Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Unpaper Towel Tutorial Part 1

Recently on Facebook a conversation fired up about Unpaper Towels and how amazing they are - a must have! One of my customers, Heather, took the lead by posting multiple tutorials for several of you who asked for them, and she commented on the parts of each tutorial she liked and why. That was a really fun thread, thank you again to all of you who participated! I messaged Heather and asked her if she would be interested in writing a tutorial for all of us and as busy as she is, she said YES! Get ready to be impressed, these are gorgeous as well as my new favorite thing!!!

Unpaper towels have an unbelievable amount of uses that greatly help the environment as well as your wallet! A six pack of paper towels often runs around $2-$3 a roll and over time, that adds up to be quite a lot! Being that there are so many daily uses for paper towels, unpaper towels pay for themselves very quickly and are a one-time cost. When it comes to little ones, unpaper towels are very handy because we all know they like to make messes! Unpaper towels are great for cleaning spills, wiping the counter top, drying your hands and thrown right in the laundry. Easy enough! The addition of snaps make the unpaper towel even more beneficial as they can be clipped anywhere you might need one. In my extended amounts of time on the internets, I came across a great use for unpaper towels and ice packs. Putting an ice pack inside the unpaper towel and closing the snaps keeps the ice pack in place and looks cute! I could never run out of uses for unpaper towels and it makes me even happier knowing I have one less thing to remember at the store!

Start this wonderful journey by assembling your materials:
- Rotary Cutter
- Cutting Mat
- Quilting Ruler
- 2 Yards of Flannel (or 1 Yard Flannel & 1 Yard Terry Cloth)
- Snaps & Pliers
- Scissors

1. I chose Robert Kaufman’s Bermuda Remix Chevron flannel as well as Bermuda Remix Dots flannel from StitchStashDiva. I decided to make two rolls of unpaper towels and compare them at the end. One roll will be flannel on one side and terry cloth on the other. The second roll will be double sided flannel. The terry cloth I had already laying around in my stash. If you do not want to make a trip to the store for terry cloth, cut up any old towels you might have for an even cheaper option.
2. For once in my nine years of sewing, I started by actually washing and drying the fabric first. I am far too impatient to wash my fabric before cutting in to it..oops! I did one roll of half sheets and one roll of full sheets. For the half sheets, I cut my fabric into 12 pieces 11”x6”. If using a full yard, you could get about 20 sheets. For the full sheets, I cut 12 pieces 11”x9” which took up the whole yard.

3. Now it is time to head to the sewing machine! I recently bought a serge machine to make my life a little easier and will be using that to make the unpaper towels. Please excuse my not so perfect serging…I am still getting a hang of this machine! If you do not have a serge machine, the turned and top stitched method works but is just a bit more time consuming. Start by placing flannel and terry cloth pieces wrong sides together and go around all the edges of each piece.** For the alternate method, place flannel and terry cloth right sides together. Go around the edges with a ¼” seam allowance, leaving a small opening to turn right side out. I like to go around the edges before turning and clip the corners for a pointier corner. After turning right side out, go around all the edges with a 1/8” seam allowance, making sure to close the opening.

4. Time for the snaps! For a set of 12 unpaper towels you will need 48 caps, 24 sockets and 24 studs. In the picture I laid out the snaps to show the difference between caps, sockets and studs since that can be a bit confusing sometimes! For KAM snaps, please visit: I Like Big Buttons.

5. Use the awl provided in snapping kits and poke a hole in each corner at about a ¼” in from the edge. I never precisely mark my holes, I usually eyeball where the snaps should go with good results.

6. On the right side top and bottom holes I insert the cap into the hole from terry cloth side. Place the socket onto the cap and squeeze shut with the pliers. Do this for both holes on the right side.
7. On the left side top and bottom, I place the cap into the hole from the flannel side. Hold the cap in to place with your finger and flip the corner so that the terry cloth is facing you and place the stud on the cap. Squeeze shut for both corners on the left side.

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