Baby Boy Quilt – Monogram, Spiral Aligator

The second quilt I made for my friends’ new baby was inspired by alligator fleece I found at the fabric store.  This is the second quilt for the same new bundle of joy – I also made a mixed texture plaid quilt.

Front alligator quilt

Front of finished alligator quilt

Quilt #2: Alligator Monogram Quilt
With the yellow alligator flannel I wanted to make a smaller and simpler quilt. I decided on a square with an unfinished size of about 42″ to make assembly straightforward. To add some interest, I decide to piece in a monogram “L” for the baby’s last name. I did a simple piecing with navy flannel and the alligator print flannel to make a square.

I used low loft 100% cotton batting and plain navy flannel or the backing. For the quilting, I wanted to try a technique I had seen a friend from my quilt guild (the super talented Amy from House of Bad Cats) do on a small baby quilt – an offset continuous spiral. First, I traced a circle off-center using a salad plate positioned towards the “L”. I started quilting with yellow thread on front and back by sewing around the circle. Then, after a complete circle I eased out of the circle to eventually align the very right edge of my foot with the previous seam. I had set my needle to the left of center to created about 1/2 inch distances between spirals. Just keep sewing for a while and you’ll have a continuous spiral covering your quilt. Even with lots of safety pins on the quilt sandwich, I found the flannel tended to shift a lot. I tried to minimize this when I could and squared up the edges when I was done.

Close-up of alligator quilt

Concentric circle quilting starting just outside the “L”

Next, I wanted to try the rickrack binding technique I learned in Kathy Kansier’s “Quilts with Great Edges” class at Houston festival this November. (This class is great, by the way. If you can ever take anything from Kathy, I recommend it) I added green rickrack and a blue flannel binding. The flannel was not a good choice for the binding and I ended up with very pointy dog ear corners. I must need a refresher from Kathy. Oh we’ll, it was good practice of my binding techniques.

Overall, both quilts were easy to piece, assemble, and quilt and ended up good sizes for the new bundle of joy.

Alligator quilt

Alligator quilt ready for baby!

– Stephanie, HoustonDIY

Advertisements

Baby Boy Quilt – Navy and Green Mixed Texture Plaid

A good friend had a precious baby boy in February. The baby shower was in early December so I wanted to rebel and go off the registry to make a baby quilt. The theme of the nursery is alligators, navy blue, and green as the parents are using the Pottery Barn Kids Madras collection for the crib bedding. The Madras bedding includes various plaid pattern as well as the navy and green color scheme and alligators.

I was inspired at the fabric store by a yellow alligator flannel and a blue & green plaid fleece I found. Since they didn’t quite go together, the only solution was to make two quilts!  The description of the first is listed below with the second soon to follow.

Front Plaid Quild

Front of finished plaid baby quilt

Quilt #1: Plaid mixed-texture quilt
Once I had the plaid fleece picked out, I found matching minky and flannel to make a quilt with a variety of textures. I didn’t have a real game plan for the design of the quilt except for wanting basic rectangles and squares and as much variety as possible. I only bought a 1/3 yd of each minky so that set the basis for 5 long stripes based on the overall size I wanted. I also wanted to use as much of the plaid as possible since that was what really tied everything together.

Back Plaid Quilt

Back of finished plaid baby quilt

In the end, I pieced 5 panels the long length of the quilt and assembled it. I chose to make thin stripes of interspersed flannel and minky as a type of centerpiece. I used basic navy cotton with stripes made of flannel to make a simple geometric pattern to have some interest on the back. Even though the minky and fleece are pretty heavy, I used a 100% cotton natural loft batting. For the quilting, I used a green/spring green/yellow variegated thread from Coats & Clark. I stitched in the ditch for each of the main vertical seams and then did chevron shaped stripes using the five panels.

Plaid Quilt

Plaid quilt ready for its close up

This was my first time working with minky and there were some challenges. I’m drafting a separate post with some tips and tricks for working with minky – stay tuned.

