How to Refashion a Scarf into a Top or Bikini Cover

How to Refashion a Scarf into a Top or Bikini Cover


scarf refashioned

There is nothing like going on a trip to point out the gaps in my wardrobe… I often can’t figure out the right things to pack without taking the entire closet with me.  What I need is something practical that can be worn on many occasions.  Something that is chic yet casual.  I thought I could use a top that could be transformed into a short dress or a swimsuit cover.

I dug into my wardrobe and found one Pashmina that I got ages ago and hardly ever wear even though I get cold easily.  I guess I find it rather large and since it is a gift from my daughter, I still want to treasure it.  So how to turn a scarf into a top that I will actually wear?  I did not want to drape it on me because that would add bulk to an already bulky frame if you know what I mean…  So if you have a spare scarf and 30 minutes this is the scarf refashion tutorial for you.

Materials:

  • You will need a scarf that is 6-7 feet long, and 20 to 30″ wide.  Silk, voile, cashmere or wool would be ideal.  (You can find Pashminas and other suitable scarfs at Miracle Shine.  They ship worldwide and their selection is divine.)
  • 2 to 2 1/2 yards of Wrights Double Fold 1/2″ bias tape.  (Find a color that complements your scarf or see below to make your own.)
  • sewing thread to match your bias tape
  • clothes iron
  • a sewing machine
  • a belt, decorative rope or another scarf to use around your waistscarf refashioned

Step One: Preparing your scarf

Fold your scarf in two leaving 4-6 inches longer on one side.  The longer side will become the back and the shorter side the front. Pin the top so it doesn’t move when you are cutting the middle to make the neckline.

Step Two: Cutting the neckline

scarf refashioned

Take the shorter side and cut in the middle.  Measure the length of this cut on both sides.  This measurement will determine the amount of bias tape you will need.  I used 2  1/2 yards.

Follow this tutorial for information on how to make your own bias tape:

Read More HERE

And follow this tutorial to learn more about attaching bias tape:

Read More HERE

Step Three: Sewing the decorative bias tapescarf refashioned

Pin your bias tape all around the raw edge you just created, making sure you have enough bias tape because you are both adding a decorative detail and finishing the edges. Fold the tape, iron, and pin in place. Sew again making sure both sides are very neat.scarf refashioned

scarf refashioned

Step Four: Making The Tunnelscarf refashioned

Take the longer side of the scarf and measure from the middle of the bias tape, where your neck will be to your waist.  Mark this measurement fold 1 1/2 to 3″ inches and sew.

I have a short torso, so I am folding at 13″ in length, the average measurement is 15″ and 16″ for a tall girl.  This step will become the back of your top where you will feed the belt or whatever you are using to tie around your waist. I have used the 3″ fold which is easier to feed a scarf through as a belt.  scarf refashioned

scarf refashionedscarf refashionedI have chosen to use another thin scarf as the belt since I can also use it to tie my hair;)scarf refashionedA point worth noting is how the top changes if you leave the belt tunnel in the inside, as above.scarf refashionedOr on the outside. scarf refashionedscarf refashioned

Choosing a beautiful print and a luxurious material will make this top a fantastic gift for mother’s day or an excellent addition to your boutique.  Wear it with your bikini or pair it with a pencil skirt, shorts or capri pants and in a matter of minutes, you can go from the beach to your favorite cafe.

I hope you enjoyed this scarf refashioning tutorial and find it a practical use for your unused big scarfs while adding a chic, new item to your wardrobe.


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The Placket Pattern & Tutorial – For The Tailored Shirt Look

The Placket Pattern & Tutorial – For The Tailored Shirt Look


placket pattern

This is the placket pattern & tutorial.  A placket is a detail often used in tailored shirts and blouses. This is one of the skills that will raise your sewing to the next level.

