Upcycle Sewing

Scarf to Vest – an Upcycle Tale

Hey, it’s the 10th day of Me Made May 2017 and I just can’t seem to pull it together enough to do pictures today. You know – life happens! So, instead you get a blog post about what I would have worn if I could have worn my Me Made May Day 10 make. Good enough?

My hubby works for a national clothing retailer who used to have regular employee sales with amazing deals on their sample clothing. The scarf bin was always a favorite of mine and I may have bought a few too many over the years that they held the sales. I mean, it would have been irresponsible to pass up gorgeous scarves for $2 each, right?

Scarf on Cutting Table

One of the shawl size scarves I really, really loved was made from an almost gauze type fabric in a hand-dyed ombre style print. It was beautiful, inexpensive and begging to come home with me, so it did. But, it was really long, 16″ wide and I just never found quite the right way to wear it despite it’s gorgeousness.

Fringe detail

So, last year, I got bold – laid it out on the cutting table and transformed it into a vest. And, the scarf and I are both much happier now!

Vogue 8088 Marcy Tilton OOP

I started with an OOP Marcy Tilton vest pattern (V8088), but I only followed the neckline and armhole. That was well worth it as I’m not comfortable just winging it in those areas. I’m sure you could find a similar vest pattern if you want to try. upcycling a scarf of your own. I loosely used the hemline, cutting it with an eye to making the best use of the existing scarf hems.

Vest on me front view

Because I wanted to preserve the glorious fringe of the scarf, I cut the front very carefully. This left a lovely fringe at the bottom of the front sides. The original side hems of the scarf became the center fronts of the vest.

Vest Back hem detail

The center of the scarf, printed with the most ombre, became the back of the vest. I turned the scarf sideways for this part and used the original hem as the back bottom hem. The fabric is a very loose weave and tends to crinkle and roll at the back – so, I just let it.  The result is . . . no hems were stitched in the making of this vest!

Vest Back on me

This is an enjoyable vest to wear, usually with jeans and a tee, and it often draws attention. When I explain that it began its life as a scarf, there are oohs and aahs and I kind of love that. It was a fun make, a nice creative challenge and I love wearing it. And, that puts it on the ‘winner’ list of clothing I’ve sewn!

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15 thoughts on “Scarf to Vest – an Upcycle Tale

      1. It’s gorgeous, Teri!!! Did you use a pattern or just drape it? I don’t think you can post a picture here, but you could post on my Facebook page. That would be great! 😊 ~ Annette

      2. I original saw the idea for it at FreeNotion.com, 15 minute Fall Kaftan. Mine was even easier to do as the “neckline” of my Shawl was slightly rounded. I just laid it out, folding the “front” over the back. Measured in from the sides to where I wanted the seamline and up from the bottom, I think I did about 8 1/2 inches in and 15 inches up. I used pins to mark the placement then the Painter’s Tape to give me a line to follow. So easy! If the shawl being used has a stiffer “neckiline” or needs to sit lower in the back you could wing it or use a neckline pattern from a back bodice that you like, Finish the seam and Viola!
        Took me a bit to figure out how to mark the seamline , Then remember my dear friend “Blue Painter’s Tape” love that stuff!

      3. No not really, well I do but I don’t keep it up. Try as I may I am not a good blogger. One of those things that sound good in theory but the reality not so much. LOL

      4. Oh I so can relate to bringing a lot of scarves home with me. Those lovely Pashmina type shawls as well. This little project you created looks like fun!

  1. I am inspired! I have an obi 14 3/8 x 138” bought in Japan. I planned to use Marcy Tilton V9190 viewC but if that doesn’t lay out well, V8088 will b used.

    1. Oh, my, that’s going to be amazing, Beth!! I’d love to see it when you’re done. I purchased several obis at an estate sale last summer and I’m looking forward to using them, too!

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