Margarita Bar Towel

Ok, so I’m going to blame Frank for this. Was it his fault? No, I never said that, I just said I was going to blame him.

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So, you ask how was this his fault? I bought him a shirt for the rehearsal dinner. (In case you didn’t know, youngest son is getting hitched in June) and I asked him to try it on. Several times I asked him to try it on…. I got an XL because I loved the shirt, and they didn’t have a large. I’m pretty handy with the sewing machine, and I figured I could just take it in some. Problem was, he wouldn’t try it on while I was available to mark it. Long Story short, he tried it on alone, told me it was really big, and I took it upon myself to take it in, sans measurements. Needless to say I took it in too much! Ugh! A perfectly good, Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville Shirt, too small!!

After blaming him relentlessly, and a good nights sleep. INSPIRATION!! Bar towels for the Margarita bar at the rehearsal dinner. GENUIS….

Supplies needed:

One super cool Magaritaville Shirt (made too small) or any other print you’re fond of

Colored bar towels to match fabric (mine were 16″x19″)

Simplicity pattern #1483 (make sure you get these on sale)

Sewing machine and some time to kill

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So early this morning, scissors in hand, I chopped up what was left of the shirt, removed the super cool buttons (they say Margaritaville on them) and began redeeming my sewing confidence. I did use a pattern, Simplicity #1483, since I really didn’t want to screw this up. This pattern retails for $17.95, but if you watch for your local fabric/craft store sales, they will go on sale for 5/$5.00.

I picked this one up months ago during one of those sales, and finally used it on this project.

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I may have spent a little too much time attempting to get the coolest parts of the fabric strategically  placed. Could of probably gotten another set of tops, but I tend to fuss over details.

Worked out OK, I got five tops, and the package of bar towels came with five!

The tissue pattern made it easy to see placement over the prints.

You could totally do this without a pattern, in fact next time I will improvise the front flap into a curved or squared shape instead of the point.

Just make a newspaper square about 8 1/2″ X 4 1/2″ for the base, a 5″ wide middle piece, and 6 1/2 x 4″ flap.

The overall size approx 9″ x 9″.

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When cutting them out, I did utilize the sleeves (the already hemmed edge) for the bottoms of a couple of the towel tops.

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If you are using an obvious one way print, be sure to cut one side upside down. Because after you sew them together, the “flap” needs to be upside down so its right side up when finished.

Sew according to directions, right sides together. leaving the bottom open. Turn and press a hem along the bottom edge (some were already done) and stitch that down.

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The pattern calls for velcro on the flap to attach, but I opted for a button/buttonhole option. The buttons from the shirt were cool, and since my “Opal” does them automatically, why not?

Next step, I removed the hem from one of the short sides of the bar towel. (to reduce bulk) and gathered along that edge.

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Another of Opal’s super cool attachments, is this automatic ruffler. Made gathering the towels super easy and fast.

Next, I just put the gathered edge of the towel inside the top, the pattern calls for it to be sewn along the bottom edge, but my towels seemed long (I didn’t trim to 13″) so I put them all the way into the square portion. Pinned the corners and across the top, then topstitched across and down each side to secure the towel inside.

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Final step, I sewed the buttons on, going through the front and the towel, but not the back of the topper. (that made it pucker, and I didn’t like how that looked)

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There they are… Margaritaville Bar towels, ready for the Margarita Bar at the Rehearsal Dinner!

So when you screw up, pretend like you meant to, and look for inspiration to cover it up!

Enjoy,

Debbie

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Amish Inspired Kitchen Angel

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I have a confession, I totally stole this little Angel from a lovely Amish crafter in Pennsylvania. Not so literally, I paid for one and brought it home. But, I dismantled her to figure out how to make them for my friends and family. Hope the Good Lord forgives me, but she was too cute not to duplicate and give away.  I made this one from Christmas towels and pot holders I found in the clearance section after the holidays.  Overall prints, solids, and border prints work best. For once, buying the cheaper towels and wash cloths works for the better. I tried the fluffier ones, but found them difficult to work with. My original still hangs in my kitchen, however she has allowed a couple of items to burn, I guess she’s reminding me to stay on the good side.

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Items you will need:

Kitchen towel (color or print to suit your taste or kitchen)

Pot holder (solid or matching print)

Dishcloth or washcloth in a color to compliment

1/4″ – 1/2″ ribbon

20 gauge wire

business cards (I laminated mine)

scissors

hole punch

wire cutters

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Start by fan folding your towel along the long side. I make each tuck about an inch across. This one was easy since it had a checkerboard print. Fold the towel in half pinching the pleats together.  *tip: I removed all the tags from the towel, potholder and washcloth because they just get in the way and seem to stick out in the worst places.

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Take a piece of wire, 6″ long and twist it around the towel approximately 3″ down from the top fold. (this becomes her head).  Leave the ends of the wire long so you can attach the arms and wings.

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Roll the washcloth tightly into a tube,  and wrap it around the towel, with the ends inside. Using the ends of the wire you just placed, secure the “arms” to the back of towel. Bring them around to the front, and take a separate piece of 4″ wire and secure her “wrists” together near the ends.

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Next take the pot holder and “scrunch” it to form the wings. This takes a little muscle in your fingers to hold it while placing 4″ piece of wire to hold it’s shape.  *tip: place your thumb in the hanging loop of the pot holder and pinch the middle of the bottom upwards until you have several small folds. Place the wire through the hanging loop, and tie on the front of the wings. You can adjust the folds after tightening the wire, so they’re evenly spaced. Attach the wings, using the wire holding the arms and body, and the piece you just tied. Make sure you put the hanging loop of the pot holder at the top so you can hang her up! Be sure to put the “pretty” side facing forward, since the back is not seen. All the wires should be inside the back between the wings and body. Tighten and clip off any excess ends.

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I printed the verse on business cards, laminated them with self sealing pouches since they were going to be in the kitchen, and I was concerned the paper would get wet or dirty. I kept the verse the same as the original, but you are certainly at liberty to edit to your style. I used the hole punch to get a nice clean hanging hole, and threaded a 1/4′ ribbon through.

An Angel in the Kitchen

Watching the Stew

Blesses your Cooking

And All That You Do

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Finishing touches, I tied ribbons around her neck to hide the wire. I used two ribbons 1/4″ and 1/2″, two different colors, tied into a bow. Attached the card with a single 1/4″ ribbon around her wrist.

I hope you enjoy making and sharing these little angels. The original travelled across the country to find a California home, and inspired many copies.

Enjoy,

Debbie