My Material Life

Kiki Magazine’s Beach Towel Tote

Wow, that’s bright.  Here’s what it looks like on the opposite side …

This is a towel that folds into a tote that I made with two IKEA towels and some embroidered ribbon purchased years ago according to these directions in the June/July 2012 edition of Kiki magazine.


Do you know Kiki magazine?  I’ve been meaning to tell you about it for a while now.  It’s a magazine for girls with an emphasis on fashion.  What makes it interesting is that it’s not just about being a consumer of fashion, it’s about being a creator as well.  Topics range from projects to make to learning about designers from the past and present to reading a stock report (even the price per pound for cotton, wool and polyester), to travel and more.  And the models in the magazine are real girls.  It’s pretty cool.  You can visit Kiki’s website by clicking here.

Once I found this project in the magazine I knew I would have to make it up just to see if it worked.  It does and surprisingly well.  The tote will even hold more than its towel.  The only thing to consider is where you’ll put any additional items while you’re actually using the towel.  Anyway, it’s a very clever design and though I’m sure it’s not new (you can find directions for something similar from Martha Stewart here), I like what Kiki did with it.  It would be handy to keep in the trunk of the car.

A few construction notes follow.  My bag is 18″ by 14″.  The pocket is a 7″ square and I attached it to the towel with a wide and close (but not as close as a satin stitch) zig zag stitch because I didn’t want the frayed pocket edge like you see on the Kiki tote.  You also might want to finish the raw edges of the towel piece (the Pucci-like side in the photo) you stitch to the full size towel (hot pink in photo) with an overedge stitch to prevent fraying.  I cut my ribbon about 3″ longer than the length suggested by the magazine.  In addition, I reinforced the reverse side of my ribbon (a rather loose weave) with some double-fold bias tape that I unfolded, pressed and stitched to the ribbon.

In case you’re curious, the towels are IKEA’s Myrlilja (the Pucci-like one, purchased late Spring or early Summer) and Fräjen (purchased very recently).  The ribbon is an unexpected choice, but I already had it, so there you go.  It came from a knitting shop on Big Basin Way in Saratoga that’s been closed for quite a while now.  Not Knitting Arts, this one was across the street.  They used to carry a lovely selection of European ribbons and trims; this one is probably German, but I wouldn’t swear to it.


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