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How to make this fun kimono style beach cover by Becky Cole

This practical, cool, and stylish beach cover is styled in a kimono style and will work over any swimwear or simply around the house. If you are a beginner this is a simple project, just keep it to a simple poncho style cover. If you are a little more advanced in your sewing skills, adding a collar, a belt and belt holes will give you the challenge to turn this simple shape into a stylish kimono style cover.

You will need:

  • • 2 pieces of fabric size 1.5m x 1m (minimum)
  • • 6m bias binding
  • • 1.5mm bias binding (optional if doing beginner level)
  • • 2 strips of contrasting fabric 66cm x 16cm (optional if doing advanced level)
  • • 2 strips of contrasting fabric 1m x 12cm (optional if doing advanced level)
  • • Iron
  • • Sewing machine
  • • Sewing scissors
  • • Complimentary sewing thread
  • • Straight pins
  • • Tape measure
  • • Dressmakers chalk
  • • All seam allowances are 1cm unless otherwise indicated

Time to Make: 3 hours

Skill Level: Beginner/Advanced

Instructions:

  1. Gather your materials together. Its great fun to use some bright fabrics and patterns for your beach cover for that summery feel.

    I have chosen cotton to make the pictured beach cover but if you are more adept at using fabrics a light weight chiffon or silk would also work beautifully.

    Make sure the fabrics are a similar weight and that they are cool and breathable. Wash your fabrics before starting your project to cover shrinkage.
  2. Lay out your 2 large pieces of fabric on top of each other with right sides (RS) together.

    Fold them in half and, with your chalk, mark out a curve from 1m down the folded edge up to the top long edge.

    Make sure the curve that you mark sits at right angles to the edges of the fabric. Cut out your marked shape.
  3. Take one of the semi circles you have created, fold it in half and cut it to make two ¼ circle pieces. These are now your front pieces. The remaining semi circle is your back piece.
  4. Taking the back piece, fold it in half and mark a point 3cm down from the top along the folded edge, and a point 14cm along the top edge.

    Join these points with a curve and cut it out. This is to allow for the back of the neck.
  5. Lay the front pieces RS together and mark a point 14cm from the centre front along the top edge.

    Mark another point 50cm down the centre front. Join these two points with a diagonal line and cut along this line.

    If you are following the beginner level, skip to step 8. If you are following the advanced level, continue from here.
  6. To create the holes for the belt, you will need to repeat this step 4 times on each ¼ of the circle.

    Mark a point 30cm in from the centre front/back and 40cm down from the top edge.

    From this point draw a line 5cm down and a 2cm line across the top and a 2cm line across the bottom, creating a capital I.

    Snip along the 5cm line and then diagonally up into the 4 corners creating for triangular flaps.

    Press these out to the wrong side (WS) of the fabric.
  7. Cut 4 pieces of fabric 6cm x 9cm. Mark the same size hole as in step 6 in the centre of each piece.

    Cut the 4 triangular flaps as before and press out.

    The holes should now be the exact same size as those you have cut into the front and back pieces.

    Looking at the WS of each of the small pieces, fold up the outer edges so that they lie just inside the edges of the holes.

    Press these folds and then open them out and trim the corners.

    Place each piece WS together over each hole in the front and back pieces and pin in place.

    Stitch around the outer edges and the edges of the holes, enclosing all of the raw edges inside.
  8. Lay the front and back pieces, RS together, and pin and sew along the top edges.

    This creates the shoulder seams. I coincided these edges with the selvedge edges of the fabric I was using and so these seams didn’t need neatening.

    If your edges are raw you can neaten them with either a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine, or with an overcastting foot if your machine has one, or an overlocker if you have one of those.

    Press the seams open with an iron.
  9. Neaten the straight edges of the centre front with a roll hem, by turning the edge of the fabric over twice as it goes under your machine.

    Press them.
  10. Take your 6m piece of bias binding. With the RS of the beach cover facing you, line up one edge of the bias binding along the curved edge, leaving a little extra at the centre front.

    Stitch the bias binding all the way along the curved edge from centre front to centre front.

    Turn under the raw edges of bias binding to create a neat edge and turn the bias binding round to the WS of the fabric and stitch along the other edge of the binding, enclosing all of the raw edges inside.

    Press the edge to create a nice crisp hem.

    Collar: If you wish to follow the beginner level, repeat the process of bias binding along the neck edge, enclosing all of the remaining raw edges.

    You are now complete.
  11. If you are following the advanced level, to make the collar take the two pieces of contrasting fabric size 66cm x 16cm.

    Join the two pieces together at one narrow end creating one long strip 130cm long.

    Looking at the WS of the strip, press a 1cm seam allowance up along the full length of the strip.
  12. Fold the ends of the strips in half RS together and sew down the narrow ends.

    Trim the corners to remove the bulk and turn these ends round to the right way and press them.

    Line up the turned over edges along the length of the collar and press in half.
  13. As with the bias binding, line up the centre seam of the collar piece with the centre back point of the neck and pin one side to the beach cover.

    Pin the collar all the way round to the point where the centre front roll hem starts.

    Make sure that the final stitches in attaching the collar line up exactly with the outer edge of the rolled hem.
  14. Turn the collar round and press the seam.

    Pin the inside edge of the collar to the beach cover. RS up, stitch along the line of the seam you have just sewn, catching in the other side of the collar as you sew.
  15. Belt: Take the strip 1.5m x 12cm long.

    Fold the strip in half RS together and stitch the ends and along the full length of the strip, leaving a 10cm gap along the long edge.

    Trim the corners and turn the tube through using the gap, pulling out the corners with a pin to make a sharp edge.

    Press the belt piece flat and top stitch up the gap left in the side.

    Insert the belt piece through the holes you sewed earlier.

    Your beach cover is now complete.