Tiny Project #1

Tiny Project #1: Make washcloths

Its a good thing I love fabric because we have an abundance of cloth in our home. Aside from the patterned yards waiting to be cut and sewn into pants or bibs or aprons, most of the cloth is less refined and heavily used. Dish towels for drying hands and dishes, wiping spills and tables, counters, and high chairs are in constant rotation in the kitchen. We use cloth napkins at meals and cloth diapers and wipes for Amos. I’ve retired the burp cloths but it seems like I am constantly reaching for something to clean Amos’ hands or wipe his mouth after meals.

Visions of laundry piles aside, I am happy to rely on all of these different fabrics for use and constant reuse in our home. Most of the time they get the job done while also pleasing my senses with their colors, textures and general usefulness. One shortage I have discovered lately, though, is washcloths. I sometimes use them as the first step of cleaning Amos after a meal but we also need them for scrubbing him in the bath. I decided to make a few new ones and wanted to share them with you as an easy beginner sewing project and a quick way to make something useful and pretty for your home.

It may not seem like the greatest necessity and it probably isn’t hard to find inexpensive and durable washcloths at a lot of stores. But, here is a chance to shift from buying to making and you can probably use things you already have at home. The only sewing skills you need are the ability to cut fabric with scissors and to sew a straight (or mostly straight) line.

DIY Washcloths 

Terry cloth — I used this fabric which I bought last year to make some baby towels, it is very thin and easy to sew. You could use an old towel but if it is too thick it can be difficult to sew through on a regular sewing machine
Cotton fabric such as flannel or a basic quilting-type cotton — Sewing this to the terry cloth means you will have no frayed edges and it makes the washcloth sturdier if you are using a thin terry. I like using flannel but you could also choose fabrics that match your towels or fit with your bathroom colors. I made a couple of washcloths with colors that I just liked.

Cut one 10 by 10 inch square (or any size/shape that you like) of terry cloth. Place the cut terry cloth on top of your cotton fabric and cut a piece the exact same size and shape. Put the fabric together with the patterned side of the cotton fabric facing the fuzzy side of the terry cloth (if the terry cloth is fuzzy on both sides it doesn’t matter which side is in but you want the sides of the fabric that will eventually be the outside of the washcloth to be facing each other with the wrong sides facing out)

Pin the fabric together or simply hold it in place. With the cotton fabric on top, stitch around the edges of the cloth, sewing them together and leaving a 2 inch unstitched hole. Having the cotton fabric on top makes it easier to stitch if the terry cloth is stretchy.

Turn the washcloth inside out so that the fuzzy terry cloth and cotton pattern are now on the outside. Make sure to poke the corners a little so that the washcloth is square. Now, stitch around the washcloth again, about 1/4 inch from the edge, making sure to tuck in the edges around the hole so that it is closed neatly.

Now you have a washcloth!