This year I have gotten back into sewing after taking a few years off as a teenager and college student. My grandmother came to town with a beautiful vintage sewing machine (“all metal parts!”) and I was ready to jump right in. After many calls with her, a seasoned seamstress, I learned to oil and thread this quirky antique. I am now proud to announce that it is running just fine and has already completed several projects.
These unique tea towels are upcycled from large linen button down shirts from the thrift store. What I love about this project is how customizable it is! Have old linen sheets laying around? Use them! Want a pop of color? Rummage through your local thrift shop. I was craving some neutrals to complement my kitchen and look lovely next to a fresh loaf of sourdough. This method of upcycling old fabric is a great way to add beauty and function to your kitchen while saving money and reducing your environmental impact by not purchasing new linen.
This is a simple pattern for a very quick and easy result. All you will need to do is cut and hem the raw edges of the linen.
You will need:
Thread in a complimentary color
Tape measure or a towel to trace
Push Pins to mark hem line
1. Start by laying your linen out on a table and choosing a size for your tea towel. I layed a towel on top of my linen shirt and traced the shape with my fabric pencil. You can also decide on a length (I’d recommend 28.5″ by 19.5″) and use a measuring tape to draw your lines. Don’t forget to leave a ½ inch hem margin!
2. Cut along the lines you have drawn.
3. Iron or pin your hem into place.
4. Begin sewing your hem. I chose a tight zigzag pattern for mine, but any stitch will do. When you arrive at each corner of the hem, fold the corner at a right angle under the hem of the side you have just sewn. This should create neat and tidy corners.
5. When you are finished sewing, cut your thread and iron your hems for a beautiful and crisp result.