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pleated projects week: pleated dish towel

One of the best things about creating is turning humble, everyday items into something gift-worthy.

closeup-of-pleated-dishtowel

Take this dish towel, for instance. It started as a very inexpensive and readily available flour sack towel and just by adding a row of pleats to the bottom, it becomes this understated feminine dish towel.

Here’s what you need to make one for yourself {or your mom, or a friend}:

supplies-for-pleated-dishtowel

:: two flour sack kitchen towels {I bought a 4-pack at target for about $5}
:: scissors
:: pins
:: sewing machine {not shown}

You will need two towels – one as your base and the second to create your pleats with.

Begin by cutting of the selvedge of the towel you’ll use for the pleats.  Then cut three strips {approximately 4 inches x the width of the towel}.

cut-strips

Sew the three pieces into one long strip by stitching the ends right sides together. Fold the long strip in half width-wise and iron to hold crease.

sew-long-strip

Finish one edge of the strip by turning the fold inside out to sew right sides together.  Turn right side out to begin creating the pleats.

finish-end-of-pleated-strip

Beginning at one end {with the finished edge} begin hand pleating and pin into place along the bottom edge of the towel {leaving about a quarter inch overlap}.

start-pinning-pleats-into-place

To finish the end of the pleats, mark where you need to end, turn the fold inside out, sew right sides together and trim the end {as above}.

mark-end-and-stitch-to-finish

Sew pleats to towel along the top, back stitching at the beginning and end.

stitch-ruffles-to-dishtowel

When you are finished, the result is this dainty pleated towel.

finished-pleated-towel-closeup

pleated-dishtowel-in-kitchen

One more great thing about this project: you can do this to much more than a dishtowel. Try adding the pleated trim to the bottom of a skirt, to the edge of tablecloth or along the perimeter of a baby blanket. Just follow the steps as shown above and let your creativity inspire many new pleated projects.

Don’t forget … tomorrow is the link party to showcase your favorite pleated project.

17 Responses to pleated projects week: pleated dish towel

  1. Christa December 17, 2013 at 11:51 pm #

    I just bought my flour sacks and can’t wait to start on this cute project! I’m wondering the same as Carolyn W. Did you do anything to finish off the cut edge of the pleats on the back of the towel, or just leave them raw? Thanks. :) And thanks for the adorable idea!!

  2. Carolyn W April 25, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

    I pinned this when you posted it, and finally got around to making it today. It’s adorable! I love seeing the little pleats hanging in my kitchen. :) One question: did you do anything to finish off the cut edge of the pleats on the back of the towel, or just leave them? Thanks for this lovely idea!!

  3. Peggy April 19, 2013 at 9:10 am #

    OH my! After spending so much time on your blog this morning I just couldn’t help but comment finally. You see your week of pleats left me giddy… yes giddy! They are so sweet, and so feminine, and well they remind me of my childhood. Yes, my mom loved pleats and ruffles (however i did NOT but now i do!)… She still does! my house is pleatless and ruffleless… can you say 3 boys?! :)

    so thank you so very much! for sharing!! now i must go and actually start following your blog. :) Have a wonderful day!

  4. Mindy April 12, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

    Absolutely love this! I have always been a flour sack towel using gal but never display them. Now I can liberate a couple from the depths of the drawer and let them show off a bit. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Holly Herick April 11, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

    Once again Emily, adorable. Someday I want to meet you in person. It travel to the Portland area at least six times a year. keep up the awesome blog.

    Thanks,
    Holly

  6. elisa April 11, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    These are very pretty.

  7. Margie April 11, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    How did you finish the raw edges at the end? The instructions weren’t clear. Did you fold the towel over the raw edges to enclose them?

    • emily April 11, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

      sorry … I tried to explain it. I just made a seam in the edge of the pleated strip by folding it right sides together, stitching the end closed and then turning back right sides out.

  8. Lisa April 11, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    Oh, these are adorable…way cute. ummm…would you sell them in your shop? I wish I was more handy with a sewing machine!

    • emily April 11, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

      It did turn out pretty cute! I should hire my mom or sister or someone to reproduce them and then sell. I’ll consider :)

      • Lisa April 11, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

        Oh Yeah! I saw some on ETSY, but your pleats are better! Most of their pleats were wider. I bet they would really sell.

  9. Rosanne April 11, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    So lovely! I can’t wait to try this.

  10. Nicole April 11, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    I am loving all of these projects this week – I think I’ve pinned them all. This towel is so pretty!

  11. Kelly E. April 11, 2013 at 8:52 am #

    So cute!! I love all the ideas, but I think this is my favorite, too! This would be fun to do on a shower curtain.

    • emily April 11, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

      that’s a great idea!

  12. Kay April 11, 2013 at 8:18 am #

    Great idea, simple to make and the result is beautiful!

  13. Jill April 11, 2013 at 6:07 am #

    This is the best week ever! I LOVE each and every ruffle idea and project! Today’s towel might be my favorite….though I really don’t know because I love all the rest too :) Can’t wait to try them ALL!