Made mostly from standard 22-inch bandannas, the garments are approximately size 5. To alter the size, simply buy larger or smaller bandannas and adjust the measurements. Look for them at army-navy stores or outdoor markets. For vintage designs, try online auctions. Bandannas are classic American cowboy gear, but look closely: The designs vary from Indian paisleys to old-fashioned florals. Since most bandannas cost no more than two dollars, a whole summer wardrobe can be stitched up for a song. What could be cooler than that?
Beachcomber Apron How-To
You will need: one 22-inch yellow bandanna and 1 1/2 yards white rope trim.
1. Fold and position bandanna as shown. Measure 4 inches from tip of top corner; cut off corner for a pocket. Hem raw edges of pocket and neckline.
2. Topstitch pocket in place. To create casings for apron ties, fold over by 1 inch two edges adjacent to neckline; stitch in place. Use a safety pin to snake rope through casing from corner to corner, leaving extra at neck.
Bermuda Pants How-To You will need: two 27-inch red bandannas and 24 inches of 1/2-inch wide cotton twill tape.
1. Lay bandannas on top of each other, right sides facing. Bandannas are slightly rectangular; pin them together along long sides. Fold bandannas in half lengthwise, aligning pinned sides. Create arc for crotch as follows (left): Starting from top corner, measure 8 inches down one pinned edge; mark this spot. Measure 1 1/2 inches in from spot; make an X. Measure 2 inches in from top corner; make an X. Draw a line from X to X and out to pinned side, rounding off as shown. Cut along curved line (right).
2. Unfold bandannas. Sew bandannas together along both crotches; stitch again to reinforce. Notch curves. Trim seams to 1/2 inch.
3. Open out bandannas and shift so crotches are centered and aligned. Sew together along each inside seam. Trim seam allowances.
4. To create casing for drawstring, fold waistband down 1 1/2 inches. Sew parallel to fold, making a 1-inch channel. Turn pants right side out; open front seam to create a small hole through which to thread twill tape. Using safety pin, thread twill tape through casing, beginning and ending at this hole.
Necktie How-To Dress-up doesn't have to mean button-down. Create a casual tie out of two 4-inch-wide strips cut from a bandanna. Sew strips end-to-end to create one long piece; press hems in short ends. Fold this piece lengthwise, wrong side out; stitch along long edge. Turn right side out, press, and you're ready to dress your kid for dinner!
Halter Top How-To For a top that's as fun to make as it is to wear, all you need are a bandanna and some soft rope trim. To make, fold bandanna in half on diagonal. At neckline, fold center point over by 2 1/2 inches; stitch a seam parallel to the fold to create a 1-inch-wide casing. Snake rope trim through casing with safety pin, and tie at the neck; tie corners together at the back.
Halter Dress How-To You will need: three 22-inch pink bandannas and 1 1/2 yards cotton twill tape.
1.From one bandanna, cut four 3-inch-wide strips to make straps, as shown.
2. Stack other two bandannas (top), right sides facing, matching up designs. Pin together on long sides. Stitch together one pinned side, then other, stopping 6 inches from corner (for keyhole opening). Make straps (bottom): Sew one long and one short strip together end-to-end. Fold ends under as a hem and press. Fold resulting piece lengthwise; stitch 1/2 inch from fold. Turn right side out; press. Repeat with other two border pieces.
3.Refold dress so seams are centered and opening is up, as shown. Stitch down, across, then up other side of opening. Hem dress at bottom, if desired. At top, fold down edge along print border; stitch parallel to fold to create a 1-inch channel.
4. Run twill tape through channel with safety pin; leave ends free. With dress flat (not gathered), pin straps to inside, placing each 2 1/2 inches from center front seam. Stitch straps in place, securing tape with stitches so dress won't gather at neckline. Tie straps behind neck.