– Stephanie, HoustonDIY

Modern Hexagon Baby Quilt – Part Deux

Modern Hexagon quilt made for baby Daphne Pearl

Modern Hexagon quilt made for baby Daphne Pearl

My cousin and his wife were recently expecting a baby girl, Daphne Pearl. The nursery colors were bright purple, yellow, and green. I thought this was a great opportunity to practice my quilt making and hopefully provide a bright and fun surface for some future tummy time for Miss Daphne.

I liked my first tryst with modern hexagons so much that I decided on a repeat performance. This time I used the nursery colors with the same concept of 4 different fabrics per color. Since I chose fewer rows of hexagons, I added bright and colorful borders to frame the quilt.

Although I could not attend the baby shower, I hope Daphne and her parents like it.

– Stephanie, HoustonDIY

Modern Hexagon Baby Quilt

Hexagon QuiltI am slowly getting back to my sewing and quilting roots and enjoying it along the way. I learned the basics of sewing and quilting at a very early age, but took a 10 year hiatus while I was finishing school.

The first quilt I wanted to make was for my best friends beautiful new baby boy. I decided when she first told me she was expecting, but only finally got around to it. Luckily, the youngster was only about 3 months old when I finished it, that isn’t too bad, right?

I knew I wanted to do something modern and I was instantly draw to a design from KnottyGnome Crafts that was featured as a Moda Bake Shop recipe. I loved the bright colors and geometric designs. I had fun picking out the fabrics and settled on bright baby boy colors of blue, turquoise, green, orange, and yellow. To add some neutrals, I decided on shades of black and gray for every other stripe with bright white triangles in between.

Front of completed  hexagon Baby my completed baby boy quilt

Front of my completed with repeating rows of colorful and neutral black and gray hexagons

I followed the Knotty Gnomes instructions except for a few modifications. I made the quilt larger, with 1 extra hexagon wide and 1 additional row of hexagons. I planned out the colors and made sure the rows of bright color had some variety of positioning to make it less repetitive.

For each of the 6 colors – black, gray, blue, turquoise, green, orange, and yellow, I chose 4 fabrics. The hexagons were made from 6 triangles, with 2 fabrics repeating. I cut out all of the triangles and pieced the quilt in rows. I made each row, then assembled each pair of rows to make the hexagons. The difficulty here is to make sure the points match pretty well across the whole quilt and there are lots of 6 point connections. From my scraps I pieced together the back in a modern colorful design.

I quilted this with my even feed foot in straight lines following the hexagon pattern. I sewed in the middle of each row of triangles, creating an overall design of triangular intersecting lines creating additional triangles. I bound the edges simply in gray binding. Overall it turned out fairly well, although I think it may have been a bit too big in the end for a baby quilt. Not too bad for my return back to the world of quilting.

Back of my completed quilt with scrappy, random lines and color blocking

Back of my completed quilt with scrappy, random lines and color blocking

-Stephanie, HoustonDIY

Tutorial: Play kitchen oven mitts and pot holders

DIY Tutorial: Play Kitchen Oven Mitts

DIY Tutorial: Play Kitchen Oven Mitts

I have two adorable nieces under 5 years old. In an attempt to foster and support their creativity, I wanted to make something for them this past Christmas rather than just buying something from the big box stores. My nieces love to ‘play kitchen’ with play food, a play kitchen set-up and lots of dishes, tea sets, and pots and pans. I decided to add to their kitchen stash with child-sized oven mitts and hot pads. Warning: these are only for play time and are not oven or heat safe – just for imaginary food preparation.

Supplies needed:
Sewing machine with basic sewing supplies (scissors, thread, etc.)
Scraps of two coordinating fabrics (<1/4 yd each)
Scrap batting (medium or high loft preferred)
Double fold binding (scraps, store bought or handmade)

1.  Draw a template.  Draw a template from scratch for the oven mitt outline onto printer or craft paper. I used a full size oven mitt as reference and tried to scale it down to about toddler size. My completed template is about 8 inches tall and 6.5 inches wide, including seam allowance.  Remember, it’s just for fun so don’t worry about the shape too much.

