Recycled Rally Towel Jacket

Introduction: Recycled Rally Towel Jacket

A recent closet clean-out revealed an accumulation of an alarming number of rally towels in our home. Once they have been wrung of the tears they have absorbed (as you can see from this collection, largely tears of disappointment rather than joy) what can one do with such a collection? How many dishtowels does one really need? I thought I'd make them into a warm-up jacket, possibly to guard against a chill some future October night or cold ice rink. So, let's dream it up, shall we?

You'll need:
  • Rally towels (I used five)
  • Contrast fabric (I used a yard of medium weight blue jersey)
  • A zipper
  • A diagram/plan, (for instance you can sketch out your idea using SketchBookPro...)

Step 1: Create the Fabric

  1. Pick out the edge stitching on each towel and iron them.
  2. Cut each towel into four strips lengthwise.
  3. Cut each strip in half.
  4. Arrange the strips into an abstract brick pattern. I created two "sheets" of fabric for the front and back of the jacket, intentionally keeping one of them mostly a solid red with the blue pattern on one end. I colored in the few white bits on this sheet with a red sharpie.
  5. Sew the pieces together. I used a serger and then a regular machine to topstich.

Step 2: Create & Cut Pattern Pieces

  1. To make the pattern I used a jacket I already had as a guide. I made four pieces, for the front, back, sleeves and side panels.
  2. Use the towel fabric for the front and back, and a contrast fabric (here, a blue jersey) for the side panels.
  3. Cut a long strip of the contrast fabric and fold in half and iron. This will be be used for the bottom waistband band and the collar.

Step 3: Assemble the Jacket Pieces

  1. Sew the front pieces to the side panels and the side panels to the back.
  2. If you want a jacket lining, cut out the front, back and side pattern pieces again with a lining fabric, and sew them to the outside pieces along the edges.
  3. Sew the sleeve pieces together at the underarm, and set them into the jacket. Hem the cuffs.
  4. Sew the waistband and collar piece to the bottom and top.
  5. Sew in the front zipper.
  6. Rally.
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