How to Sew Reusable Towels

Crafty projects are often messy and require a lot of paper towels to clean up.  Are you looking to reduce your environmental impact and cut back on what you throw away? This DIY reusable towel tutorial is super easy and can be done in just about an hour or so.

This is an excellent way to use up fabric remnants or even repurpose some old pajama pants. Need a gift idea? Find some cute fabric and make an environmentally sustainable gift basket for the makers in your life!

Reusable Towels BERNINA Blog: Cat

Reusable Towels Tutorial: Toolbox finished

Materials to Make Your Reusable Towel:

Step 1: Cut the Fabric for your Reusable Towel

Measure your fabric and divide the number into equal portions in order to use the most material. Our fabric measured 42 x 36 and we divided it into six 14 x 12 squares. Mark the desired size on the material with chalk or a washable pencil.

Cut the fabric along a ruler with your scissors or rotary cutter. We really like to use Famore’ brand rotary blades and scissors. If you have already purchased a rotary cutter and find it getting dull, this Tungsten Carbide Famore’ Rotary Blade cuts really well and stays sharp for a long time.

Reusable Towels Tutorial: Mark Fabric

Reusable Towels Tutorial: Cut Fabric

Reusable Towels Tutorial: Cut Fabric Closeup

Step 2: Attach BERNINA #2 Overlock Presser Foot

This foot is going to help make it really easy to stitch the raw edges of the fabric. The small prong on the bottom will keep the fabric in place and prevent tunneling even though we are stitching right on the edge. Any ol’ BERNINA Universal Needle will work just fine for this project.

Reusable Towels Tutorial: Foot #2

Reusable Towels Tutorial: Foot #2 Pin Closeup


Step 3: Select #19 Reinforced Overlock Stitch

While you can probably use any zig-zag stitch or serger if you have one, we found the #19 Reinforced Overlock Stitch was really strong and had a nice finished look for these reusable towels.

Reusable Towels Tutorial: Stitch #19

Step 4: Sew Edges of Reusable Towel

Line up the raw fabric edge with the prong on the #2 Foot and begin sewing along the entire length of the square.

Reusable Towels Tutorial: Foot Pin Along Fabric

Stitching around corners of the towel:

Stitch until you reach the corner of the fabric. With the needle in the up position, lift up the foot and pull fabric backwards and down so it unhooks from the #2 Foot prong.

Reusable Towels Tutorial: Pivot fabric step one

Reusable Towels Tutorial: Pivot fabric step two

Pivot the fabric square around 90 degrees, lining up the next edge, and put the foot back down.

Reusable Towels Tutorial: turn fabric

Continue sewing along the raw edge until the next corner and repeat until finished! Be sure to back stitch and/or leave the tails long and hand tie a couple of knots before trimming.

Reusable Towels Tutorial: Finished Towel

These can be folded and stored in a drawer or even rolled up on an existing Paper towel holder. When soiled, you can machine wash your towels in warm water on the gentle cycle using mild detergent and tumble dry on medium heat.

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