2.  Cut out all the pieces.  Cut out 2 oven mitt shapes from each of the two fabrics and 2 pieces from batting (2 x fabric #1, 2 x fabric #2, 2 x batting = 6 total pieces per mitt). For each of the fabrics, make sure to cut out a ‘right’ and a ‘left’ mitt by turning over the template before cutting out the second. If you are making a pair of mitts, you’ll need twice the number of pieces (12 total pieces). Instructions that follow are for a single mitt.

Oven mitt pattern and assembly

Oven mitt pattern and assembly

3.  Quilt the pieces.  Next, create 2 sandwiches (‘left’ and ‘right’) from fabric #1 lying right side down, then the batting piece on top of that, then fabric #2 on top, right side up.  Make sure your sandwiches of fabric – batting – fabric have right sides out.  Next, using an even feed foot of you have one, quilt these sandwiches however you like.  I just quilted a grid of straight lines for simplicity.  After quilting, sew around the edge of each sandwich with a serger to bind and finish any uneven edges. If you don’t have serger, trim the edges of the sandwiches if there was any slipping during quilting and sew a seam 1/8 inch from the edge around each sandwich to keep everything together.  (For more advanced sewers, you can make a sandwich from a square at least 6 inches tall x 10 inches wide, quilt, cut out the two sides of the mitt, and serge the edges)

4.  Assemble the mitt.  Decide which fabric you want on the outside of the mitts and make sure then are facing inside for this step.  Stack the two quilted pieces with wrong sides out. Sew a 1/4 inch seam around the mitt, starting and ending on either side of the mitt opening, leaving the opening unsewn.

5.  Bind the bottom edge.  The final step is binding the bottom edge of the mitt. This can be challenging since the opening is quite small. I recommend applying one edge of the binding to the outside of the mitt (when it’s inside out) with the raw edges of the binding aligned with the raw edge of the mitt. After sewing, turn mitt inside out. Fold over binding to the outside (right side) of the mitt and top stitch binding down around opening.  I added a loop to mimic a real mitt.

I followed the same technique to make the play pot holders. I created a single quilt sandwich about 5 inches square and bound the edge. It’s that easy!

Finished play kitchen oven mitt and pot holders

Finished play kitchen oven mitt and pot holders

– Stephanie, HoustonDIY

Tutorial: Silhouette Cameo Fabric Cover

Silouette Cameo Cover

DIY Tutorial: How to make a Silhouette Cameo Cover

I am happy to be a member of the Houston Modern Quilt Guild.  We recently had a Denyse Schmidt fabric giveaway and I decided to use my fat eighths and fat quarters to make a cover for my Silhouette Cameo.  The colors were outside of my usual “cool colors only” rule, but I really like the blend of grey, red, and orange in just the right combinations.

Supplies Needed:
Sewing machine
General Sewing supplies (thread, scissors, seam ripper, etc.)
Fabric for outside and lining of cover, <0.5 yards of each
Premade binding tape to match

1.  (Optional)  Piece patchwork design for main body and sides.  I wanted to use as many of the fabrics as possible, so I decided to piece the main body of the cover in a modified chevron pattern by cutting and assembling 2″ x 4″ (finished) rectangles.  I chose the order of fabrics I wanted to create my pattern and cut out 10 rectangles each 2.5″ x 4.5″ from each fabric.  I arranged the pieces to make the modified chevron as seen in the photo below.  Then, I assembled the piece using as much chain piecing as possible.  Based on the size of my Cameo, I needed a main piece made from 12 or 13 rows of fabric with 9 to 10 pieces per row.  If you’re not piecing the main piece, just jump to the next step.

Pieced Cameo Cover Patchwork

Pieced chevron pattern made from Denyse Schmidt fabrics

2.  Choose your fabrics.  Choose a fabric for the outside and inside of the cover.  You’ll need an main body and two side pieces for both the outside and lining.  For my cover, I pieced the outside main body (step 1) and used some scraps from that to piece the outside side pieces. For the lining, I pieced together some of the fat eights I had remaining to make a really scrappy overall look.

3.  Create your patter pieces.  The main body is made from a ~15 inch by 21.5 inch rectangle, including 0.5 inch seam allowance.  Cut out a pattern piece from printer paper if you are patchwork piecing the main body to make it easier to center the design you want.  If you making a solid cover, simply cut a rectangle of the needed size from your fabric.  For the side piece, start with a rectangle that is 7.25 inches by 5.5 inches cut out of printer paper.  Looking at the rectangle with the 7.25 inch length oriented from left to right, make a mark 3.75 inch up on the left side (mark A) and 1.5 inch up on the right side (mark B).  On the top, make a mark 2.25 inch from the left side (mark C).  Connect the mark A and C and cut the pattern, removing a triangle in the upper left corner of the rectangle.  Connect mark C and B with a concave curved line mimicking the slope of the front of your Cameo.  This is a gentle curve that when cut away with produce a pattern piece that matches the side of your Cameo, including 0.5 inch seam allowance.

4.  Cut out your pieces.  Cut two pieces of the main body shape and four pieces of the side shape.  Depending on your design, make sure you cut a “left” and “right” of the fabric you want for both the outside and lining fabric.  Sandwich the main body piece with right sides out and quilt a design of your choosing with a even feed foot, if you have one.  I didn’t include any batting since my cover is primarily a dust cover and will keep it’s shape either way.  Repeat for the two side pieces, making sure right sides are out.

5.  Assemble the cover.  With right sides together, pin the left side piece to the left edge of the main body piece.  Start pinning at the back of the cover, easing the pieces together around the curve.  There may be extra fabric at the front edge.  Mimic this seam on the right edge, attaching the right side piece starting from the back of the cover.  If there is extra fabric on the front edge, trim the fabric edge straight across.  For an enhanced look, I included black piping in these two seams.

6.  Bind the edge to finish.  Starting in the middle of the back edge, apply premade binding to the raw edge around the bottom of the cover using whatever technique you prefer.  I like using a binding foot for this type of application that has few twists and turns.  After binding, your cover is ready to use!

Finished Cameo Cover

Finished Cameo Cover

Finished Cameo Cover, inside view

Finished Cameo Cover, inside view

– Stephanie, HoustonDIY

DIY Hendriksdal Seat Covers

I hesitate to call this an Ikea Hack right off the bat, but I made some personalized cover for two of my Ikea Henriksdal bar stool.  I love the bar stools, but am sometimes a little disappointed in the selection of covers that Ikea carries.  They change season to season, but if there are a few seasons without something I like, my décor gets a little stale.

I have two sets of stools, one for my bar and one for my sewing room, and already had a navy blue cover.  I used this cover along with the bar stool itself to develop the pattern.  I had originally picked up an instruction sheet for making a cover at Ikea itself, but when I made pattern pieces according to Ikea measurements, the pieces were not the correct size.  I threw that plan out and used my existing seat cover and the chair itself to make new pattern pieces.

Supplies you’ll need:
Paper or brown paper bag (for making pattern pieces)
1.5 yd fabric per barstool
1.5 yd sewable Velcro
Sewing machine (If you have a serger, this is a great use for it)
General sewing supplies (scissors, matching thread, pins, etc.)

Instructions:

I first created the 5 pattern pieces needed (chair back – back, chair back – front, seat, seat side, and seat front) using printer paper taped together to make the larger pieces.  (Butcher paper or poster board also work well for making larger pattern pieces).  I included a 5/8” seam allowance since I was using upholstery fabric.  If you are using a cotton or thinner fabric you could make do with a ½” or smaller seam allowance.

Next, I cut the 6 pieces for each chair (1 x chair back – back, 1 x chair back – front, 1 x seat, 2 x seat side, and 1 x seat front).  The seat side pattern piece will be for either the left or right side.  Make sure to cut the two side pieces from different sides of your fabric to make sure you have the right side out for both the right and left side.  Then, I began to assemble each chair.  Since this was a new pattern, I worked with large stiches first (4 – 4.5 mm) and checked the fit at each step.  I made adjustments if needed, and then resewed each seam with smaller stiches (2.5 – 3 mm).  I also serged the seams to create a smooth finish and to make it easier to wash the covers.  The upholstery fabric I used shed threads pretty easily so the serger helped me keep everything tidy.

