Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Those Crazy Tea Towels!

Ok, it *could* be said I have an addiction to tea towels (may be called fingertip or guest towels where you are).  I find them fairly easily (thank you thrift stores and estate sales!).  There seems to be no end to the designs that creative embroiderers thought to stitch on them.  

Making these dresses is a bit like eating salted peanuts...it's hard to quit once you start! 
Each is a bit of a surprise when it is done and I find myself digging out "just one more towel" and making another, and another....  

For the trim on each I make my own bias tape out of 100% cotton fabric because the ready-made stuff is poor quality and doesn't have much variety.  I also use vintage rickrack which is 100% cotton, unlike the new stuff.  Vintage is also much smaller and more delicate (and the very devil to get tucked under the bias but ya gotta love a challenge!)  

These are examples of my work, and as such are sold, but I plan to make more and will post them when I do!  I charge $30 each and they include a panty because we don't want those girls going without! 

towels with animals are very hard to find!
this is not vintage....they are currently made in China, but the stitching is still very nice!

huck toweling with embroidery floss woven in the "floats."  I took a class on doing this and never could quite master it!

Modern towel with a fun camel machine embroidered on it!

Towels with people are hard to find, too!

More huck toweling mastery! Kudos to the talented embroiderer, wherever you are!

A pretty little embroidered spot that I had to back with fabric so we can't see her undies!

Is it my imagination or has Gia managed to model a lot of these dresses?!

Sometimes the stars align, and so does the embroidery!  I like the way it wraps around the neckline.

Gia again....give someone else a chance, would ya?

The embroidery was so delicate that I used lace instead of rickrack...it seemed like the right thing to do!

Modern towel with a cute bunny!! Who could resist?!

I particularly like this one....should have kept it! sigh....

I found 2 tea towels alike...rare!  I did different trim colors on each (see below, too!)

A friend's pretty girl in a dress with coordinating sandals!  I wish she could do all my photography!!

the "headless photography" phase begins....


  1. Sensational Marti, everyone is so special because of all that beautiful work. So much better being shown off in such a sympathetic way than drying a cup!

  2. All of them are wonderful and the fun of these is that they are all so individual even though the same dress pattern is used. My favourite is the the one with the lady in the bonnet, fifth one down.

  3. LOVELY! You don't store them in your closet, but making that nice little dresses!

    My fav is the first 'headless photo' or the 'delicate lace' one or... o_O
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. thanks! You can see how it could become addictive to sew them!

  4. Now my first comment was eaten...
    These little dresses are great, and perfect for summer. My favourite is the mayflower design.

    WHERE is the next flea market?

    1. lol! Just keep your eye out...the little towels are out there! I find one here and there. One thing I don't find is vintage baby clothes, so perhaps each region has different things?

  5. I love how the use of the vintage tea towels give each dress a unique look. I can understand how once you start and see the result you have to carry on. Beautiful work

    1. thanks! I do think, "well, let me do just one more" when I probably should be off to the next project!

  6. How beautiful! I've never seen a 'tea towel' like these before!! If I had to pick a favourite I think the second last with the posy of purple flowers :)