How to Transform an Embroidered Beach Cover-Up into a Trendy Tunic

comments (2) August 1st, 2008     

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JenniferStern Jennifer Stern, contributor
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My latest thrift store find.
Sketch your design.
Use a ruler to mark off a 2-inch band around the neck.
My latest thrift store find.

My latest thrift store find.

Photo: Jen Stern
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While on vacation last week, I took a break from the beach to partake in another of my favorite activities—window shopping in Chatham, MA, which led to fabulous fashion research! The "it" look was a tunic with a circular yoke around the neck. I was amazed at all the different variations I saw, everything from soft gathered fabrics, tubular sheaths, bubbles, and A-line silhouettes. Later that week, I found a cool embroidered beach cover-up in a thrift shop (for $5).

When I got home, I popped the cover-up on my dressform and thought about it for a while—I often do that when I'm trying to decide where to take a design. Looking at a garment or something I'm working on in 3-D always helps me decide how I'm going to proceed.

The larger open neckline was finished with a hand-embroidered blanket stitch. Inspired by my fashion research expedition during vacation, I decided to transform the embroidered neckline into a circular yoke. The rest of the cover-up offered plenty of embroidered fabric to make a gathered tunic. I'm going to show you how to take this beach cover-up apart and transform it into a trendy top. If you don't have a beach cover-up to work with, you can use any scoop-neck top to design the yoke. Pick a soft fabric that coordinates with your top to design the rest of the tunic.

What You'll Need:
A tunic pattern with a circular yoke neckline (see Pattern Drafting 101 for directions on how to make this pattern)
A larger beach cover-up or top with a large scoop neck
Wash-away marker
Clear ruler
Scissors
Pins
Thread to match fabric
Dressform or a friend on which to drape the yoke pattern piece

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Comments (2)

JenniferStern writes: Thanks, I was soooo excited when I found all that embroidery! I typically do not wear that much embroidery...my sister has scooped up the finished top. I got some great scoop neck tees at Target, and I think I'm going to try this pattern using them...maybe I'll use different colors. I'll post it when it's done! Happy hunting in your closet!
Posted: 9:17 am on August 9th
SusieQP writes: What an awesome thrift shop find! Such a beautiful embroidered piece! I can't wait for next week to see the finished project.

Your detailed directions and photos are very inspiring! I'm going to have to go through my closet and take out some old clothing that is now too big for me and see if I have anything I can alter like this. What a great idea!


Posted: 12:24 am on August 9th
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