Monday, April 23, 2012

DIY: No-sew Beach Cover + How to Use a Pareo/Sarong

Wow! Back in February I made a DIY beach cover up that has had a crazy popular response. I've been meaning to make a no-sew version, but I haven't been able to. A lot of people have criticized my dark brown color choice for the original post, but in the winter there weren't tons of bright colored jersey fabrics being sold in stores. I went again this past weekend and *still* couldn't find a good shade to use for this no-sew version. So- I'm going to show you how to make it two different ways, one of the ways will use the pictures from the original post and then I'll draw in the differences. When I can get a good jersey, I'll update this to include new pictures of the entirely no-sew jersey version.
The second way involves a pareo (I got mine at amazon.com for $6/each. It was a grab bag so I couldn't choose the color, but the deal was good). I really LOVE taking a pareo to the beach, it has so many uses. Not only is it a great cover up, but you can use it as a towel AND a bag to carry your items in (I'll show you how!). There are zillions of fun ways to wrap it, too, and we'll go through them in this post. First let's start with the jersey version of the no-sew wrap. You'll need....
1.75 yards of jersey or stretchy cotton material*
Ribbon/any other material for a strap 
Scissors
(1) Cut it. Decide the length & width of your fabric. You want it to wrap around your body a bit loosely. I chose to have mine hit just above my knees. I've had questions about making it full length- the jersey usually comes in a 54" length, which will make it full length if you don't cut it down. You'll also need to make underarm areas. I did that by folding it in half and cutting a deep "C". (*you may need more or less fabric depending on your size) **TIP: see the jagged edges of my wrap? Jersey generally rolls when left unhemmed, so this may not be an issue for you- but if you want a smooth cut, hold the jersey taut while cutting. I had to go back through and clean up my edges.
(2) Braid it. Next, take some extra fabric to create the braided straps. I took two pieces of fabric (1 yard by 5 inches) and cut them each into 3 pieces. I did it that way so that even if the little pieces weren't the same width, the finished product would be equal since each strap would be made from 5 inches of width. Knot the ends of 3 pieces together and braid, knot again. Repeat for the other strap. If you'd like, you can use ribbon or some other material to make the straps.
(3) Attach it. Here is where the variation comes in for no-sew. See where I sewed it on the corners of the underarm C cuts? Instead of sewing it, you're going to make a teeny, tiny slit about 1 inch from the edge in the corner (see second pictures for white 'slit' and red arrows pointing to it). The smaller, the better. Treat it with Fray Check, when it dries, stick each end of the braid/strip of fabric/ribbon through the hole and knot it *tightly*. Trim the edges of the knot.
Cutting in the angle
(4) Adjust it. Try it on and see if it fits well. Do you need to take more fabric off the sides or bottom? Do you need to shorten the shoulder straps? At this point, I angled one side of the cover up. I may go back and angle both sides. To cut the angle, start on the side and cut from top to bottom, making it wider on the top and narrower on the bottom. IF you still have questions- CLICK HERE
Now let's get to sarongs or pareos. For the paro version of this, I literally just cut two arm-sized holes into the top corners and then treated them with fray check. I don't trust cutting the sarong material *too much*, so I left the length alone, which made it full length.
Let's talk about wearing them! Here are 6 fun ways, plus how to make a bag. Now, I'm really not into swimsuit pictures of me floating around the internet (trolls are MEAN!), so I did the instruction pictures while wearing my lounge clothes and then took "final pictures" in my suit so that you can see how it looks alone.

(1) Twist front. Start with the sarong behind you, holding one end in each hand. Twist the ends tightly into ropes, cross behind neck and tie.

(2) Greek. Start with sarong to the side, take one end in each hand, tie on top of shoulder.
(3) One Shoulder. Start with sarong to the side. Take the front corner, wrap it underneath your under arm and bring upwards. Next, bring the back corner toward the front, pull upwards and tie on top of your shoulder.



(4) Twist Front 2: Similar to the first, instead of roping the ends, simply wrap them around each other and then bring to the neck, knotting behind. 
(5) Knotted Front. Start with the sarong behind you, wrap in front and knot.

(6) Vest. Tie the two top corners together, slip over your shoulders.

To use the pareo as a bag, simply place everything in the center and roll it like a burrito. Then tie it closed, like a package. Lastly, tie the very ends together to create a strap. 
That was the longest post. Ever. I probably should have split it into two, but... oh well! I prefer the sewn version for the wrap, but for those of you who really feel uncomfortable sewing, this gives you an option :) Happy Monday, everyone! I have a great week lined up, so be sure to check it out. I hope this week is full of sun, warmth and love for you! As always, thanks for reading. 











26 comments:

  1. thanks for your ideas...i have a beach cover up and intend on using it as the material for my cover up..also..the brown was just fine..i intend on using some kind of black...

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    1. I'm all about reusing old fabric! I agree with you- I think dark neutrals are actually unexpected and interesting for the beach. Most of my cover ups are black... but people can be so mean on the internet! It makes blogging interesting ;)

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  2. Awesome! Just made one,so easy. Thanks

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    1. That's great! i'd love to see it if you ever take a pic :)

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  3. Did you ever the one with the beaded straps? I love how creative you are!!!!!

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    1. Thank you! Not yet... my FB readers requested a third version, but I haven't found nice fabric yet. I'll bead those straps :) The idea is the same though, just slip a few beads on to the straps before tying them. Also, don't use a full beaded strap or it won't stay up ;)

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    2. If you use wire(thin/sturdy, or even twist/braid the wire to make it strong) you can thread beads onto that and then have what looks like just. Beaded strap! Doesn't have any give, but if measured right, it doesn't need it :-)

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    3. Katie- i LOVE that! I found however that with this particular design, a full beaded strap doesn't stay up :/ it's best to go with fabric + half-bead it.

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  4. Do you think there would be any issues with the no sew version minus the Fray Check? I'm using a knit jersey fabric...

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    1. a knit jersey *really* shouldn't fray. Try tearing off a little piece and seeing how it reacts. I've never had a problem with jersey fraying in the past :)

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  5. I'm not picturing how you put the black & white one together? I really like the look of the long one ... but just can't figure it out?! I love these!

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    1. It was super easy- here we go! I just used a regular sarong/pareo (if you send me your email, i'll send you a link to the cheap-o site to buy them). In the two top corners (long, not short edge) I cut out an arm-sized hole. Start with the pareo behind you, holding the two corners that have arm holes. Take the left corner and slip it over your right arm. Slip your left arm into the right corner :) Does that help? If not let me know! la.vie@aol.com

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    2. Hello, My name is Terry (T-Girl Travels) I would like to have the link for the cheap o sarongs if you don't mind sharing! Traveling a lot, I enjoy the sarong mode of dress, I am always looking for new ideas, and inexpensive sarongs. I am in Costa Rica currently.
      Thank you,
      Terry
      fabu55@gmail.com

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  6. My niece FB me with your beach coverup and asked if her favorite (me) aunt would make her one. Next thing I knew my others nieces were FB me to make them one, also. I noticed that you mentioned you had several you were working on. Would you share them with me? I would love to continue being the favorite aunt by making the girls (7) each one.

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    1. Oh my goodness! 7 nieces! That's quite a few. I have the designs ready for the other versions, but I haven't gotten brightly colored jersey to complete them yet. I've taken a lot of flack for using brown for my first version- so I'm trying to hold out. Hopefully I can get some jersey this weekend and have them up next week :)

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  7. My local fabric store didn't carry sarong fabric(?). Where do you recommend that I look for some?

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    1. I just bought mine completely done at amazon.com from oneworldsarong - it was only $8, so it was much easier than buying the fabric and then cleaning up the edges :) <3

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    2. You are a doll. Thank you!!! And thanks for sharing your talent with us :)

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  8. So, I just found you on Pinterest, and I have to say this is amazing. I am very, very, incredibly impressed. Thank you so much, so much, for sharing your knowledge with the world. :)

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    1. haha, it was suppperrr easy- but thank you :) You're very kind! I hope you stick around <3

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  9. Ok so im doing something wrong its not laying right could it be cause my arm cut outs are to big? Thank you thank you for sharing this hoppfully blondy here can get it right.

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    1. Hey Blondy! Send me pics at la.vie@aol.com and i'll see what's going on (of you wearing it as well as of it just laying flat). Sometimes it's a matter of the straps being too long, or you may just need to play with it while wearing it.

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  10. Hi! Love all your sarong options - You've inspired me to buy a sarong for my class trip this summer! Just wondering, what are the measurements of your sarong? Do you have any tips for getting the right size proportionate to your body?
    I am 5'4 ish and pretty skinny.
    Thanks!

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    1. Hmm... well I just got mine from 1worldsarong on amazon.com and hadn't really thought about sizes. I'm about your height and weight (5'5'' and skinmy-sh :)) though and my yellow sarong that is pictured is 61" by 38" :)

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    2. though actually- if it is too long for you, you can always fold over the top before beginning :)

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