By Diane Ellis
I have Lupus. That means I must be covered up from the sun at all times. Now that's no fun in summer!
When I was first diagnosed I used to wear cotton shirts, but they just don't look right if you want to wear a dress. That's when I came up with this pattern. Great fabrics for this include tight weave cheesecloth which blocks the sun but still allows for air circulation.
And they are not just suitable for day wear. Summer evenings are great, but sometimes they can be a little cool. Why not make this easy evening wrap - a quick and easy gift idea for Christmas too!
The wrap is 31½ “ wide by 63 “ long (or 80cm by 160cm). However, our preference would be to have both long edges of the wrap as a selvedge edge, so if you find suitable fabric in a roll with a width just slightly larger than these (say 36" instead of 31½ “), go ahead and buy it - a little extra width won't hurt.
Before you buy your fabric, you need to decide what embellishment, if any, you want to put on the ends of the wrap. You can leave the edges as just a straight edge, you can attach some fringing or other decorative ribbon, or you can make your own fringe (if you are using a fabric than fringes easily).
If you decide to make your own fringe, don't forget to factor that into how much fabric you will need. An average fringe is 2½“ long (or 7cm), so you will need to buy 31½ “ wide by 68 “ long (or 80cm by 174cm).
If you are buying decorative ribbon or fringing, you will need 63" or 160cm.
The best fabric for an elegant evening wrap is plain silk or shot silk, or you could use a man-made version of the same (rayon / polyester blend).
Cut your fabric to length (as above).
If either or both of the long edges of your wrap are NOT selvedge edges, we will need to hem these. I find the best method for a light summer wrap is to use a very tight zig zag stitch. Warning - as silk and other light fabrics can be difficult to sew, test your zig zag stitch on a scrap piece of fabric first!
If you are just hemming the ends of your wrap, hem these in the same manner.
If you are going to add ribbon or fringing, I suggest you sew a standard hem allowance, and then stitch on your ribbon or fringing.
If you are making your own fringe, start unpicking the material at one end, and continue until the fringe measures 2½“ long (or 7cm). Now grab bunches of the fringing about 1/4" wide (1/2cm), and tie in a knot so that the knot is as close the edge of the solid fabric as possible. Repeat every 1/4" until you have knotted the entire edge.
Repeat with the other end of the wrap.
Simply iron and you're done.
Diane Ellis is the owner of www.Sewing4Dummies.com. Learn more about her on our About Us page.
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