Simple Scalloped Cloths

November 15, 2011

I love the children's book by Simms Tabak called Joseph Had a Little OvercoatThe moral of the story is that "You can always make something from nothing."  I try to live by that principle, or at least by making do with what I have.  So, when I was given a nice white cotton sheet with a tear in it, I knew that it still had lots of life.  I didn't quite make something from nothing, but it's close enough in my opinion.

Sorry, the tear is not shown, I already starting cutting into the sheet before I thought to take a picture of it.

At my house, we use a lot of cloths to wipe sticky hands and faces.  We were in sore need of a few more.  So, face cloths were the first of many projects that I will undertake with this ripped sheet. 

Now, you can probably tell by the imperfect looking stitches on my cloths that I am a beginner sewer.  This is a project that even the most beginner of sewers can undertake, as face cloths for babies don't really need to look perfect.  Most of you who read this blog don't need a step-by-step on how to make cloths, but if you do, read on.   Click through for the rest of the tutorial.

Start by tearing the sheet into 9 inch strips.  I wanted the cloths to be study enough to withstand a super sticky face, so I made them "2-ply."  (Is that a term outside of the toilet paper world?)  To do this, cut each strip into 18 inch sections - you'll have a 9x 18 inch rectangle for each cloth.  Fold your rectangle in half.

If you only have enough fabric to make a 7 by 9 piece, that's okay too. 

Next, take your fabric square and sew around three of the edges leaving a hole on one of the sides.  You don't need to sew around the folded edge.  You'll turn the cloth inside out through the hole - so make it about 2 or 3 inches long.  I usually use the edge of my presser foot as a guide, and that's what I did this time too.

Now, you'll turn your cloth right side out, and top-stitch around all four edges.  Again use the edge of your presser foot as a guide.  Your finished product will look like this:

You can stop here, or you can have fun with your sewing machine's decorative stitches.  My sewing machine is pretty basic, but it does have a cute scallop decorative stitch that I had never used before.  I made a bunch of cloths - some to use as rags, and some to use for faces.  I used the decorative stitch to tell the difference between the two.

When you are finished - admire your handy work - you've just made something from (almost) nothing!


Carlee said...

I don't think I've ever used any of the decorative stitches on my machine and I actually have quite a few. This seems like a good way to distinguish what each cloth is for.

JoDana said...

fantastic idea! I love the little extra pop that the scalloped stitch adds. and I agree it's a great way to organize which cloth is for what.

Jane said...

i made mine from a printed flannel sheet so the top stitching wasn't necessary I'm a bit on the lazy side

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