How to Make a Shawl Into a Jacket

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(Image: Measuring tape image by Monika 3 Steps Ahead from Fotolia.com)

A shawl is a handy accessory whenever you feel a chill in the air. Just throw it on and go, and you can remove it easily if the temperature warms up. However, it can be difficult to keep a shawl around your shoulders; leaving it to hang means it might slip off, and using a shawl pin could damage the fabric or stitching. Instead of these options, try turning your shawl into a jacket instead. With just a few simple stitches you can give your shawl sleeves for an easy jacket on the go.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Notepad and pen
  • Rectangular shawl
  • Needle and thread or yarn

Measure your "wingspan." In other words, hold your arms straight out to your sides like a letter T, and ask someone to measure you from one wrist to the other. If you have to measure by yourself, measure from one wrist to your chest, and then from your chest to the other wrist, and add the two figures together. Record this measurement on a pad of paper.

Measure the distance from your wrist to your armpit. Record this measurement as well.

Lay your shawl out flat on a table or other surface. Measure it from end to end along the longest side. If it is longer than the measurement of your wingspan, hem it on each end until it is even with your wingspan. Hem it even shorter if you want your jacket to have a short-sleeved or 3/4 length sleeve style.

Fold the shawl lengthwise so the right sides are facing and it retains its length but is half as wide. Starting on one short end (where you would have made a hem), create a seam that is 1/2 inch in from the edge, sewing both sides of the shawl together. Make this seam as long as the distance from your wrist to your armpit. Repeat this process on the opposite side. Now your shawl should resemble a tube with a hole in the center where you did not sew the seam.

Turn the shawl right side out and slide your arms into the sleeves you created. If the shawl fits too loosely, you may have to sew deeper on the seams you made. Otherwise, your new shawl jacket is ready to wear.

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