How to Refashion a Scarf into a Top or Bikini Cover

scarf refashionedThere is nothing like going on a trip to point out the gaps in my wardrobe… I often can't figure out the right things to pack without taking the entire closet with me.  What I need is something practical that can be worn on many occasions.  Something that is chic yet casual.  I thought I could use a top that could be transformed into a short dress or a swimsuit cover.

I dug into my wardrobe and found one Pashmina that I got ages ago and hardly ever wear even though I get cold easily.  I guess I find it rather large and since it is a gift from my daughter, I still want to treasure it.  So how to turn a scarf into a top that I will actually wear?  I did not want to drape it on me because that would add bulk to an already bulky frame if you know what I mean…  So if you have a spare scarf and 30 minutes this is the scarf refashion tutorial for you.


  • You will need a scarf that is 6-7 feet long, and 20 to 30″ wide.  Silk, voile, cashmere or wool would be ideal.  (You can find Pashminas and other suitable scarfs at Miracle Shine.  They ship worldwide and their selection is divine.)
  • 2 to 2 1/2 yards of Wrights Double Fold 1/2″ bias tape.  (Find a color that complements your scarf or see below to make your own.)
  • sewing thread to match your bias tape
  • clothes iron
  • a sewing machine
  • a belt, decorative rope or another scarf to use around your waistscarf refashioned

Step One: Preparing your scarf

Fold your scarf in two leaving 4-6 inches longer on one side.  The longer side will become the back and the shorter side the front. Pin the top so it doesn't move when you are cutting the middle to make the neckline.

Step Two: Cutting the neckline

scarf refashioned

Take the shorter side and cut in the middle.  Measure the length of this cut on both sides.  This measurement will determine the amount of bias tape you will need.  I used 2  1/2 yards.

Follow this tutorial for information on how to make your own bias tape:

Read More HERE

And follow this tutorial to learn more about attaching bias tape:

Read More HERE

Step Three: Sewing the decorative bias tapescarf refashioned

Pin your bias tape all around the raw edge you just created, making sure you have enough bias tape because you are both adding a decorative detail and finishing the edges. Fold the tape, iron, and pin in place. Sew again making sure both sides are very neat.scarf refashionedscarf refashioned

Step Four: Making The Tunnelscarf refashioned

Take the longer side of the scarf and measure from the middle of the bias tape, where your neck will be to your waist.  Mark this measurement fold 1 1/2 to 3″ inches and sew.

I have a short torso, so I am folding at 13″ in length, the average measurement is 15″ and 16″ for a tall girl.  This step will become the back of your top where you will feed the belt or whatever you are using to tie around your waist. I have used the 3″ fold which is easier to feed a scarf through as a belt.  scarf refashionedscarf refashionedscarf refashionedI have chosen to use another thin scarf as the belt since I can also use it to tie my hair;)scarf refashionedA point worth noting is how the top changes if you leave the belt tunnel in the inside, as above.scarf refashionedOr on the outside. scarf refashionedscarf refashioned

Choosing a beautiful print and a luxurious material will make this top a fantastic gift for mother's day or an excellent addition to your boutique.  Wear it with your bikini or pair it with a pencil skirt, shorts or capri pants and in a matter of minutes, you can go from the beach to your favorite cafe.

I hope you enjoyed this scarf refashioning tutorial and find it a practical use for your unused big scarfs while adding a chic, new item to your wardrobe.

Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to How to Refashion a Scarf into a Top or Bikini Cover

  1. Else59 says:

    This is a wonderful idea!

  2. Julie Amma says:

    Wow…I love this! I have an abundance of pashminas which have been gifted ti me from my kids. I now have fabulous use for them. I so enjoy you page…great ideas and fun projects.

  3. Lenora Sokal says:

    I love the pattern.

  4. Laurie Borysewicz says:

    Love this Maya! I have a question, do you sew a side seam? I was thinking it would make a great casual vest.

  5. Susan Francomb says:

    What a brilliant idea. I’m going to have a go at this.

  6. Becky says:

    Did I miss something? Do you sew the sides?

  7. Staci A. Pope says:

    I have a bright multicolored scarf/wrap I’ve been holding onto forever. Now I have something to do with it.

  8. Wynn says:

    How far do you cut the middle? You didn’t give a measurement… I couldn’t work out how far the cut goes, please?
    I look forward to trying this.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Wynn, I did not give a measurement because this will depend on the length of your pashmina. I folded in half leaving 4 inches longer in the back because I wanted the scarf length the same on both sides. Remember you need the extra inches in the back to make a tunnel to be able to pass a belt trough it.

  9. Imolehin Abigail says:

    This is awesome, I enjoyed the tutorial, thanks

  10. Bijoux says:

    I pulled out my Pashimina scarf and thinking it would be great. I love the feel and softness. The colors are so beautiful. A store I sometimes go to has a great selection. Thanks again for the idea. I might have to buy more, thanks for the link too.

  11. Bijoux says:

    This is a really cute way to repurpose or restyle the scarf and enjoy the gift from your daughter. It can be worn casual or dressed up changing out the belt. Thank you for sharing this great idea.

  12. Leanne says:

    Wow! That’s clever! thanks for sharing!

  13. Catherine Wilson says:

    Great idea, thank you!

  14. Carla says:

    THIS IS BRILLIANT! Love your patterns and ideas! Thank You, Mayra and Debi!

  15. Scarf Room says:

    Yes! So many ways to utilise a scarf – the essential accessory for any woman’s wardrobe – lovely post 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *