Sewing tutorial: Sew a 90 minute beach cover up
(Warning: Lengthy post with many photos follows)
Ditch the t-shirt this summer in favor of a bit of glamour with this oversized beach cover-up.
The inspiration for this cover up came from a Neiman Marcus mailing. When I saw this black polyester caftan my first thought was “oh, how cute” followed by “I can sew that for a lot less than $120!”
You can too. Why spend big bucks when you can sew one that's unique to you in 90 minutes or less?
- One size fits most.
- The length of the cover up is approximately 36".
- The width of the cover up is approximately 78" at the bust and 58" at the hem.
- Pattern can easily be made larger or smaller.
- 2 yards fabric. Choose a lightweight fabric that drapes well. This sample was sewn using a lightweight semi-sheer knit with a hint of sparkle sprinkled throughout. (From a Fabric Mart Fabrics mystery bundle.)
- 1/2 yard stay-tape
- Chalk or marking pencil
You can draw the pattern on paper or directly onto your fabric.
- If you draw directly onto the fabric, make sure your fabric is folded in half before you begin.
- Using a ruler, draw two rectangles that measure 36” (long) by 20” (wide)
- Along the top edge, measure 3” from the fold and make a mark.
- Along the bottom edge, measure 15” from the fold and make a mark.
- Along the right edge, measure 12” from the top edge and make a mark. This will be the armhole opening.
- Draw a diagonal line connecting the 15” mark along the bottom to the 12” mark along the side.
- On the front pattern piece, measure 8” from the top edge along the center front fold and make amark.
- Draw a diagonal line connecting the 8” mark along the center front edge to the 3” mark along the top edge. This is the front v-neckline.
- On the back pattern piece, measure 1-1/2” along the center back edge to the 3” mark along the top edge. This is the back neckline.
- Seam allowances are 1/2”.
- Cut out the front and back pieces. Remember both pieces are on the fold of the fabric.
- Cut one piece of fabric 1-1/2” by 30”. This is for the neck binding.
- Cut 2 pieces of stay tape each 7” long. You’ll use this to secure the gathers at the shoulder seams.
- Gather each shoulder edge beginning and ending 1” from each edge.
- Pull up gathers to measure 7”. Secure in place by sewing stay tape over the gathers.
- You can easily make your shoulder seams longer if you want them to fall lower on your upper arm. Instead of pulling the gathers to 7" try 10" or 12".
- Sew left shoulder seam together.
- Sew right shoulder seam together, ending 2” before the neck edge. You’ll finish the shoulderseam after you add the neck binding.
- Stay stitch the center front point of the cover up. Clip to point.
- Beginning at right shoulder, pin binding to neck edge right sides together. Sew together.
- Fold binding to the wrong side, encasing the raw edge. Pin in place.
- To get a nice point in the binding, fold the binding with right sides together at the center front.
- Stitch a small vertical seam from the point on the cover up to the top of the binding.
- Right sides together, sew the side seams ending at the mark you made 12” below the shoulder edge.
- Hem the armhole opening.
- Hem the bottom edge.
Enjoy wearing your new cover-up at the beach!