Less Mess & Waste – How To Make Quick Un-Paper Towels

There are projects all over Pintrest on how to make cute reusable paper towels with flannel and terry cloth. Which I think are really cute, but they just take to much time to make in my opinion,  from sewing them together to putting on snaps or velcro . I don’t want to waste a lot of time on something that is going to be stained the first time I use it, or maybe your kids don’t spill stuff like mine do? Grape juice anyone.  So here is a quick tutorial on how to make un-paper towels with birdseye cotton using both a regular sewing machine and a serger. We have  been using these towels  for about a year now and we love them. The best thing is that they are white so you can bleach them when they get to gross looking.

Materials Needed:

-Birdseye Cotton – can be found at Joann’s or online with cloth diaper supplies

-Scissors/Rotary Cutter

-Sewing Machine/Serger

– Fray Check

materials needed

 Step 1: Wash your fabric. Birdseye will shrink so it is important to pre-wash and dry your fabric before you start. For 6 towels you need to plan on 1 1/4 yards of fabric if you are serging and 1 1/3 yards if you are using a regular sewing machine.

Cut fabric

Step 2: Cut your fabric, you can use whatever measurements you want, but for these I used a 12″x 18″ for serging if I was hemming them I would cut it 14″x18″ . If you are using a serger you can skip down to Step 5.

fold 12  fold again 12

Step 3: If you are using a sewing machine you will want to fold and press your edges down 1/2 inch and then turn them over another 1/2 inch and press to make sure the raw edges are folded under. Pin if you need.

finished hemmed

Step 4: Sew around the edges. Don’t forget to back stitch at the beginning and end. I used a 3/8 seam.

finished serged

Step 5: If you are serging, you can cut curves on the corners to make it easier to serge. Lock your stitch in place. I like to use fray check at this point to lock my stitches.

finished Finished Un Paper Towels

Step 6: You are finished. Now take them into your kitchen and start using them.

I know some people keep water proof bags in their kitchens to throw their dirty towels in,  my laundry room is right off my kitchen so they just get thrown into what ever load of laundry I am currently doing.


Ripping Seams & Sipping Wine

What do you get when you add wine to a sewing club? Lots of seam ripping and some unlady like words.

This past weekend some friends meet for what we like to call our Sew Winey Club, basically a couple hours away from the kids and husbands.  You never know what is going to happen during the project, things get cut wrong, sewed wrong, and the seam ripper seems like it never gets a rest. But we always have fun and laugh a lot at all our mistakes.

This months project was Easter Baskets using my tutorial from my past blog post.  sew winey

Check out how they turned out!

Finished Easter Baskets for our kids

Finished Easter Baskets for our kids

Here’s to happy sewing and seam ripping.


Hippity Hop Easter’s On It’s Way – Fabric Easter Basket Tutorial

We have our fingers crossed winter is on its way out and spring is on its way. The kids have been asking me to get out our Easter decorations, so today seemed like a good day to do it and it just happened to be snowing again.  We were thinking if we decorated for spring, it has to come soon! The boys needed new Easter baskets and I wanted them big enough that the Easter Bunny could leave lots of books and puzzles along with a little bit of candy.  I thought I would share with you a tutorial on how to make these simple baskets

Fabric Easter Baskets

Supplies you will need for 1 basket

2 coordinating pieces of fabric 1/2 yard each or 3 fat quarters

 1/2 yard stiff interfacing- I used Pellon 71 F

Coordinating thread

Scissors/Rotary Cutter

 Marking Pen/Ruler


Use a 3/8th Seam

Cut fabric

Step 1: Cut your Fabric and Interfacing

 Cut each of your fabrics 17 x 20 inches

   Cut your interfacing 17 x 19 inches and 1.5 x 16 inches

Cut the fabric that you want as your handle 4 x 16 inches

sew sides

Step 2: Fold your outside fabric in half and pin the sides, then sew using a 3/8 inch seam.

flatten corner

Step 3: At the bottom take your corner and flatten out so it looks like above photo and then measure down 3.5 inches. Use your marking pen to draw a line across the bottom and pin. Repeat on the other side.

sew corners

Step 4: Sew on the line that you made. Repeat on the other side.

cut corners

Step 5: Cut  both  corners off about a 1/2 inch from the stitch you just created.  Now you can turn it right side out it should resemble a box.

apply interfacing

Step 6: Iron your interfacing to your lining piece of fabric leaving 1/2 inch from each of the tops. After you have the interfacing applied repeat Steps 2-5 for the lining.

fold handle

Step 7: Take your handle piece and fold it in have with right sides together. Then apply your piece of interfacing to one side.

turn handle

Step 8: Turn your handle.

top stitch handles

Step 9: Top stitch your handle down both sides.

pin handle to bag

Step 10. Pin your handle to your basket. I pinned it on both the end seams, but you could also pin it from side to side.

pin right sides

Step 11: With right sides together pin around the top. Make sure that you mark 3 or 4 inches where you will not sew, so you can turn your basket right side out.

sew top together

Step 12. Sew around the top. Remember to leave 3 to 4 inches open.

turn basket

Step 13: Turn your basket right side out.  Pin your opening closed. I usually iron the top to make the next step easier. You are almost done!

top stitch

Step 14: Top stitch around your basket, making sure that you are closing the opening.


Step 15:  The final step I do is take a iron and iron my corners to make them crisp.

Enjoy your basket!  I am  thinking of all the ways I could use this basket around the house, maybe put two small handles on each side. It would be great for holding all my kids toys.