While I was on holidays for a few weeks during Christmas I saw these really cute beach robes made from towelling material. So I pulled out and dusted off my trusty Singer sewing machine! I haven’t sewn anything in a while, so I was a little rusty at first but then it became very natural again – kind of like riding a bike.
I worked out the style I loved was from the brand Lucy Folk, they have the robes, shorts and these really cute skirts. Once I found the style, I needed to find the material. Luckily there are so many cute towels on the market these days, I headed to Pillowtalk and found these really affordable towels. I think with this type of project, looking for towels with unique patterns and textures is really important. The ones I picked out also had a tasseled edge which I think added a really fun detail and meant I didn’t need to hem and of the bottom edges – bonus!
Materials You’ll Need
- Sewing Machine (I own a basic Singer)
- Towels (I used one bath towel and 2 hand towels to make the robe, and one bath towel for the shorts)
- Measuring Tape
- Fabric Scissors
How To Make A Towel Robe Set
For this project, I used this tutorial of a linen robe made previously, and just simplified it, so I used the tassel edge instead of hemming. Something important to note about this tutorial is that I used one bath towel for the back, and two hand towels for the front, because the hand towels I found were unusually long. If you can only find bath towels I suggest using two, and simply cutting one down the middle to create the front opening. The robe won’t have as much overlap but I’m sure it would work fine.
Start by assembling your towels to create the body of the robe. Cut the larger towel to the length you want it to be (I simply draped it over my body to decide). Then trim the hand towels to the same length. By folding over the 'collar' section of the robe you'll see it start to take shape.
Cut the collar/neckline off the edge of the font panels. To determine the neckline I started it roughly halfway across the top seam and ended it halfway down the horizontal seam but you can do whatever you want. I learnt the hard way to make the opening less than you think to start with.
To make the sleeves, I used the leftover pieces of hand towels and simply folded them over, positioning the tassel edge on the end. You can also cut some to the right width and length from normal towel, if you don't have any leftovers. Simply check that your arm fits!
After turning the whole thin inside out, sew the body sections together along the top (shoulder) edge. Use a zigzag stitch or an overlocker to prevent fraying.
To finish the front opening, I first ironed the hem down. In the linen robe tutorial we created a collar, but for this one I am simply going to sew and folded hem.
Sew along the front edges to create a nice clean finish, you can use a zigzag stitch or an overlocker to stop the fraying.
Making the shorts
For the shorts I used my trusty shorts tutorial (ten years old from here!) and I just went with very basic construction. The main thing I focused on was aligning the pattern with the edge of the towel to give a frayed hem. Basically for this project you use a pair of shorts that you own as a basis for the pattern, and cut the pieces out of towel.
I also made little matching skirts for the girls using scraps, and I made waist ties for the robes, but in the end I felt like they looked nicer without the waist tie – you can always make one or use a belt to give it a more streamlined look.