When I first made one of these towel coverups a few years back, I noticed a lot of surfers were interested in making their own too- that includes the bros too! A lot of the mass market surfing coverups are outright expensive and they usually come in Henry Ford’s idea of color selection of products: black, black, and black. These coverups are so easy to make, even if you must hand sew them, it’s still worth the effort for a useful object. They won’t last forever, but it’s nice for objects to pull double duty as a towel/changing robe. Has a nice Zen quality….
I love using store bought beach towels (or used!) for this project. Buying terrycloth off the bolt from a fabric store is PRICEY and usually limited to baby blue, pink and yellow solid pastel colors. This use is also a great way to reuse older, thinner towels too. In this case, I used new beach towels in this project, but do I save old terrycloth??? Of COURSE I do!
A friend of mine wanted me to make her a changing robe with a hood in a nice ocean blue color, so I found a nice ocean themed beach towel at the outlet store, and I chose a hand towel in a contrasting shell pink to use for the hood. Together, the cost was $15. Yay! A lot better than $75 for a plain black RipCurl changing towel. Bleh.
I made a changing towel similar in style to my Deluxe Terrycloth Changing Towel I made last year- with just a few changes.
Some more things I learned from working with terrycloth, at least from these type of projects:
1. Wash the heck out of the towels at least twice in HOT water BEFORE sewing. It seems to minimize fuzz, and I get to see if the quality of the towel is good, while removing whatever chemicals may still be on the surface of the towel after manufacturing.
2. Overlock or serge your cut edges ASAP after cutting. Terrycloth frays out very easily.
3. Use a roller foot or walking foot for easier stitching on terrycloth. It glides over the material better, and seems to be a lot more forgiving.
4. Use a lighter tension and longer stitches when sewing. Since the material is pretty thick, it seems to keep the stitching more even.
Basically, on a 36″ by 60″ beach towel, I’m going to cut a hole in the middle of the towel for the head, fold it over, and stitch a little up each side, leaving openings for the arms. That’s really all there is to it! I added a hood by measuring the length of the hood base, and allowing that to be the neck circumference. I made a front slit in the neckline to allow a bit easier donning.
One of my favorite shows is Shark Tank, and if you’ve watched this show for a while, you’ll remember a lady who pitched “ShowNo”, a:
“Towel with a slit in it”
– Kevin O’Leary, Shark Tank
So this idea has been around a while, but that lady was smart and inked a sweet Disney deal out of it.
We can’t let her win. It’s a towel with a slit in it. Go for it. Make your own and don’t let that Disney sellout get you down, yo. DIY’ers can’t hold back the gnar- thrash it, bro.