But first, let’s make sure everyone knows what we’re talking about.  According to Wikipedia:

placket (also spelled placquet) is an opening in the upper part of trousers or skirts, or at the neck or sleeve of a garment.[1] Plackets are almost always used to allow clothing to be put on or removed easily, but are sometimes used purely as a design element. Modern plackets often contain fabric facings or attached bands to surround and reinforce fasteners such as buttons, snaps, or zippers.

Yes, I think you know where I am going with this placket pattern & tutorial.  I just love these super simple techniques that make your projects look much more professional.  I have found the absolute easiest way to make a tailored placket for the crisp looking shirt that I will soon share with you.

You can use this placket pattern in just about any sleeve you wish to have buttons and cuffs.  A placket is always found in a tailored shirt of man and woman, but it is a bit tricky to sew so I am sharing with you an easy and fail-proof way.  While most sleeves patterns come with their placket pattern, you can use the pattern I am sharing with you in case you want to add a placket to a shirt you already have.

Materials

  • Fabric from the shirt or a contrasting one.
  • An erasable pen, or tailor’s chalk
  • An iron
  • A ruler

Pattern Download

Get the Pattern HERE

Once printed, transfer the placket pattern to your fabric using a tailor’s chalk, pencil or an erasable ink pen.  You might want to try a Frixion pen.

There are two pieces to the pattern:  The Overlap and the Underlap.  Place the fabric print sides together and cut out two pieces, two for each sleeve.  We will start folding the pieces, this is an important step so we do not sew the pieces on the wrong side of the sleeve.

How To Use This Placket Pattern Tutorial

This is the contemporary drafting and sewing technique of a placket pattern & tutorial for a man’s or woman’s shirt.  There are other ways to sew a placket but I have given you the universally know tailoring technique.

Note: this is not a mass-produced technique used in large factories.

Step One:  Preparing The Overlap

Fold the Overlap print sides together and

placket pattern

sew the edge at 1/4″ (A), trim the corner at a 90-degree angle (B),  Trim (C) and turn sharp triangle.

placket pattern

Turn the triangle right side out (D). Iron.placket pattern

Fold the 3/8″ line on the side where the triangle is located.

placket pattern

placket pattern

Fold the 1/4″ line on the opposite side of the triangle.placket pattern

placket pattern

placket pattern

The following pictures are going to be key to making the placket on the right side of the sleeve and in the correct order.

placket pattern

placket pattern

Step Two:  Preparing The Underlap

placket pattern

Fold 1/4″ on the side.

placket pattern

Then fold in both sides on the sides. placket pattern

You will use the creases as a sewing guide to attaching the underlap to the sleeve.

placket pattern

Here are both pieces of the pattern.  Overlap on top and Underlap at the bottom.

placket pattern

Step Three:  Placing The Pieces Of The Placket On The Sleeve

It is important to pay attention to this step since it will make or break your project.   Placing the pieces in the correct placement will ensure your success.

The Overlap is placed print side down on the wide side of the placement line or towards the front of the sleeve.placket pattern

placket pattern

Align the edges of the Underlap and Overlap on the placement line

placket pattern

Using the fold lines already made by the iron sew on each line next to the placement line stopping right at the end of the placket.

placket pattern

placket pattern

Cut in between the stitching lines or on the placement line.  Stop at 1/4″ and cut to the corner but not through.

placket pattern

placket patternStep Four:  Sewing The Underlap

Bring the Underlap from the wrong side of the sleeve to the right side and iron the stitching line.

placket pattern

Pin the Underlap over the stitching line and sew. Iron.

placket pattern

Step Five:  Sewing The Overlap

Turn the Overlap to the right side of the sleeve and iron the stitching line.

placket pattern

Fold the Overlap over the stitching line. You will find that the Overlap will do this naturally since it was folded previously using the iron.

placket pattern

Stitch close to the folded edge from 3/8″ of the Jog level to the end of the Overlap.

placket pattern

placket pattern

Now it is time to sew the Overlap Over the Underlap.

