Monday, June 12, 2006

Thrifted Towels: Icky or chic?

I have a penchant for thrifted towels. For some reason, I gravitate towards linens when it comes to thrifting and garage-saleing. The sheets that have been washed a million times, the towels in bright colors that have softened over the years of wiping off other peoples' bodies. Ok, this is the gross part. For some reason, I can't get past the fact (no matter how many hot wash cycles in my machine) that people have wiped their parts with my new fabulous find. So I have stacks of lovely towels and sheets and nothing to do with them, except of course, stare longingly.

Until now. I've been mulling over what to do with all the household linens I've rummaged over the years. And my idea is practical, useful and a true repurposing. Feast your eyes on my latest creation: The Towel Bag!

Now, I know that others have gone before me. But I must say that I took great satisfaction in sitting down to my sewing machine and whipping out a new bag in under an hour. The sewing is simple, the design is simple and the outcome is...well, you decide.

If you want to try and make one of these bags for yourself, here are some directions.

Take any old towel. Pull one out of your closet, stop by the local thrift store or buy one off of the lady down the street during her yard sale. Wash the towel. Fold the towel in half with the side that you want facing out when you are finished together (right sides together.) Sew a seam down each side. While the bag is still inside out, take each corner of the bottom and pull it out so it is a point. Sew about three inches in, making what now looks like a triangle. (Here's a photo...sorry about the photographer had to go to Barnes and Noble.)

Turn the bag right side out. Measure across the top of your bag from seam to seam. Divide by three. Measure in that amount and put in an extra-large eyelet. (I used the Dritz brand of extra-large eyelets from JoAnn Fabrics. You can buy a set that has instructions and the tool you need to set your eyelet.) Now measure in the same amount from the other side and put in another eyelet. Repeat on the other side of the bag. Cut two strips of a medium- to heavy-weight grossgrain ribbon to the desired length. I used 38" of ribbon for each strap. Thread one end through an eyelet from the outside of the bag. Make a knot. Thread through the other eyelet and knot.

You can put a piece of something sturdy on the bottom of your bag if you want. I used a piece of heavy plastic that I cut out of an old notebook cover.

Fill with summer goodies, slip over your arm and enjoy!

P.S. Olivia by Ian Falconer as a wonderful beach read.

1 comment:

Voix said...

That is the coolest bag ever. Thanks for stopping by the Voix blog. Congrats on making it through the school year intact.