Hey y’all, here’s my last travel post of the month – I’m going to show you how to make a travel wrap. And yes, I know today is technically August and not July, but there was that Skirting the Issue post and I’m on a summer-time schedule anyway. So we’ll pick up with August’s theme next week.
This travel wrap is something I’ve been meaning to make for myself for a long time, and after a flight to Salt Lake City in early July on which the air conditioner was set to freezing, I was kicking myself for not having done it already. Basically I wanted to create something that could be used as either a blanket or an accessory, since I’m all about packing light.
The first step to making one of these is to find the perfect fabric. It needs to be knit, it needs to have enough drape that you feel OK wearing it as a scarf, but not so lightweight that it can’t function as a blanket, and it needs to stretch both horizontally and vertically without excessive growth by stretching. I ended up choosing a lightweight French terry mystery warehouse fabric that almost certainly has some spandex in it. And in heather gray, it should go with everything. For more about types of knit fabrics and how you can tell them apart, see this post.
I’ve got a video of all the ways you can wear this and how to make it below, and if you prefer a written tutorial, scroll on past. Also, if the video won’t load or you prefer YouTube, you can watch it here.
This is a super basic make – first, cut a rectangle that is 60 inches wide by 30 inches tall (you can make this longer in either/both directions if you’d like). Fold the edges 3/4″ to the wrong side and stitch a hem all the way around (see below the diagram for corner treatment). And then add buttons and buttonholes as shown in the diagram below – the dots are buttons, I used 1/2 inch wide ones, and the slashes are buttonholes. That’s it for the making.
If you’d like, you can miter the corners of your wrap. First press crease marks from your 3/4″ folds on the edges. These should form a square at the corner (below left). Next, cut diagonally across that square to remove the corner (below right).
Fold the edge in diagonally so that the remaining crease marks from the square match the fold lines on straight edges (above left). Then fold the edges in so that they meet at a 45 degree angle from the corner. When I stitch these, I stitch up to the corner of the point on one side, then take a stitch across the gap and down the other fold of fabric at the corner before continuing on to the next edge.
Here are my favorite ways to wear the wrap, though check the video for more ideas.
Kimono Sleeves, top left: Fold the wrap in half, matching long edges. Button long edges to each other to form sleeves, then slip it on.
Poncho Style, top right: Fold wrap in half, matching long edges. Put it on around your neck with hemmed edges facing toward your neck and folded edge falling off your shoulders. Button the outermost front edges to each other.
Vest style, middle left: Button the short ends of the wrap to each other. Hold the loop behind you and slip arms in. If you pull the fabric down over your shoulders and arms, you can also wear it as a kind of cocoon shrug in this configuration.
Swimsuit cover, middle right: Unbutton completely. Hold top two corners of wrap with wrap behind you. Twist corners, then cross them and tie behind your neck like a halter.
Shoulder shrug, bottom left: Button the short ends to each other to form a loop. Step into loop. Twist the loop in front of your body and pull the second loop over your head. Work the edges down your shoulders to form the shrug.
Infinity scarf, bottom right: Fold the wrap in half, matching long edges. Button long edges to each other to form a tube, then button short edges to each other around the tube. Loop around your neck as you would an infinity scarf.