Tutorial: Spring tea towels

A stack of pretty ric rac spools caught my eye in the shop and I decided to use them in a springtime update on this tea towel tutorial! Whip up a set of these pretty tea towels as a hostess gift or to brighten up your own kitchen. In Easter egg-inspired pastels, sweet ric rac trim adds nostalgic charm to the timeless beauty of natural linen.

As always, the easiest tutorials come from me so read on for a quick but absolutely lovely project! This tutorial is light on photos because the last, similar tutorial is heavy on them so refer back if you need to.



To make three tea towels, you’ll need the following:

  • 1.25m Essex Linen in Natural cut into 72cm x 50cm pieces
  • About 3m ric rac in each of three colours (we used Sky Blue, Mint Green and Bubble Gum Pink)
  • Thread to match each colour of ric rac



If you’re using regular ribbon or twill tape, as in our Kitsch Kitchen tea towel tutorial, you’ll only need to fold over the hem of your tea towels once because the raw edge will be stitched beneath the ribbon. But with ric rac you’ll need to fold it over twice. I kept the hem very narrow, about .25 inch all the way around.


Give your ric rac a quick press too, to make it nice and flat.



Now if you like, you can pin your ric rac all the way around. I only did this on the first tea towel. After that I realised it was quicker and easier to go slow and line things up as I sewed.


Your aim here is to get the centre of your ric ric on the outside edge of the fold, so when you stitch you’re going straight down the centre of the trim and securing the hem. It’s cute if a little bit of trim is visible from the other side so don’t worry about that.


About a quarter inch seam worked for me but check your hem and adjust as necessary.


When you get to the top left corner of your towel (when the ric arc side is facing you) you’ll want to create a loop.


Keep your needle down and pivot at the corners.


Remember that you’re using coloured thread so your stitches will be visible on the reverse – so make them straight!


At the corners just fold your ric arc over and tuck your corners in neatly.



And if your ends don’t line up perfectly it’s not the end of the world. Just tuck the raw edge under and sew them neatly.


Some of mine came out better than others!


Ooh, so pretty!



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