I wasn’t expecting to be asked for sweatbands.
I mean, does anyone ever really expect their youngest child to request such a thing?
But such a thing was requested, and as such, I did my best to oblige…
Using some wide elastic, liberated from my grandmother’s stash, and an old towel with a hole in the centre, I cobbled together perfectly adequate sweat bands. Or at least, the small child seemed happy with them. But that’s not really the end of the story.
I was left with the rest of a very bald towel. And I hate throwing away fabric, even when it is as ancient as this.
I honestly don’t know how that hole got there…
This came at a fortuitous time, though, because my knitted dishcloths look like this…
Massive holes all round.
I decided to do what anyone would do – I cut up the remains of the towel for dishcloths.
I started off by cutting through the hole, then by cutting those halves into quarters. Luckily everything came out pretty evenly, but you cut your cloth according to what you have…
I ended up with 8 good sized dish cloths. Despite the baldness of the fabric, though, I found that the edges were pretty prone to fraying.
So, out came the sewing machine.
I started by folding each edge over twice, but this was a lot of fiddly work, and it all got very thick on the corners. Normally, that wouldn’t be an issue for the Jones, but I’ve run out of ‘period-correct’ fully round needles so I’m down to modern ‘organ’ needles. These work, but have slightly different proportions so the machine tends to struggle to catch the bottom bobbin on thicker projects.
I abandoned the double fold for a single folded hem and this worked just as well in stopping the fabric from disintegrating.
When it came to the cloth which had been right next to the hole, I just made a slight detour with the presser foot and everything came out ok…
It’s not perfect, but honestly, who cares when it’s a dish cloth?
And that’s really all there is to it. It took around 20 minutes from start to finish to make 8 cloths in total (but would be faster on an electric machine). These are also 100% cotton, so whilst 20 minutes of time vs 85p for a pack of 5 dish cloths isn’t a huge financial saving, it does prevent plastic microfibres from entering the water system, and it’s one fewer towel destined for landfill at the end of its life.
What do you do with your old towels? We used a lot as packing material when cleaning out my in-laws house so we have many, and only one dog to use them on! I’d love to hear any suggestions!