Saturday, May 25, 2013

#CreativeBudget - Pretty Reversible Tea Towel Tutorial

Sometimes, when money is tight, you just have to make do with what you have - even if it is falling apart/unpractical/you just hate it.

My kitchen is a prime example.

 The oven died the week before Christmas a couple of years ago. We had no money so we had to settle for the cheapest one we could get delivered and fitted as quickly as possible. What we had hoped to do was wait until the January sales to replace the dying cooker but fate clearly decided that was not going to be an option. The oven we ended up with truly was cheap and nasty - it works but the temperature gauge is iffy and the dial seems to turn by itself and heat the oven way too high resulting in stuff burning if you turn your back for five minutes. Unfortunately the company who supplied and fitted it (badly) have since gone bust and disappeared. We can't afford another so I'm stuck with it.

My sink is the same - a horrid white 'textured' plastic thing  - textured means it traps every speck of dirt that comes close to it and white means the dirt shows - no matter how hard I scrub it with bleach!  But it's a non standard size so not just a simple case of ripping it out and sticking a nice shiny stainless steel one in.We would need new worktop too...

 But we have no spare money so we have to make do.

 (I did manage to get some new cupboard doors for free a while back - they're not perfect but they were a lot better than the drab grey we had before! You can read about that here )

Thankfully there are ways you can change things up a little without spending too much cash!

My Abakhan creative budget project this month has been all about cheering up my kitchen and I had this little bundle of sweetness to do it with...

1 metre red cotton Gingham
1 metre sky blue strawberry print cotton (currently out of stock)
red gingham bias binding
blue polka dot bias binding
sky blue cord
100g ball white craft cotton

Nothing says cosy country kitchen better than red gingham don't you think? And the beautiful sky blue cotton  with strawberries and polka dots (always a winner in my book) is just perfect for kitchen accessories. Bright red and sky blue is one of my favourite colour combinations too!

The first thing I made with my fabric was this really simple reversible tea towel.

Simple Reversible Tea Towel Tutorial

You need four pieces of fabric - One 45cm x 45cm and one 15cm x 45cm in main fabric plus one 45cm x 45cm and one 15cm x 45cm in a contrast fabric.

Pin the small contrast fabric rectangle to the main fabric square along one 45cm edge and sew together using a 5mm seam allowance.
Do the same with the contrast fabric square and the small rectangle of main fabric.
Press the seams open.

You should now have 2 rectangles of fabric measuring approx 60cm x 45 cm

Pin your two rectangles right sides together, making sure you line up the seams where you have joined the panels as best as you can, and stitch all the way around, again using a 5mm seam allowance.

Leave a 10cm gap on one edge so you can turn your work the right way round. Trim the corners, turn and press.

Sew a row of top stitching (that's just a normal straight stitch that is visible rather than being a seam) in a contrast thread - I used red - as close to the edge of the tea towel as possible - this holds the fabric in place and closes up the gap you left to turn.

And that is it. Simples.

I love it! (I may have to force myself to actually use it though - it's so pretty!)

I think a bundle of these in co-ordinating fabrics would make a wonderful new home gift.  Add a matching pot holder, oven gloves, an apron and pretty knitted dishcloth (tutorials for all of these will follow in the next couple of weeks) for a pretty and practical gift that can easily be customised to suit the tastes and decor of the recipient.And all for under £20.

P.S.  Polka dots and gingham not your thing? Abakhan have a great selection of 100% cotton fabrics that would work well for this project. I am particularly loving this bird print which would look lovely with the checks or stripes.

As always I had a £15 budget to spend at Abakhan who supplied this bundle of goodies free of charge. No other payment has been received.


  1. Oh dear! Your kitchen too, huh? I know it is no consolation, but you are not alone with a cooker that has a mind of it's own and one of those textured sinks . . if only money grew on trees. Still, with sweet craft projects we can brighten and cheer up our places until such times as we win the lottery! Next step for me is replacing the curtains as inexpensively as possible.

    1. Glad it's not just me! I am learning to live with it but it is amazing what difference a few handmade accessories and a coat of pain make :-)

    2. *paint* not pain although sometimes it feels like it... lol!!

  2. Your tea towel is really pretty, love the contrast of the fabric patterns. You could try cleaning your sink with bicarbonate of soda and lemon juice mixed together.

  3. Our kitchen is a terrible state too but we've got to wait until next year to rectify it. I'm pinning this so I can cheer up my dreary little space and dream of prettier things :-) #tuesdaytutorials


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