Upcycle: Hooded Beach Towel

This long, enclosed and wearable towel is the perfect project to give new life to tired towels. Great for coming straight home from the pool or the beach without getting changed and ideal for when you need to discreetly change out of your bathers somewhere public.

Treat you or your family with a practical addition to the beach bag this summer that will both reduce waste and save you money. Using the towels from the back of your cupboard, or some bright-coloured or patterned towels picked up in an op shop, this wearable beach towel means the kids can stay in the water for longer. And with enough room to be able to get changed within it, accidentally exposing yourself is a thing of the past.

What You Need

You’ll need three towels, two standard-size towels to form the body of the garment and a smaller one for the hood. Measure the two larger towels against your body from shoulder height, and ensure you’re happy with the coverage their length provides. If you don’t have a third or smaller towel, use the off-cuts from the body towels to make the hood. You also need some pins, thread, a measuring tape and fabric scissors. If you want to finish your towel with a hem, you’ll also need some scrap pieces of material.

Measure Up

Cut your body towels to the desired length and set aside while you make a template for your hood. Using a hooded jumper and some newspaper, fold the hood and lay it on its side on the paper. Carefully cut around the shape of the hood, leaving a centimetre or so around the outside for the seam.

Grab the towel or offcuts you’ve reserved for the hood. Cut it into two similar-sized pieces, both large enough to cover the template. Where possible, use the pre-hemmed edges of the original towel for the base and face opening of the hood. By using the edges of the towel that are already hemmed as the bottom and opening, it will not only make the finished product stronger, but will mean less work at the other end.

Hood And Hem

Place the two pieces on top of each other, right side facing, remembering your pre-hemmed edges, and pin the template so it sits nice and flat on your two pieces of towel. Using your scissors, cut both pieces around the hood template. Pin the back curve of the hood together and sew using a straight stitch, right sides facing. Sew hem flat on the inside.

Grab your two towels for the body which have been cut to your desired length. Hem the cut edges and then use a zigzag stitch to sew the hem flat. If you want to add some colour or uniqueness to your towel, use the scrap material to hem the edge. These hemmed edges will form the bottom of your finished change towel.

Pinning Down

Lie the top edges of the towel flat and, using your tape measure, mark the middle of both towels with a pin. This will mark where both the back seam and the front opening of the hood needs to join the body of the towel.

Grab your sewn-together hood and line the rear seam up with the marked pin. Now measure halfway between the middle and the edge of the hood, and also mark with a pin. This marks the outer edge of the hole for the head.

Pin the top edges of the body towels together, from the edges to the outer set of pins which mark the hole for head. Sew the shoulders of the towel together. Leaving a gap in the middle for where the hood will attach.

Centred And Complete

Lay the towel down and pin the back seem of the hood to the middle pin on the rear towel. Carefully pin the hood into place around the edge of the neck opening. Start from the back seam and sew one side of the hood and then the other, this will ensure the hood ends up centred. Sew down the edge seams, leaving at least a 35 cm gap at the top to allow your arms to go through. And in a couple of hours, you have created a practical and goodlooking change towel – perfect for the beach or pool.

 

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