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FREE hooded baby towel pattern and sewing tutorial

by Anya Dunham, PhD

Sew an apron-style hooded baby towel using this free pattern – convenient for you and cozy for your little one!

You can buy cute hooded baby towels, but it’s almost impossible to wrap babies in these little towels right out of the bath. You have to spread the towel on a changing table or on the floor and then carry your baby to it – and a wet and cold baby can get quite unhappy!

Here is a neat solution: sew a larger, apron-like hooded towel – convenient for you and cozy for your baby. Read on for a free hooded baby towel pattern and a step-by-step tutorial.

Mother holding baby wrapped in a towel sewn using hooded baby towel pattern

This baby towel wraps around your neck like an apron, keeping your hands free as you bathe your baby and protecting you from splashing. As you take your baby out of the bath, you can hold him to your chest right away - and quickly cover his head and body to keep him cozy and warm.

It's a fun, quick, and easy sewing project. The best part is that you and your baby will be able to use this towel every day for a number of month (like other long-lasting DIY makes). Sew it for your own baby or as a gift!

You will need:

  • Baby towel pattern (PDF)
  • 44’ x 53’ piece of thin cotton terry or bamboo terry towel fabric
  • 8’ x 16’ scrap of accent fabric (knit or woven)
  • 1 set of snaps and a snap setting tool
  • Scissors or a rotary cutter and a cutting mat
  • Serger (overlocker) or a sewing machine
  • Sewing thread

Hooded baby towel pattern instructions:

1. Print out hooded baby towel pattern at 100% scale. (Double-check to make sure the 1’ squares measure exactly 1’ on your printed pattern.) Cut out pattern pieces on dotted lines. You should have 3 pieces labeled A, B, and C.

Cut fabric pieces for making a hooded baby towel

2. Time to cut your fabric.

Towel fabric: 

  • Cut out a 44’ x 44’ square; this is the main towel piece. Place pattern A in one corner and cut out the neck opening. Set the main towel piece aside.
  • Using the remainder of your towel fabric, cut out 2 tabs using pattern B. Fold the rest of your fabric in half and cut one hood piece on fold using pattern C.

Accent fabric:  

  • Fold in half and cut one hood piece on fold using pattern C. If you are using a directional print, orient your fabric as I did in my photo above: the long edge of the triangle should be the bottom.

3. Serge or zigzag across the short straight edges of the two tabs. Line them up with the edges of the neck opening of the main towel piece and pin in place:

Baby towel construction: tabs

4. Place the two hood pieces right sides together, with all edges lined up. Serge or straight-stitch along the long edge. Flip right side out. Top-stitch along the edge. (Or, leave the seam as is, as I did below):

Baby towel construction: sewing the hood
Baby towel construction: hood right side up

5. Take the main towel piece and flip it over: the pinned-on tabs are now on the underside. Pin the hood piece onto the corner across from the tabs, lining up the raw edges, like so:

Attaching hood to towel

7. Now it’s time to sew everything together. Serge or zigzag around the whole perimeter of the towel, attaching the hood and the tabs as you go. If you want to add a tag, a good spot is along the top of the hood:

Sewing machine attaching tag to baby towel

Be sure to carefully catch all the raw edges, especially where the hood joins the main towel piece:

Sewing machine serging through layers of fabric

Once you finished sewing around the towel, it will look like this:

Hooded baby towel laying flat

8. Finally, attach your snaps to the tabs to form the neck loop:

Baby towel before attaching snaps
Baby towel with snaps attached
Baby towel with snaps snapped together
Mother holding baby in a towel after a bath

And you are done!

As you get ready to bathe your baby, snap the towel around your neck with the hood facing forward. After bath, lift your baby onto your chest, hold him securely and place the hood on his head – snug as a bug! When baby is ready to be diapered and dressed, unsnap the neck loop and lay your baby down safely.

We have been using our towel daily from when our baby was a newborn. And we are still using it now, at 8 months old.

Using hundreds of scientific studies, Baby Ecology connects the dots to help you create the best environment for sleep, feeding, care, and play for your baby.

Book cover with baby on green grass and text Baby Ecology