Upcycling a Towel and an Apron into Bags

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Happy Tuesday! I've started going to the Goodwill outlet on a regular basis, and it's been such fun hunting for treasures, especially textiles. I need to put together another adventures in thrifting post soon, to share all the things I've found lately! Today I want to share two projects that I made using textiles that I salvaged from the outlet. I loved working on these projects and it's inspiring me to continue to upcycle more textiles!

I have a real soft spot for vintage towels and I've amassed a good collection of them over the years. We use them every day! I got excited when I spotted this one, only to realize that it had been altered. It was amongst a bunch of vintage aprons, so I believe it had been turned into an apron at one time. It was so cute, I bought it anyways and figured I'd come up with a project later.

I ended up turning the towel piece into a dopp kit! I was inspired by Joanne Sunny K and her work with vintage towels.

This is a larger version of the boxy pouch from my Triplizip Zipper Pouch Pattern. I also left it unlined. The dimensions ended up a bit big since I wanted to use as much of the towel piece as possible!

I love that if I spill something in this bag, it's a towel! It feels so practical. Would also make a great beach bag. My gears are turning for other towel bags!

I reused the original tag as an embellishment on the back.

This was such a fun project, I loved making it. I really like the way that the floral pattern lines up around the zipper. I kept things really simple to finish it up and used some webbing for the handle.

The second bag that I made was a drawstring bag! This is the project size from my Lined Drawstring Bag Pattern.

I found this vintage apron on the same trip as the towel piece! I really liked the fabric, but I don't wear aprons very often, especially not half aprons. I grabbed it anyways, knowing I'd probably unpick it for the fabric.

I did end up unpicking most of the apron, but left the pocket! I was able to center the pocket on one of the exterior main pieces, which was lucky.

I paired the apron fabric with a black and white gingham for the accent. I love how it ties in the black ric-rac on the pocket! For the lining I used a white solid.

The apron had a personalized maker tag on it. It was so cute, I really didn't want it to go to waste! I added it to the back of the bag.

I went with black ruler twill tape for the ties and 1" beehive wooden beads, both available in my online shop!

Happy Sewing!


  1. This is in reference to the towel label Martex. I live in the town where these towels were produced. I'm guessing based on colors, that this towel was made in the 1960-1970's time frame. The town name then was Fairfax, Alabama and the company name was West Point Pepperell. Unfortunately, the mill closed many years ago and production was moved overseas. The company name also changed to WestPoint Home. I believe they still make the Martex brand. Thanks for preserving and posting the Label.

  2. I think we had those exact same towels, growing up!


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