Red, white, and sew

When I’m between writing projects, I need to keep busy. I just finished a draft of a novel I’ve been working on for a while (woo-hoo!) but am not ready to dive into a new one. So I dug out my sewing machine and tackled some projects I’ve been putting off. This one I’m particularly proud of!

I love the look of flowy kimono-style wraps over tanks and shorts or simple dresses. Bonus: a little added protection from the sun. But I was hard-pressed to find one in a natural material; New Orleans summers are just too hot for polyester. So as I was cleaning out my closet, I pulled out this cotton scarf. Love the pattern and lightweight cotton, but I always felt like I was drowning in it.

So. Much. Fabric.

Hey, there’s enough here for a wrap!

I watched a couple of YouTube videos, particularly DIY Designer’s No-Sew Sequin Kimono and The DIY Mommy’s upcycled kimono from a scarf. Highly recommend if you’re interested in trying this yourself! Overall, construction was pretty simple.

Very basic how-to:

Fold fabric in half widthwise, then lengthwise.

Cut up center of topmost layer (this will be your front).

Measure sleeves (I did 12 inches from top and side).

Cut, then open lengthwise fold and pin along bottom and sides of sleeves. Sew.

Finish front edges and neckline with rolled hem (or get fancy and add bias tape, like I did below).

I wish that I hadn’t made the sleeves so deep–they left the body a little narrower than I like. Luckily I had cut off enough from the bottom to make a wide bias tape for a clean, finished edge.

To make bias tape:

Cut desired length & width of fabric (I needed about 70 inches long by 4.5 inches wide).

Press in half lengthwise, then press in seam allowances (I used .25 inch on either side).

Fold bias tape around raw edge and pin. Stitch to garment and press.

Et voila! Light, airy, and colorful, I’ll be wearing this on the 4th (even if we watch the fireworks from our porch). Thanks to my son for helping me with the photos…especially the dramatic final one!