Friday, May 10, 2013

DIY Dolly Towel Tutorial

Last weekend while we were visiting family in Kansas, we were able to take our girls to the American Girl store.... They have been a couple times and they LOVE it! It is was fun to watch them look at everything and try out all the fun accessories with their babies. 

My oldest had been saving her birthday money for our trip so she could buy something new for her baby. Once we got there, she was torn between a new outfit and a towel. She ended up buying the new outfit but I could tell that she was still thinking about that towel for the rest of the day. Once we got home from our trip, I decided it would be fun to make a towel for her baby.

It was so easy and quick... I made two towels for about $6. Pretty great deal since it would have cost me over $20 to buy at the store!

(you can actually make 2 towels with the supplies listed below... If you make two towels be sure to measure twice and cut once because you will need almost all of the fabric I listed. If you prefer to only make one towel you can just cut one of each piece instead of two like I am instructing)
1/2 yard terry cloth (I got mine at Joann- located in the baby section near the minky fabrics)
1 package double folded bias tape
(I made my own bias tape- I used a fat quarter per towel- I am not sure how much binding comes in the prepackaged binding so you may need 2 packs if you are making two towels-)

Step 1: Cut two pieces that are 18x18. These will be the main part of each towel.

Step 2: Cut one 9x9 square. Then cut it in half diagonally to create  triangles. These will be the hood for each towel. 

Step 3: Place one triangle on one of the corners of one large square. Be sure the nap of the terrycloth is going in the same direction on each piece. I used a plate as a template to round the edges of my towel, but if you prefer you can leave them straight. (if you are making two towels repeat this step for the second towel)

Step 4: Bias binding... If you are using a pre-made bias binding then you are all set- if you are making your own binding you will make the bias tape at this point. (I am not going to do a step by step on how to do this, but if you need one, Dana at MADE has a great tutorial on how to make bias tape. If you rounded the corners on your towel you will need to make your binding on the bias for stretching around the curves but if you are leaving your corners square you don't have to make your binding on the bias.)
I wanted a really tiny binding so I cut my strips of fabric on the bias to be 1 1/2 start so once I folded them (double fold) they were pretty tiny (just under 1/2 inch). You can use whatever size you would like, but I think the weight of the tiny bias worked well with the thin terrycloth. I used a fat quarter so I had to piece a lot of strips to get the length I needed... I made about 90 inches of bias but didn't use quite that much per towel.

Step 5: Attach the bias binding. (I am not going to do a step by step on how to attach the binding, but here is another great tutorial by Dana at MADE on how to sew on binding. I sew my tape on the "proper way" like she explains and it looks really nice.)
To start, sew your binding to the bottom edge of the triangle. 

Step 6: Once your binding is sewn to the hood of the towel (triangle) place the triangle back on the main part of the towel and pin in place. I basted the hood to the towel so that it stayed in place when I attached the rest of the binding but that step is optional.

Step 7: Apply the rest of the binding to the outside of the towel.

That's it! You are done!! Unless of course you are making two towels- then repeat the steps for the second towel. 

I hope your little one enjoys this new towel as much as my gals do! 


  1. such a great idea and tutorial - thank you. I am always looking for new bitty baby gifts to give my granddaughter and this should encourage some great play.

  2. What a cute idea! Thank you for the great tutorial!

  3. Love it, making it for a gift right now.... thanks

  4. Just made one for my granddaughter, thank you

  5. I love this dolly towel! So quick and easy to make! I featured it in my blog:
    thank you for shariNG!


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xoxo, Ashley