  1. Keeping the Underlap away from the Overlap sew the edge at 1/16″ from the end of the overlap to the first corner.placket pattern
  2. Slide the Underlap under the Overlap and sew from the corner to the tipplacket pattern
  3. From the tip to the left corner
  4. From the left corner join the stitching line with the previously stitched line.placket pattern
  5. Sew across the packet and create a rectangle catching this way the Underlap and the Overlap, you are now ready to sew the underarm stitch.placket pattern

Most of the commercial and Indy Patterns will include a placket pattern but not always a detailed step-by-step tutorial on how to make one.  The Placket is a contemporary tailoring technique that is both feared and respected by fashion design students and newbie seamstresses alike.

This is one of the techniques that will move you from a beginner to intermediate-level sewists.  Take up the challenge and learn this technique so you can join me in making a special, tailored blouse coming soon.

placket pattern

placket pattern

Let me know what you think of this Placket tutorial in the comments below, also if you want to see more interesting techniques to take your sewing projects to the next level.

 


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Short Sleeve Mid Length Kimono Pattern – A Transformation Made Easy…

Short Sleeve Mid Length Kimono Pattern – A Transformation Made Easy…


short sleeve mid length kimono pattern

This weekend we’ll be making a short sleeve mid-length kimono pattern using the Linen V-top Pattern I shared with you recently.  This is not the first kimono top I have shared with you.

On the previous one, the top actually crosses over and you can tie the top in the front if you wish to do that.  I happened to not like tying a top on my waist since I am short-waisted and it makes me look wider than I am.  So this is more my style.

This short sleeve mid-length kimono pattern is specially designed with the “apple” body shape figure.  This type of figure is very tricky to dress since a protruding stomach might be a bit challenging to hide.

For more thoughts on Tips to Make Your Style Match Your Figure, please check out this popular post.

Pay special attention to my fabric recommendations so you end up with a top that is both flattering and attractive no matter what your size.

short sleeve mid length kimono pattern

The trend this Autumn and Winter is going to be monochromatic outfits cinched at the waist.  As I always say; there’s no need to always chase the fashion trends to avoid becoming a fashion victim, the classics are always in style.

However, the monochromatic look is one that will notably add elegance and make your outfit look more expensive but we are not going to explore it today.  Rather, I am using very thin silk, super soft that I picked up years ago in Bangalore, India.  It is not the easiest thing to sew, and I choose not to use fusible interfacing because it would ruin the collar band. However, it does make for a questionable hanger appeal. I do need to steam the seams more, but I have identified the culprit of the bit of puckering in the fabric.  The thread is very tight.  So I will be taking the stitch out and loosening it a bit to avoid the puckered look at the front.

short sleeve mid length kimono pattern

I am keeping the sides open since the type of vent we are using adds fluidity to the top.

short sleeve mid length kimono pattern

The long neckline will also streamline your figure.

Soft fabric will follow the curves of your body without adding pounds.

Materials

  • 2.5 to 3 yards of fabric (depends on size) of silk, rayon, or 20% stretch knit
  • Thread to match
  • Fusible interfacing matching the length of the front-facing

Tools

Fabric Recommendations from Fabric.com

How to Get the Pattern

I am using the same pattern from the Linen V-Top, so download that pattern and follow me on how to transform it into this short sleeve mid-length Kimono pattern.

Linen V-Top Pattern HERE

You will only need the front and back pieces.

Experience Level

This project is for beginners who want to learn to do a simple pattern transformation.  At the end of this series, you will end up with 4 different looks.

Read the additional tutorials before cutting the fabric.

How To Make Your Short Sleeve Mid Length Kimono Pattern

The first thing we will do is to make the opening at the front so the top can be worn open or crossover and tied with a belt.  Next, we will elongate the top, we will draft the sleeves, then we will be sewing the top.  The whole thing should take you no more than 4 hours to make.

Step One:  Transform the Front

Lay the front of the top on the table. Trace a straight line from the neckline to the hemline.  This straight line should be parallel to the grainline and to the sideline.

Cut off the front with your paper scissors.

