Topsy Towel

Topsy Towel



Transform an ordinary dishtowel into a handy hanging Topsy Towel.

Add your favorite embroidery designs and coordinating fabric to make this one-of-a-kind towel. It also makes a great housewarming gift!

Read below for these free project instructions!

Supplies Needed:

**Dish towel (ours is 19 inches
   wide by 28 inches high)

**8 inch by 8 inch piece of print
   cotton fabric

**Lightweight cutaway stabilizer
   (we prefer Sulky Soft 'n Sheer
   or Floriani No Show Mesh)

**Air-erase pen (or other
   marking tool)

**Temporary spray adhesive

**3/4 inch button

**Craft knife and cutting pad

Design used: 
Freshly-Baked Bread - Md

This design is also available in the following design packs:
A Dash of Vintage Kitchen Design Pack - Md 

Finished size:
19 inches wide by 19 inches high

To begin, we will square off the dish towel. Lay the dish towel flat and measure one of the short ends. Using that measurement, measure and mark the long sides starting from the corners at the short end. Draw a line to connect the marks and cut along the line (save the scrap for later!). 

We are using a smooth cotton towel for this project and we will be embroidering a light, airy design onto the towel.  If you prefer terry cloth towels, we recommend using more of a solid, filled design. For more information on embroidering on terry cloth towels click here.


Lay the towel wrong side up and fold the raw edge over 1/4 inch and press with an iron. Then, fold it over another 1/4 inch and press. Sew a 1/8 inch seam along the inner edge of the fold. 

You can create a small bar towel or washcloth with the scrap of towel by folding, pressing, and sewing the raw edge as you just did!


Lay the towel right side up. Using an air-erase pen (or other marking tool), draw a diagonal line across the towel between two of the corners. This line will be used to position the embroidery design.


Create a paper template of the design by printing it at full size. 
If you are unable to print, you can cut a piece of paper the shape and dimensions of the design to help with placement and centering.

Poke a hole in the center of the template and align the center and the vertical axis line with the line on the towel. Position the template so that the bottom corner of the design is about 3 inches from the bottom corner of the towel. Mark the center and horizontal axis points.


Remove the template and draw a line connecting the horizontal axis points. Spray a piece of lightweight cutaway stabilizer (we prefer Sulky Soft 'n Sheer or Floriani No Show Mesh) with temporary adhesive and smooth the towel on top. Make sure to extend the stabilizer a bit past the bottom corner of the towel so it can be hooped  tightly. Hoop the towel and stabilizer together by aligning the marks on the hoop with the lines on the fabric. Not all of the sides of the towel will be hooped - this is OK. The adhesive on the stabilizer will hold the towel in place.


Attach the hoop to the machine and load the design. Move the hoop so that the needle is directly over the center point on the towel. Embroider the design.


When the design has finished, trim away the excess stabilizer on the back of the embroidery.


Now, we will prepare the fabric for the top flap of the towel. Cut a piece of print cotton 8 inches wide by 8 inches high.


Lay the fabric wrong side up.  Fold the edges over 1/2 inch and press in place. Start with one edge and then press the opposite edge on the opposite side. Then, fold and press the remaining two edges.


Lay the towel wrong side up.  Align the print cotton piece with the upper corner and pin in place.


Sew a 1/4 inch seam along the entire outer edge of the cotton fabric.


Next, we will add the button hole. Make a mark 1 1/2 inches in from the top corner (the print cotton corner).


Sew a button hole on the mark.

You can use your sewing machine's buttonhole feature, as we did here, or you can use digitized buttonhole embroidery designs. If you want to stitch out one of these fun and useful designs on your project, don't forget to check out our instructions for embroidering with buttonholes.


Now we will prepare the angled hole which will create the loop of the towel. Measure and mark one inch down from the bottom of the button hole. Then, draw lines 3 inches out from the mark - make the lines parallel to the outer edges of the towel.


Sew a zigzag stitch (set at 0.50mm) on both sides of the lines. Be sure to leave about 1/16 inch (about the width of the marked line) space between the stitches.


Use a craft knife and cutting pad, to cut in between the stitches of the button hole and the angled lines. Be careful to not cut any of the stitches!


Lay the towel with the embroidery side up.  Sew the button about 6 inches from the top edge of the design along the center line.


To hang the towel, lay it flat with the print fabric side up and fold in the side corners as shown.


Wrap the top print fabric corner around a towel bar or stove handle and then insert the bottom embroidered corner through the hole and pull the towel tight. Button the flap in place and you are done!


Click here for a printable version of these project instructions.

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