How to make a robe from towels

Updated April 17, 2017

For a fast and easy project with minimal cutting, try a robe made from towels. Wear it as a bathrobe, beach robe or for hanging out. Towels offer a variety of price points, colours, prints, trims and sizes. If you have several kids, each child can choose the colours he'd like. Regardless of the wearer's height or shape, a towel robe allows for a custom fit.

Lay the towels side by side in pairs with the right sides up. Fold down and pin the top centre two corners on each pair of towels to form lapel shapes, with the sides and bottoms of the lapels 15 cm (6 inches) long. One pair of towels will form the front and the other will form the back.

Stitch the center back starting from the bottom using a 6 mm (quarter-inch) seam allowance. Stop at the base of the neck opening and lapel. Lay the back aside, right side up.

Place the zipper under the centre front with the top stop just below the base of the front lapel. Fold the top of the zipper tape under and angled slightly away from the teeth of the zipper. The bottom of the zipper will end a short distance from the bottom edge of the towels.

Pin or baste the zipper into place, taking care to keep the robe fronts aligned. Stitch the zipper into place. Lay the robe front face down on top of the back with the edges aligned.

Stitch the front and back together along the tops of the sleeves from the outside edges to the corners of the neck opening lapels. Lay the robe flat with the right sides together.

Measure 25 cm (10 inches) down from each sleeve seam and mark in several places to establish the lower seam line for each sleeve. Taper at the wrists if you prefer.

Measure around the fullest part of the person who will wear the robe, and add 25 to 50 cm (10 to 20 inches) for wearing ease, depending on the desired fullness. Divide the total by two.

Use the resulting measurement for the width of the body of the robe and mark the position for the side seams. Round off the corner where the side and sleeve lines meet at the underarms. Stitch along the lines.

Cut off the excess fabric leaving a 6-mm (quarter-inch) seam allowance. Serge or zigzag the seam allowance to prevent fraying. Turn it right side out.

Cut two pockets from the leftover pieces using the finished edges of the towels for the tops of the pockets. Fold the raw edges under and stitch them onto the robe.

Sew a decorative button to hold down each lapel, or stitch the lapels at the corners to hold them in place.


Use the remaining leftover pieces to make a bag or cut and hem them for washcloths. Buy towels at yard sales or white sales and mix and match whatever you find.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 bath towels
  • Scissors
  • 70-cm (28-inch) separating zipper
  • Thread
  • Measuring tape
  • Sewing machine
  • 4 decorative buttons (optional)
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About the Author

Vivienne Lydamore has written professionally since 1978. A retired health-care marketing communications executive, she has also written and produced local television commercials. Lydamore has covered the dedication of Egyptian galleries at the British Museum, published oral histories with underground miners and ghostwritten numerous health-care articles and marketing pieces. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Northern Michigan University.