“Baby Shower Gift-Part 2”

With the receiving blanket and burp cloth finished it was time to start on the hooded bath towel. Again, this blog entry is not intended to teach you how to create this project in a step by step manner. It is meant to share with you some tips on how I handle making this project using techniques I have found to be most helpful.

  1. First of all, I cut all the pieces, this time using a ¼” seam allowance for all edges. Since I didn’t want any sharp corners on the towel, I rounded them all using the curved template I use for pockets and other areas where I want uniform curved corners. When rounding the corners, I switched to the smallest rotary cutter I own. I find it’s much easier and more accurate to use the smallest blade size when using this template.  I used the 3cm side of the template for a more gradual curve.
  2. After all cutting was complete, I took time to thoroughly clean the bobbin area of my machine. I had just finished sewing on cotton flannel which is quite linty. I changed my needle from a Universal 80/12 to a 90/14 Titanium embroidery needle and changed to the straight stitch needle plate. I left the auto cutting feature on since the design back would not show on the final project.
  3. After choosing all the colors to go with the flannel I would be using for the binding, I hooped a piece of Cut Away stabilizer and marked one layer of the hood using the template. For placement, I referred to my favorite book, “A Comprehensive Guide to Machine Embroidery”. I placed the bottom of the design 1 ¾” up from the bottom cut edge, lining up the vertical center of the hood piece with the template.
  4. Since the terry cloth I was using for the towel would hoop burn, I used the “baste to the hoop” technique we learn in the Embroidery Basics class. I added a water soluble topper so the foot or needle would not have a chance to snag any of the terry cloth. The topper also kept the stitches from sinking into the terry cloth. It sure doesn’t look much like a whale yet!
  5. The last color I used was a metallic thread, used for the bubbles in the design. I changed from the embroidery needle I had been using to a metallic needle. Also, I turned off the auto cut feature in the Set Menu since my cutters and metallic threads don’t usually get along. I also threaded the needle by hand because automatic needle threaders, of all makes and models of machines, do not handle metallic threads. I also slowed the machine’s speed to make sure the thread had plenty of time to relax as it came through the machine. Voila! Not one problem embroidering with the metallic thread!
  6. Before removing the work from the hoop, I removed all basting stitches. It’s much easier to take out the basting stitches while the work is still held taught in the hoop. Now it looks like a whale!
  7. When I removed the embroidery from the hoop, I used the applique scissors to trim the stabilizer from the back. I left about ½” around all edges by folding the stabilizer back on itself before cutting. This ensures I would only be cutting the stabilizer, not the fabric. I also rounded all the corners of the stabilizer so a noticeable square would not show through on the right side of the work.
  8. After switching my straight stitch needle plate back to the zig zag plate, I sewed the two pieces of hood together, wrong sides together using the Husqvarna Viking ¼” Edge Stitching foot  with the needle in the furthest right position. This allowed me to sew the two pieces together with the smallest seam possible. I sewed the pieces together so nothing would shift when I attached it to the towel. Terry cloth is a stretch fabric that I had cut on the bias. Yikes! Pin generously!
  9. All binding, since it would be going around the curved edges, had to be cut on the bias. For this reason, even when attaching the binding to the straight edge at the bottom of the hood, I pinned generously. Bias binding is very easy to stretch without even realizing you’re stretching it.
  10. When attaching the hood to the towel, again I pinned generously so the corners matched perfectly.  I used a Clapper to flatten the binding at the edges of the hood so they would be as flat as possible when I attached the towel’s binding over those edges. Before attaching the binding, I changed my needle to a 90/14 Microtex needle and changed my Sewing Advisor to heavy woven. When I attached the binding in the next step, I would, in places, be sewing through up to five layers of fabric.
  11. After attaching all binding around the towel (and it goes without saying…..pin generously!), I turned the binding and used my Clover clips to make sure everything looked good before I used my Interchangeable Dual Feed foot to stitch in the ditch (remember to lower the presser foot pressure to 3 when using this foot). All that pinning and clipping really paid off!  
  12. And that’s it! Receiving blanket, burp cloth and embroidered hooded bath towel were done with time to spare!  I hope you gleaned some tips that might be of help with your next project!