Step Two:  Elongate the Top

Follow this tutorial to learn how to lengthen a top.  I am making mine 15″ longer, however, lengthen yours by however much you need.

Step Three:  Sew the Shoulders

Sew the front to the back at the shoulder seam.

Step Three:  Making the Collar and Sleeve

Measure from one side of the collar through the neckline to the end of the other side of the collar hem, plus 3/4″.  For example 89″ + 3/4″= 89 3/4″

Step Four:  Cut the Collar and Sleeves

Measure the armhole from the front notch to the back and add the seam allowance times two.  I go into detail on how to sew the armband or sleeve on STEP FOUR here.

Cut the collar and sleeves on a straight grain line.

Wrong sides together, fold both collar and the cuff of the sleeves in half lengthwise.

Step Five:  Sewing the Collar

Attach the collar starting at the hem leaving 3/8″ to fold the hem.  Pin the collar all the way to the other side of the top leaving the 3/8″ for the hem.

Step Six:  Sewing the Sleeve Cuff

The cuff is sewn in the same way as the Linen V-neck top, so follow that section well.

Ideally, you have already downloaded and made the first top, so this step will be just a breeze for you.  If you have not, it is important to read the instructions for the Linen V-Top and understand the sewing procedure.

With that done your Kimono is all finished!

Do you have another idea for transforming the original pattern?  The V-neck top pattern is very well suited for transformation and experimenting.  Did you like the transformation into a short sleeve mid-length kimono pattern, or would you rather download your own?  Do let me know in the comments section below.

A Quick Response To A Comment

I also wanted to take a moment to address a trend that has been happening in the USA and one that causes a bit of confusion for those of us who do not live in the USA and are not familiar with the Politically Correct movement.

Here is a comment I received from a reader on the first Kimono top pattern:  “I know you mean well, by calling a top kimono you are culturally appropriating it.”

I did not approve the comment, because where will we end up if we cannot appreciate the works and art of cultures different from our own?  Appropriation is such a politically charged word and is used to mean that what we are doing is disrespectful, I prefer to use adaptation, assimilation, or even just borrowing.  After all, it is how we learn and a great way to show our appreciation.

Adapting and assimilating is how we learn to write, sing, and dress.  In fact, nearly everything that we know, especially in the arts, has come from some other country, time period, or culture.  I believe by learning and adapting from other cultures is why today we have the advances in all fields that we enjoy today.  But that’s just my opinion, take a look at this young YouTuber on the subject of Americans wearing kimonos.

This is the opinion of the Japanese about a highly controversial and criticized concert that Katy Perry did in 2016.  (Personally, Katy Perry is not my cup of tea but I can appreciate artistically what she was going for.)  If you’re interested, watch the reaction from real Japanese people on the street about Americans wearing kimonos and the criticism by the media of the video.

I can say as a Panamanian, that I am proud when I see a foreigner wearing our national costume because I know that that woman took four hours to get dressed and she is wearing it with pride and she feels beautiful because people cannot stop admiring her.  We see it as the highest form of respect for our culture.

What do you think? I am very interested in your opinion on this subject please comment in the section below.

Anyways, Until Next Time, Happy Sewing!

short sleeve mid length kimono pattern
recycling old placemats
short sleeve mid length kimono pattern

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Fabric Belt Tutorial – Making Use Of Your Scraps

Fabric Belt Tutorial – Making Use Of Your Scraps


fabric belt

This Fabric Belt is a perfect project for using your scrap since you will only need a couple of strips of fabric.  This fabric belt tutorial applies to any size buckle.  The key is to know how much fabric to cut to be able to fit into the buckle.

Belts, of course, are an essential piece of anyone’s wardrobe. Making one using spare fabric not only saves expense but allows you to create a design that fits any outfit or style.

Materials

  • A strip of fabric 9 inches longer than your waist and 4 times as wide as your buckle
  • One rectangle that is 7″ X 5″ in diameter
  • Fusible interfacing
  • Thread to match
  • A buckle 1 1/2″ wide
  • 6 grommets

Tools

Buckles Suggestions from Amazon.com:

How To Sew Your Fabric Belt

Note: There are kits specialized on belt making, however, I am trying to show you how to make a belt at home with minimal cost and using what you already have at home.

