How to Sew a Simple Towel Robe or Beach Cover-Up

A folded bath robe with slippers

gerenme / Getty Images

Project Overview
  • Total Time: 1 hr
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $20

A towel robe is perfect for staying cozy at home or using as a beach cover-up. And you can make this simple robe in about an hour, even if you're a beginner sewer. All you need are a couple of towels in the color and pattern of your choice and matching thread. Bath towels will make a robe for children or small adults, and beach towels or bath sheets are recommended for a larger adult robe. Keep in mind it can be difficult to remove stitches from terrycloth towels if an error occurs. So it can be helpful to practice with your sewing machine on a test towel, such as a washcloth, before you tackle the robe if you've never sewn with this material before.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Pins
  • Marking tool
  • Measuring tape
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron and ironing board


  • 2 towels
  • Matching thread


  1. Sew the Shoulder Seams

    Place the towels with the right sides together, aligning the edges. Pin together the edges of the top of the towels.

    Mark the center of the top edges. Then, measure outward 5 to 7 inches on each side of the center point for a 10- to 14-inch opening for the wearer's head. (Adjust the size accordingly to the head of the wearer.) Sew a seam using a 1/2-inch (or the width of the towel hem) seam allowance along the top edge to each side edge, leaving the marked head area open.

    shoulder seams on towel robe
    The Spruce / Debbie Colgrove
  2. Finish the Shoulder Seams and Neckline

    Open the towels, and lay them out flat with the seam up. Press the seam open. Then, press the same amount as the seam allowance on both sides of the neckline area.

    Sew the seam allowances down to the body of the towel, staying as close to the edge as possible from one shoulder seam to the other.

    Test the fit over the head.

    shoulder seams and neckline on the robe
    The Spruce / Debbie Colgrove
  3. Sew the Side Seams

    Place the wrong sides of the towels together again, aligning the side edges.

    Measure 10 to 14 inches down from the shoulder seam on each side for the start of the side seams. This will form your arm holes, so fit them to the robe wearer. A child or small adult should do fine with 10 inches while a large adult might need 14 inches or more.

    Sew a 10- to 15-inch side seam starting at the bottom of your arm hole measurement and working toward the hemline. Use a 1/2-inch (or the width of the towel hem) seam allowance. Adjust the length of the side seam for the height of the wearer. Don't sew so far down that walking in the robe would be comfortable.

    Repeat for the other side of the robe. Backstitch at the ends of the seams to reinforce them.

    side seams on the towel robe
    The Spruce / Debbie Colgrove