One More Beach Towel Summertime Coverup DIY….

It’s become toasty hot this week in Rocket Town, so it’s getting about that time to finally lose the wetsuits for the Summer. Hallelujah. Warm water, warmer muscles, less problems for this middle-aged surfer chick.

I usually wear a rash guard and long Lycra shorts or leggings when I surf in the Summer- I don’t want to get yet another gnarly burn. I’ll wear a bikini underneath, but rarely on it’s own. Yikes.

Those are far easier to get out of than wrestling a wetsuit off in the cold, potentially pulling down my bikini bottoms with it. More yikes + TMI.

That’s why I made the style of towel in my last post, and it works year round. This type reduces the possibility of showing something whilst changing, but it can be quite hot to use for changing if it’s a 100 degrees out. 

Enter the style of towel I made for myself in this project. I’ll admit it’s not my idea, it’s a knockoff of another idea for a changing towel sold commercially that I saw on a friend. But, like I said in my last post, it’s a towel with a slit in it. In this case, you’ll just slice it all the way in half. Ooooooh.

Believe in your dreams

So, the old version I made years ago is super boring faded gray blue, made from an old guest bath towel. For this one, I splurged and got an actual beach towel from T.J. Maxx with crazy bright flamingoes covering it. The dimensions after washing it several times (reduces the pile of the terry too, so the gathering won’t be so bulky) was about 60″ by 36″. Pretty huge.

This looks about par for the course for me

I found the center, and used the print as a cutting guide, instead of the actual dimensions of the towel. If I measured it that way, the print could come out looking wonky.

Using the metal straight edge- like a pool cue line- I cut down the middle of the beaks of the flamingoes with the rotary cutter. This will make a good length for each half.

Lining up the cutting line

Using the rotary cutter tool

Time to change my blade- didn’t go on the first pass, and it’s ALREADY fraying


Of course, I needed to overlock the edge right away to prevent crazy fraying. I just used my machine for this one with an overlock foot:

I like to use a longer stitch length on terrycloth

So, I’m going to take the halves, turn them so the edge I just overlocked is now the top edge to be gathered. I overlapped one side edge over the other by two inches and pinned the halves together. Since I’m going to make a casing for elastic on the top edge of 1″, I’m going to sew the halves together straight down at least two inches, stop, and tack it well. I measured down 15″ from there, put in another marking pin to show where to resume stitching. This will create a pseudo pocket opening with some cover. Bluntly, this will allow me to access my bikini to remove it without anyone seeing what’s underneath, and allows me to put on a bra and fasten it while the towel’s on. Also while not being an over-your-head towel for Summer. Bonanza.

Overlapping two inches

15″ side access opening

The second side was tricky since I was sewing the cylinder shape shut, but I just sewed down from each edge, and it barely worked, but it worked, giving me a decent sized but not too wide access panel /pocket.
Before making the casing for the elastic at the top, I wanted to reduce the bulk and minimize hang ups of the elastic when I was threading it, so I cut out the area where the towels overlapped.

Cutting the bulk out with pinking shears

Bye dude

Next, I folded down the top two inches to make the casing for the 3/4″ non-roll elastic. I sewed the casing down just off the overlocked area, allowing for plenty of space to draw the elastic through.

Sewing the casing

Sewn down, leave an opening for the elastic

A bodkin’s handy for this

Make sure the elastic’s not twisted in the casing

I spread out the elastic in the casing evenly, tacked it down in a few spots, and DONE.

The “front” of this coverup should be where the front half of the towel overlaps the back for easiest access. Hopefully the pseudopockets are both facing in the right direction (a major worry always). Putting a bow on the front helps you know quicker than a tag inside the coverup.

Rainbow Brite goes to the Beach

I had just come back from a surf session- showing you a reflective modeling moment

7 thoughts on “One More Beach Towel Summertime Coverup DIY….

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