fotm fabric trimmed towel



The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to freshen up your home with budget friendly updates. How about updating your décor with new bath towels? Trim a hand towel with simple strips of fabric and then accent with an appliqué using instructions from our coordinating Free Design project. Use the foot of the month, Overcast foot “G” to sew the seams of the fabric strips and you’ll have a durable and attractive finished product.

Materials and Supplies:

  • Brother Sewing and Embroidery Machine
  • SA443 Brother 4-inch square hoop
  • Brother Embroidery and Bobbin thread & Embroidery Needle for embroidered appliqué
  • Brother Overcast foot “G”, included with many Brother machine models
  • Brother Monogramming foot “N”, included with many Brother machine models
  • Brother Free Design of the month for January with project instructions for Towel Trimmed with Embroidered Appliqués
  • Good quality polyester sewing thread
  • Hand towel measuring approximately 16-inches wide X 30-inches long
  • Three coordinating fabrics for featured strips on each hand towel.

Measure and cut for each towel as follows:
To figure the length of each strip, measure across the width of your towel, add 2-inches and record the number for your strip length. Using this measurement cut one center strip 1½-inches wide and two outer strips 2-inches wide.

Tip: Choose your towel first, based on your desired bath décor. Take the towel with you when you shop for fabric. You can select three coordinating prints that compliment the towel and your color scheme by choosing prints that include your most prominent bath colors. This project features one print that “reads’ as a solid so that the added appliqué appears to float on the background. There is no right or wrong way to choose your fabrics, select prints that you like and you’ll be happy with the finished project.

Instructions for Trimming Towel

  1. Embroider the appliqué piece following instructions in our Free Design of the Month companion project, Embroidered Appliqués on Towels. Set aside temporarily.
  2. Set up machine for sewing with foot “G,” selecting the overcast stitch and settings shown in Figure #1.
Figure #1
  1. Select the three coordinating strips.

  1. With right sides together and long raw edges matching, sew center strip to one of the outer strips.
    See Figure #2.
Figure #2
Tip: The selected stitch is designed to sew the seam and overcast the raw edges all in one step. When using foot “G” it’s important to keep the raw edge of the fabric up against the long toe on the right hand side of the presser foot while stitching. Stitches that are specifically designed to use with this foot will form over the pin located toward the back of this long toe. In addition, this pin ensures that the stitch wraps over the raw edge without puckering the narrow seam allowance.
  1. Sew the remaining outer strip to the center strip. Press seam allowances toward outside edges. See Figure #3.

  1. Press under ½-inch on each long edge and position along lower edge of towel. See Figure #4.
Figure #4
  1. Turn under short raw edges and trim excess if needed. Pin strip to towel and use a straight stitch to secure short edges. See Figure #5.
Figure #5
  1. Set machine for sewing with foot “N.” Choose an open stitch that moves from the center and then to the right and the left of center. See Figure #6.
Figure #6
  1. To anchor the fabric strip to the towel, sew along each folded edge with center of foot “N” positioned along folded edge of the fabric.

    Finish sewing strip by sewing along each seam with center of foot positioned along the seam.
    1. Pin prepared appliqué piece in center of strip. Attach to towel using a narrow zigzag or a blanket style stitch, setting the stitch width to catch the finished edge of the piece. Use foot “N” or use a clear view foot for better visibility. See below:

  1. Press the finished piece. See Figure #7. You are finished! Enjoy!
Figure #7