because... I have attachments!!

FIRST - Get all of my towels in one place and separate them by condition.

Guest towels - Every day towels - Cleaning the car towels - General cleaning towels - beach towels - kitchen towels.

Put the good towels away lest they get sucked into the sewing void.

FLOOR MAT Look for the heavier sturdier weighted towels. There were two towels that were heavier and thicker than the rest.  One happens to be a hand towel and the perfect size for a floor mat, so that one will stay as is, the other was a white plush towel.

Sometimes the woven side bindings on a towel shrink in the dryer, and the towels end up being a puckered mess, this was the case with this towel, so the first thing to go was the side edges which were serged off.

Then I placed a true floor mat against it for size and decided to go with a bigger dimension.

Cut binding

Then the binding (this is an old sheet I had used as a muslin) cut into bias strips.

Then I joined them together so I would have one long strip, and sewed it to the edge with a 1/4" seam allowance.  Then it is turned under and stitched in the ditch and trimmed.

Applying the binding
Now you'll notice, the binding attachment was not used here. I tried but the towel got stuck in the attachment, it was just too thick. From two bath sized towels I was able to knock out 13 items on  my project list.

Project List -
Face cloth 13" x 13" - (Quantity 4 - blue)
Counter / sink towel - (Quantity 4 - blue with borders)
Makeup towels- for wet and dry - (Quantity 2 - white square)
Dental care mat (maybe placemats)- wet and dry - (Quantity 2 rectangular)
Bath Mat - (Quantity 1 white)


The cut towels with the woven borders will be turned and stitched instead of finished with binding. They are already finished with a serged edge but need the final treatment.

Bath mat & face towelsThere is a brand of linens called Pratesi, and when I was growing up they made bed linens and towels with a scallop edge bound with a bias tape.   It was an easy way to dress up a towel and they were cute. I decided against the scallop and went with a straight edge.

Now even at a discount store the face towels can run into the $4.00 range, and a bath towel just a bit more.  If you go to the department stores, they can be $20 and up.  Frette which is as close in quality to Pratesi was these days the humble face towel is $27.00.  Frette's towels have three embroidered stripes on them, that might be an idea to test out the buttonholer attachment, which supposedly also does embroidery or monogramming.  That's a whole other post.  So if you were thinking that a coordinated set of towels were not in your budget think again, you can buy a bigger towel and custom cut smaller ones.


Corrine said...

Great use of towels. I like the binding idea, adds a little weight to the edges as well. I have made bath mats using two towels and "quilt" them together and used a binding on the edges. A simple cross-hatch pattern made it heavier and less likely to slide around. I have reverted to white and off-white towels for all the bathrooms just because its easier. I might try the embroidered stripe to dress them up a bit.

ELMO said...

I was thinking of doubling up somehow, but was afraid that it may take a long time to dry. Quilting them sounds like a good solution.