Sunday 17 June 2012

Scarf Ace

Scarf printed tops are the signature look of the current season - room for one more?

This concept of this tutorial came to me as a creative solution to the issue of what to wear to a festival (and still look fabulous whatever the harsh, conspiring weather!) I came up with a kaftan-style scarf printed top that's lightweight, cool and not too clingy. In fact, the advantage of its shape is the freedom of movement that it allows, as well as the versatility - it can be worn sleeveless with the drapes cascading along the sides or wrapped around your arms for extra warmth. What's more, if you glam it up and choose a silk patterned scarf, it's as chic for day wear as it is classy for the evenings.

Now that we're well into the season for spring/summer 2012 (read, just about getting started as far as the weather's concerned), I've noticed that the fashion statement to shout the loudest this season has been the Dolce & Gabbana-inspired scarf print look. The above examples are, well, just to refresh your memory, if, indeed they're needed (in which case, I do hope you enjoyed your holiday in space and eagerly await your postcard) Scarf prints are just one of the key looks inspired by Dolce & Gabbana, as they hold a well-heeled (and high-heeled I should suspect) foot in the camp of couture, with their collections being among the most talked about, season upon season. What's more, nostalgic romanticism was at the core of their creative inspiration from the start, the scarf prints of this season have just been a novel, contemporary approach, as is inevitable in fashion. As Domenico Dolce once said: "I like time. Now is not two minutes later and it's never like before. Repetition doesn't exist." Amen to that, and to alternate interpretation, Mr D.

Speaking  of new sartorial incarnations, the kaftan-style top I came up with was meant as an easy tutorial, ideal for all abilities and levels of experience. I also find it's great as a kind of all-purpose top, ideal for evening wear, throwing over a bikini at the pool and even for wearing with cut off shorts at a festival. It's easy to move in and great for adding a touch of elegantly draped finesse to an outfit...though I say it myself!

You will need

A patterned scarf, about 1m x 1m (H&M currently do one for £7)

About 1.5m ribbon that's strong and wide (mine was 3.5cm in width, priced at £4.35 from John Lewis, however you can buy it much more cheaply at a market. Also I'd recommend you choose a versatile colour that's not too hard to match like black or white)

Sewing machine

Thread that matches your scarf

Sewing scissors (the smaller and sharper the better)

Embellishment trims and all purpose/contact adhesive (optional. Quick tip: A thin covering of glue on the ends of your ribbon is a great and subtle way to stop it from fraying)

Tape measure

Patternmaster or a ruler and setsquare for measuring points on the scarf and making sure they're measured along straight lines.)

Metallic gel pen

Sewing pins



Just because you'll more than likely be working with a satin scarf or even something more sheer like chiffon, which can be a bit of a fiddle to sew. My advice is to just take care and take your time to avoid any nasty snagging and ripping.


It took me 5-6 hours but I was pretty distracted so normally it'd probably be a lot less.

 So, here's how to give your scarf a second life...


  1. Charle, you're amazing!! beautifully done ... You teach so calmly and thoroughly that I can imagine you must have many followers.
    I love the idea and the end product. Great stuff!!

  2. You are fabulous Charley and so is your Blog. I love the idea and what you have done with it. More power to your sewing needle.