Attention to detail can make all the difference to your décor when guests come to stay – and giving them a gorgeous hand-sewn bathroom set of appliquéd towel, toiletries bag and bath scrubber to use is sure to impress! Use simple white towelling and floral cotton to create this pretty collection – why not fill the bag with mini soaps and goodies as an extra gift?
- Towelling: white, 50cm by 150cm
- Printed cotton: 50cm by 115cm
- Netting: pink, 30cm by 150cm
- Fusible interfacing: scraps
- White thread
- Dressmaker's chalk
- Bag: approximately 27cm tall x 28cm wide
- Towel: 50cm x 75cm
- Bath scrubber: 20cm circumference
Make a toiletries bag
Cut a 25cm x 60cm rectangle of white towelling fabric, and a second rectangle (the same size) from floral printed cotton. Fold 1cm over on one long side of the towelling and press. Work a straight machine stitch along this edge, to form a hem. Fold the printed cotton in half lengthwise, with right sides facing outwards. Tack the long raw edge to the remaining (unstitched) long edge of the towelling, right sides facing.
Using dressmaker’s chalk, mark the centre point of the tacked edge. Work a straight machine stitch up from this point to the folded edge of the cotton. Find the centres of the fabric either side of this line and stitch two more divisions in the same way. These will form the side pockets. Fold the panel in half lengthways with right sides together and stitch straight up the back edge, working through all layers of fabric.
Cut an 18cm x 23cm rectangle of towelling. Find the centre of one long edge and pin this to the bottom of the back seam of the bag with right sides together. Find the centre point of the other three sides and match up to the remaining stitched divisions and pin. Tack the base to the bottom edge of the bag, gathering the corners slightly if necessary to ensure a good fit. Work a straight machine stitch around this edge and turn right sides out.
Flatten the bag and measure 4cm in from each side at the top. Make a 2cm pleat from this mark on both sides, front and back of the bag, and oversew to hold in place. Cut a 7cm by 60cm strip of printed cotton fabric and fold in half lengthwise, right sides together. Work a straight machine stitch down the open long edge and turn right sides out to make a thin tube. Cut this in half and stitch each piece neatly to the top of the bag between the pleats to create two handles.
Create an appliqué towel
Cut a 50cm by 75cm rectangle of towelling fabric and use a medium sized plate as a template to round off the corners, trimming them accordingly. Cut two 7cm wide pieces of printed floral cotton, cutting across the full length of the fabric. Join at the short edges to make a continuous strip, machine stitching with right sides together.
Place the cotton strip onto the towelling, positioning it 1.5cm in from each edge with right sides together, aligning the raw edges, and pin. Take care not to stretch the fabric tightly at the curves - you can gather the material slightly if needed to ease the fit when the material is turned out. Fold under the short ends of the strip where it joins to give a neat finish.
Sew a straight machine stitch all around the border, working 5mm in from the outside edge of the cotton strip. Turn the cotton right sides out and wrap over the edge of the towelling, easing the corners. Turn the towelling over and use the visible line of stitching as a guide to fold in the raw edge of the cotton and pin into place. Sew along the pinned line, working 2mm in from the folded edge to make a neat line of stitching on both sides of the towel.
Add appliqué details. Roughly cut floral motifs from remnants of the printed cotton fabric. Back each with a piece of fusible interfacing, before cutting out the design precisely. Pin a flower motif to each corner of the towel and oversew into place with small hand stitches.
Finish with a bath scrubber
Cut a 30cm x 150cm piece of hot pink netting and fold both long edges into the middle so they overlap by 2cm. Sew a continuous line of wide, straight machine stitch down the centre through all the layers, to act as a gather stitch. Pull up the net tightly to ruche and secure. Twist the gathered net into a rosette shape and secure with a few hand stitches through the centre.
Take a 12cm x 22cm piece of white towelling fabric and fold in half lengthwise. Work a straight machine stitch down the long raw edges to join and turn right sides out to make a tube. Press, to flatten out, centring the seam line on one side. Trim a 5cm x 22cm piece of floral printed cotton. Fold 1cm to the wrong side along both of the long edges and pin down the centre of the tube, covering the seam line. Stitch into place, working 5mm in from each folded edge.
Fold the band in half, right side facing outwards, and stitch across the raw edges to join into a ring. Trim away any excess material and hand stitch the net rosette over the top to cover the join. Puff out the folded edges of the rosette to finish.