Step One: Cutting The Fabric Belt

Length

Measure your waist + 3 inches for seam allowance to attach the buckle and make the end of the belt plus 6 inches to add extra length.

Width

The fabric should be cut depending upon the width of your buckle.  I am using a 1 1/2″ wide buckle.  Add a 5/8″ seam allowance to all sides.

Grainline

The grainline will run parallel to the selvage. This will make your belt last longer and when worn tight to the body will not fold.

Interfacing

Regardless of the width, you choose to make the belt the rule is that the wider the belt the stronger their interfacing to avoid the belt folding when sitting down.

Loops

Cut two rectangles 3 1/4″ X 2″. Apply fusible interfacing.

Step Two: Applying Fusible Interfacing

Apply fusible interfacing avoiding the seam allowance, this will reduce the bulk and it will be easier for your machine to stitch the fabric belt plus it will make the belt look smooth.

fabric belt

Step Three: Designing Your Belt

In here I will let your imagination run, you can

1. Make a plain belt to match a skirt or pants you already have.

2. Make an Accessory that will stand out and make your outfit smarter and attractive

3. Make an accessory that will complement your handbag.

I am going for number 2 and 3, I am in a process of sharing with you a belted pouch, the belt can be used on its own and the pouch can turn into a hand clutch/ wristlet.

This is what I have done, I have sewn two strips of fabric from the fabric of the pouch I will be making, you can embroider, patchwork or free motion quilt a detail of your own.

fabric belt

I love to wear unique pieces of accessories.  I encourage you to find your own twist and make your unique belt.   Please load the picture on your Instagram account with the hashtag soseweasy (#soseweasy).

Step Four: Sewing Your Belt

Place the right sides together using the side of a place or a rounded ruler trace a curve at one end of the belt. Sew the belt at 5/8″ sewing three sides of the strip.

Reduce the seam allowance by cutting half off and trimming the rounded edge.

fabric belt

Turn the belt using a loop turner, a pencil or a hose if you have one or anything long to such as a knitting needle.

Iron the belt, with a lot of steam to set the seams flat.

If you have decided not to add anything to your belt and are using plain fabric or a print, topstitch the edges at no more than 1/8″ from the edge.

fabric belt

Step Five: Making The Loops

We will need two loops for the belt. Cut two rectangles of fabric 3 3/4″ X 2″.  Fold in the middle to create a crease and fold each side to the center.

fabric belt

Sew very close to the edge.  Close the loops with a 3/8″ seam allowance and turn the look so that the seam allowance is inside.  Repeat the procedure to make the other loop.

Step Six: Adding The Buckle

We are going to be working on the open side of the belt.

Insert the two loop into the belt.

fabric belt

At 2 1/2″ from the end of the belt make a mark where you will be inserting the first grommet.  This is where the pin of the buckle will go in.

fabric belt
fabric belt

If you need help learning how to place a grommet here is a tutorial to help you cover the topic.

fabric belt

Insert the pin onto the grommet, then;

a. pass the belt and turn the raw edge of the belt under 3/8″

b. the closest loop next to the buckle.

fabric belt

and using a thread and needle sew using a running stitch. Pass the needle a couple of times to secure the end of the belt.

fabric belt

Step Seven: Adding The Grommets

Measure your waist and mark the belt where you want the belt to sit comfortably.  Using a ruler mark a couple of inches in front and behind the mark you just made. This will allow you to use the belt in case you lose or gain weight.  For more information on Sewing with Grommets, please check out the tutorial below:

fabric belt

Until next time when I will be showing how to add a pouch to this belt large enough to fit iPhone one plus.  In the meantime, if you need a good-looking pouch on the go – check out our running belt with a pouch.

Happy Sewing!

fabric belt

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