My daughter loaned me her Baby Annabell doll to use as my model so I could try to show you how the towel fits. I'm pretty sure she thought I'd gone nuts when she saw me taking pictures of her doll in a towel! I'm afraid that blogs can make moms do crazy things sometimes. :)
My Mom taught me how to make these hooded towels years ago and she's made them for years before that. I've used several different styles of hooded towels, but this one has always been my favorite because of the pleats on the sides that bring the towel in snug around the baby's shoulders.
1. You will need one bath towel and one hand towel. If you want to make two hooded towels, you'll need to buy two bath towels and just one hand towel.
2. and 3. Cut the hand towel in half. (One hand towel will make two hoods.)
4. Take one of the hand towel pieces, place it right side up, and then turn the finished edge over about 1" or so, pin and sew it in place. If your towel is small or if you're making it for a toddler, you might want to skip this step so the hood will be deeper. Also, if the towel has a pattern, or if you would like to have the binding on the towel on the front edge of the hood, you can cut 1" off of the cut side of the towel instead of turning the towel back in the front of the hood.
6. Hold onto the top right corner of the side you folded over and fold it down to the left, so it makes a triangle at the bottom.
7. Repeat with the right side.
8. You now have a hood. Line up the bottom edges, pin together, and sew using a 1/4" seam allowance. Sew over it again with a serger or use a wide, close, zig zag stitch to prevent fraying.
9. Back view of the hood.
10. Fold the bath towel in half and mark the center with a pin.
11. Fold the hood in half and mark the center back with a pin.
12. Lay the towel down, right side up, and then lay the hood on top of it, right sides together, matching the pins in the center.
Pleats: You will sew three pleats on each side of the towel (about 1" wide or so, depending on the size of your towel). When you pin them, make sure that the folds of the pleats are all facing the center on the hood when you are looking at the inside (wrong side) of the towel. The pleats will all fit between the folded back band on the front of the hood and the center back flat section of the hood (see back view). There will be about 6 or 7" of towel left on each side that isn't pleated to wrap around under the baby's chin.
13. Before you sew the pleats in, fold the hood and towel in half and make sure that both sides of the towel are the same length.
14. Sew through all of the layers. It will be thick, so sew slowly. You can sew it twice to reinforce the stitching if you'd like. (Optional) Zig-zag along the edges of the seam, through all layers, to finish the edge and hold the layers together. Clip any frayed edges that poke through the zig-zag.
15. Clip the threads and you're done! You could add an applique to the towel, or embroider the baby's name on it if you'd like.
Sometimes, if the towel is plain, I'll sew a patterned ribbon onto the hood, in the spot where the green stripes are on this one. The ribbon should be sewn on first thing after you cut it in half. When you sew ribbon, sew it in the same direction on both sides to avoid puckering and turn the ends under so they won't fray.
This towel is a bit large for a newborn (I preferred the smaller terrycloth towels for newborns), but will fit a baby from around 3 months old until they are around 4 years old.
Today's Fabulous Find...Hooded Baby Towel