Liberty Tea Towels
One of the many reasons I love Liberty of London fabric is that it evokes an English countryside fantasy I’ve always harbored. As a child, I would get lost in the worlds of Beatrix Potter, The Secret Garden, and Brambly Hedge. I was captivated by the soft colors of their illustrations, their images of teatime and frilly frocks. My favorite Liberty of London florals all remind me of those charming books!
Recently, Purl Soho received Liberty of London’s new Tana Lawn Seasonal prints, many of which were beautiful florals! What better way to use this fabric than in a set of soft tea towels straight from my childhood daydreams!
For strength and absorbency, I used creamy porcelain Prairie Cloth as the base and added the incredible Irma print to one end. These simple tea towels are put together in a novel way that encases the end in a pure swath of Liberty. With only one visible seam, it’s as if they were dipped in the pretty print!
To make a set of two tea towels:
- 3/4- yards of Prairie Cloth in Porcelain
- 1/2- yard Liberty of London Tana Lawn Seasonal Pink Irma
- 100% cotton thread in color 1040
You will also need a pencil.
If you’d like to make a different amount you can get two towels per 3/4-yards of Prairie Cloth or one towel per 1/2 yard. You can get 4 towels from each 1/2 yard of the Tana Lawn.
15 X 25-inches
For each tea towel cut:
- a 17 X 26-inch piece from the Prairie Cloth
- a 16 X 13-inch piece form the Tana Lawn
Double fold the and press 1/2-inch along both long sides of the Prairie Cloth. Pin the pressed folds in place and sew them down with an edge stitch. The folded side is now the wrong side.
Double fold, press, and pin 1/2-inch down towards the wrong side along one of the short sides of the Prairie Cloth. Sew this fold down with an edge stitch. Keep the second short side of the Prairie Cloth unsewn.
Orient the Tana Lawn wrong side facing up with its short sides as the height and the long sides as its width. The print should be facing upwards (not upside down.)
Using your pencil, mark a line 1/2-inch and parallel from the right, left, and bottom sides. Make a mark 1/4-inch parallel from the top edge.
Press the Tana Lawn piece in half widthwide, wrong sides together. Unfold the piece so that there is a crease across the middle.
Orient the Prairie Cloth with it’s wrong side facing up and its raw short edge at the top.
Using your pencil make a small mark at the left and right hemmed edges, 5 1/2-inches below the raw edge.
Turn the marked Tana Lawn piece upside down so the bottom 1/2-inch mark is on top with the wrong side still facing up. Place the bottom raw edge of the Tana Lawn just below the pencil marks on the sides of the Prairie Cloth. Center the Tana Lawn so that it’s side markings line up with the hemmed edges of the Prairie Cloth. Pin the Tana Lawn in place along the raw edge
Sew the Tana Lawn to the Prairie Cloth along the 1/2-inch pencl mark.
Fold and press the Tana Lawn over towards its right side along this newly sewn seam.
Press the Tana Lawn piece in half width wise, right sides together this time. (The opposite direction of how you pressed it in the marking section, but along the same crease.) Press the 1/4-inch top marking of the Tana lawn down towards the wrong side.
Pin the raw left and right sides together of just the folded Tana Lawn. Do not pin the Prairie cloth.
Before you sew along these pinned edges look at the other side of the pinned edge. The front edge of the Tana Lawn (the side that has been pressed 1/4-inch down) should go a bit past the back edge (the sewn down side.)
Sew the pinned sides of the Tana Lawn together with a 1/2-inch seam allowance, along the pencil markings, sewing down the sides right and left sides of the 1/4-inch fold in the process. Do not sew the Prairie cloth in this step. Snip off the corners of the seam allowance at the fold. You will now have a shallow Tana Lawn Pouch with one side of it’s opening sewn to the Prairie Cloth and the opposite side folded 1/4-inch towards the wrong side.
Flip the whole thing over so the right side of the Prairie Cloth is facing up. Turn the Tana Lawn pouch right sides out. Press the pouch flat with its corners poked out and the 1/4-inch fold nice and straight.
Tuck the raw end of the Prairie Cloth inside of the pouch. It should lay flat and fit like a glove. If it doesn’t, don’t despair, just trim the raw edge of the Prairie Cloth down until it fits neatly in the pouch.
Press the pouch flat again and pin the folded edge to the prairie cloth making sure that the edge of the fold is roughly 1/4-inch above the opposite side of the pouch.
Sew the pinned side down with an edge stitch.
Be careful to sew just along the edge of the fold.
Turn the towel over. The top edge of the backside of the Tana Lawn should not have been sewed on. Instead, the seam should be almost invisible, just above the top edge of the Tana Lawn. If this isn’t the case, rip out the seam and try again. With a tea towel this simple you want the details to be perfect!
Repeat for the remaining tea towels and you’re ready for a tea party!