Here is the Henriksdal cover mid-construction.  The curves can be tricky, so I used a plethora of pins.

Here is the Henriksdal cover mid-construction. The curves can be tricky, so I used a plethora of pins.

I created the chair back and chair seat and sewed them together.  Once it was mostly assembled, I fit the cover on my chair and pinned the bottom hem all the way around.  I only needed the loop side of the hook and loop Velcro since the Ikea bar stools have hook Velcro around the bottom edge to hold the seat covers.  Once the Velcro position was determined, I hemmed the bottom edge of the cover and sewed on the Velcro.  Then, my covers were ready for use!

The completed Henriksdal chair covers in action

The completed Henriksdal chair covers in action

Tutorial: Thick, Striped Headband

I’ve been unreliable of late on my weekly blog post, but I’m trying to get back on track after some traveling with work.  This week’s tutorial is for a thick, striped headband with elastic at the base.  I like this type of headband to control my thin, super straight when I’m sewing, cleaning house, or relaxing.  It’s totally customizable for size and colors so make one or more that you’ll love.

Supplies you’ll  need:

Fabric, approximately 1/8 yard or less (I love to use scraps for this type of project)

6 inches of ½” to 1” elastic (again, scraps of elastic are great for this project)

Rotary blade or fabric scissors, ruler, cutting mat

Sewing machine

Sewing accoutrement (thread, seam ripper, pins, etc.)

Instructions:

To start with, think about the design of your headband.  I chose to distribute smaller pink stripes between larger black stripes.  You could do evenly sized stripes ora single bold stripe in the middle of the headband.  Whatever you decide to do, plan out the thicknesses of your stripes ahead of time so you can cut the appropriate sized strips of fabric.

The overall approach to the headband is to first piece together the main portion of the headband, cover the elastic, then assemble the final piece.  I chose a thickness of 3” for my final headband.  For this, I pieced together the fabric stripes for a final size of approximately 15” long by 6.5” wide.  Remember to add a seam allowance to each stripe when you cut them out.  I made this rectangle from 5 thin pink stripes (½” final thickness), 4 thicker black stripes in between (1.5” final thickness), and two longer black pieces on each edge to create the wrap around of the headband.  Piece together how every you’d like and iron the seams.  When you have your completed piece, fold it in half, lengthwise (or hot-dog style) with right sides together.  Sew the long side of the piece and turn right side out.  This will create a tube 6” in diameter and 15” long.  Iron this piece along the seam to create the flat headband.

I then created a smaller tube to cover the elastic at the base of the headband.  I used 3/8” elastic so I made a 1” final thickness tube approximately 6” long.  This was made from a piece of fabric 2.5” x 6” sewn lengthwise and turned inside out.  I then threaded my elastic through this smaller tube.  To make it easier, I didn’t cut my piece of elastic first.  I threaded one end of elastic through the small tube I just made.  I then tacked the end of the elastic at one end of the tube to hold it in place.  Then, I scrunched up the fabric tube along the elastic until it reached the approximately length I wanted.  I then tacked the elastic at the second end and cut of the extra elastic.  At this point you are left with a small piece of elastic that is covered in bunched up fabric.  This will allow the headband to stretch over your head as you take it on and off.  The picture below shows my main piece and the covered elastic that are ready for final assembly.

Tutorial: Thick, Striped Headband

Headband pieces ready for final assembly

To piece together the headband, you’ll need to know what you want your final size to be.  I measured my head a few times and it might take a few iterations to get it right.  Trim your wide, flat piece on each end to the final size you’ll need, including  the elastic in the measurement.  Use the length of the elastic stretched out a bit, so you’ll have a tight fit to your head while you’re wearing it.  Now, fold in the edge of the flat piece to fit over the elastic piece and sew in place.  This may take a little finagling to get a smooth, tapered finish.  I found it worked best to center the flat piece on the elastic and fold in each side on the back.  Then, I sewed it in place.  In this way, you’ll have one smooth, more finished side that you’ll wear out, visible on your head.  Here is what mine looked like after one side was attached.

Tutorial: Thick, Striped Headband

Partially assembled headband

Doublecheck the sizing at this point.  If everything looks right, perform the same procedure on the remaining side.  Make sure that the headband is straight and aligned the correct way with the nicer, finished edges on the same side.  Make sure not to make a Mobius Strip!  Now you have a finished, hand-made thick, striped headband.  Enjoy!

Tutorial: Thick, Striped Headband

My headband in action in Hawai'i

-Stephanie

Tutorial: Quirky Yarn Beard

This post is a tutorial for a super fun project that is easy for a beginner at sewing.  My friend Tracy asked me to make her a beard so she could go to a costume party as her boyfriend.  I thought a beard made out of yarn would suit her needs.

Supplies you’ll  need for this project:

  • Yarn in the color(s) of the beard you’d like.  I recommend one skein, or scraps of yarn if you have it
  • 1 square of felt in a color to match your beard
  • Ribbon for the tie, scrap will work if you have it
  • Piece of cardboard
  • Thread to match yarn
  • Fabric scissors, Cardboard scissors
  • Sewing machine
Tutorial Quirky Yarn Beard

My supplies for the Yarn Beard

Instructions:

To start with, I cut a rough pattern for beard from paper including a mouth hole.  I used the paper model to fit to my face before using the felt.  Next, I cut out the beard shape from brown felt.  This will serve as the base of the beard and should be fairly soft against your face.  Then, I attached two pieces of brown ribbon to each corner of the felt.  This will be used to tie the beard onto the wearer.  It is easier to fit the ribbon length and make sure the shape of the beard is what you want at this stage, before any yarn is attached.  Make sure the felt is the right size and the tie is long enough for an easy closure before moving on to the next steps.

Next, I cut a U-shaped piece from the cardboard.  I suggest a deep, thin U about 8-10 inches long and up to 6 inches wide.  Choose the width of the U based on how shaggy you’d like your beard to be.  Each individual beard strand will end up half the length of the width of the U.  If you’d like a shaggier beard, like mine, make your U up to 6 inches wide.  If you’d like shorter beard strands, make the U narrower.

Once you have your cardboard U, start wrapping yarn around the U as shown in the picture.  I wrapped the whole length of my U with one color, and then added an accent color.  I used scotch tape to secure the ends of the yard while I was working with the U.

Tutorial Quirky Yarn Beard

Yarn wrapped around the cardboard U

Once you have the U fully wrapped, cut the yarn off the main ball so you can work with it easier.  Now, use your sewing machine to sew the yarn together.  Start at the open end of the U and sew down the middle, catching all of the criss-crossing yarn.  I had to manually feed the U through the machine since your feed dogs likely won’t like the yarn and cardboard combination.  I pulled it slowly through to make sure that all the yarn was secured to each other.  My yarn began to come off the cardboard as I sewed it, which was fine.  After it is secured down the middle, it is ok if it falls off the cardboard since it should stitched together.

Once you are done securing the yarn to each other, you are ready to affix it to the felt backing.  I took my largest strand of yarn loops and positioned it around the bottom edge of the felt backing.  Once the yarn loops are stitched together, they had some flexibility so I could position them along the edge.  Next, I sewed the yarn loops on to the felt backing as shown in the picture.

Tutorial Quirky Yarn Beard

First row of yarn loops sewed onto the felt backing

After sewing the line of yarn loops, I used fabric scissors to cut all of the loops to create individual beard strands.  Here is what the first row of the beard looked like after clipping the loops.

Tutorial Quirky Yarn Beard

First row of the beard with the yarn loops clipped

I repeated this procedure to add one more row of loops in the middle of the beard and one row above the mouth to create the mustache and top of the beard.  After clipping all the loops, you have an awesome new yarn beard to enjoy!

Here is me trying on my yarn beard for the first time.  Since my U was pretty wide, you can see how my individual beard strands ended up being pretty long.  Feel free to adjust your cardboard U to end of up with a beard as fluffy as you’d like.

Tutorial Quirky Yarn Beard

Yarn beard in action

Tutorial: Towel Seat Belt Covers

Welcome to the first sewing tutorial!  I posted this previously on my sister’s blog (www.icanfindthetime.com) and will repost it here to get mine going.

Making Towel Seat Belt Covers

I thought of making a seat belt cover from a hand towel that can help avoid getting your seat belt sweaty after a great workout (especially Bikram yoga!) or after getting caught in a down pour.  After taking up hot yoga, running in Arizona anytime of year, and experiencing the sudden downpours of the Hill Country of Texas, having some extra safeguard against a sweaty or musty car seemed like a good idea.

Supplies you’ll need:

  • 1 Hand towel (for two seat belt covers)
  • 1 package of 36” soft, sewable Velcro in complimentary color (usually just white or black are readily available)
  • Fabric scissors
  • Matching thread
  • Sewing machine and sewing accoutrement you may need (seam ripper, etc.)

Instructions:

So, I’m making two sets, one for me and one for friend I do yoga with.  I bought two 2-packs of handtowels at Walmart for $3 each.  I liked them since they had the corresponding stripes down each end and that is where I’ll make the cover.  I like the use of hand towels since there are lots of nice, finished edges.  I’ll be making two seat belt covers that are 16” long since I’m using the width of the small edge of the towel, along the stripes.

Towels chosen for seat belt covers

First, cut the hand towel in half on the longest side.

Cut each towel in half, hamburger style

Cut each piece of Velcro in half, leaving a 15” length.  Place one of the halves of the Velcro (I did the Velcro hook side first) towards the finished edge of each half of the towel.  I centered it on the width and just behind the finished edge, about 1” from the bottom of the towel.

Pin on the first half of the Velcro

Sew down the Velcro tape using a sewing machine.  I used white thread for the top thread and blue for the bobbin so that it was as hidden as possible.

Sew down the Velcro with matching thread

For the next part, you need to choose the finished width of the cover that you’d like and sew the finished edge.  Standard seat belts are 2” wide, so I was shooting for 2.5” to allow some extra room.

Fold over the seat cover like it will end of being to determine where you should trim the extra.  I measured 2.5” from the final fold and marked it with a pin.  I think measured an additional 1” for seam allowance.  The pins are in the picture at 2.5” and 3.5” pins.  I did this on both ends and then cut off the raw edge at the second pin.

Fold over the towel to make a casing for the seat belt

Make casing approximately 2.5″ to accommodate the seat belt

Trim off extra towel to avoid bulkiness in casing

After trimming the raw edge, turn up the edge 0.5” twice and pin it in place.  Then, sew it in place to create a hem.  I switched the top thread to blue to hide the seams.

Fold raw towel edge to create smooth edge

Then, place the second piece of Velcro tape (make sure it’s the opposite type!) just inside the seam you just sewed.  I placed mine as close as possible to the new seam and I folded it over to ensure that the Velcro parts line up to make a 2.5” wide tube.  The hem is pretty thick (3 thicknesses of terry cloth), so you’ll probably have to offset it a bit from the hem to allow you to sew around the Velcro tape.  Alternatively, you could switch to a zipper foot to allow you to trace the edges of the Velcro better.  Pin the Velcro tape and sew it down like the first strip.  I switched back to white as the top thread to hide the seams.

Sew on the second piece of Velcro

Finally, there is just one step left.  I decided to sew two extra seams on each cover to help stabilize the tri-fold of each cover.  I sewed in about 3/8” on each edge with a single straight seam so that the cover would always fold to the same place if you take it on and off the seat belt.  This wouldn’t be possible if I hadn’t made it 2.5” wide in the first place.  If you decided to just make it 2” wide, you can forgo this extra step.

Sew down each side to stabilize casing

After sewing on that Velcro, your seat belt covers are done.  Here are the two sets I made, one blue and one red.

The finished sets. Red fish, blue fish…

Here are my new seat belt covers in action!

Happy, sweat-proof seat belt!

There are lots of ways to personalize this depending on your towels and car.  In my case, the covers were as long as the short length of the towels to avoid refinishing more edges than necessary.  Depending on your car, you may need to shorten one for the top section of a tri-point seat belt so it can retract when you exit the vehicle and keep the clasp from getting in the way of the closing door.