How to Sew a Scarf Into a Top That's Perfect for the Summer

Jessica Shaw
by Jessica Shaw
7 Materials
1 Hour

If you have scarves to spare, but need more tops, then here’s a perfect solution! Follow this easy tutorial to learn how to sew a scarf into a cowl-necked top.

If you don’t want to sacrifice any of your scarves, then just pick up a few at a thrift store. This makes a great, soft, summer scarf and you just may want to make several.

Tools and materials:

  • Large scarf
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Sewing pins
  • Dress form
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
Cutting the scarf to the right size

1. Cut your scarf

Measure the length of your torso. Then fold your scarf in half widthwise and check that the folded link is sufficient for your top.

The scarf will likely be longer than you need. Add about 4 inches to your torso measurement for the top seam allowances, and then measure your scarf up from the bottom. Cut your folded scarf at that measurement.

If your scarf is very long, you can see my previous tutorial on how to turn a scarf into a dress.

Checking the sizing by draping on a dress form

2. Check the sizing

Drape and pin the front piece of your scarf top to a dress form with the top edge just under the arm.

If the fabric is too wide, adjust the size by cutting from the sides on the front and back piece equally. If your scarf is patterned, then you will want to cut from both sides to keep the pattern symmetrical.

Sewing the top hem

3. Sew the top hem

Fold and pin down the top edge 4 inches on the front piece. Sew along the folded edge.

Making armholes

4. Make armholes

Drape and pin the top front to your dress form again, with the right side facing in. Fold down the top corners and pin, to fashion armholes.

How to make a scarf into a top

Sew down the armholes at the folded edge on both sides of the fabric.

Trimming off the excess fabric

Trim off the excess fabric from the armholes.

Making the back piece for the top

5. Make the back piece

With the right sides facing in, lay the back piece on top of the front piece, matching up the side seams. Cut the back piece only so you have a simple rectangle that fits onto the front below the armhole, allowing for a 4-inch seam allowance at the top.

Folding and pinning the top edge

Fold and pin the top edge of the back piece at 4 inches. Sew the back piece top hem close to the folded edge.

Attaching the front and back pieces together

6. Attach the front and back pieces

With right sides facing in, pin and sew the side seams to attach the front and back pieces of your scarf top.

Measuring the shoulder straps

7. Add shoulder straps

Pin the top onto your dress form and measure the length of straps you will need to go from the top of one shoulder, over the shoulder, and to the top of the back on the opposite side.

Pinning the shoulder staps

Cut your shoulder straps from cotton cord and pin them to your top while it’s on the dress form.

Sewing the straps in place

Sew the cord straps in place.

How to sew a scarf into a top

How to sew a scarf into a top

Now you have a really cute summer scarf top with crisscross straps. I hope you try this scarf into a top tutorial. If you do, please leave me a comment to let me know how you liked it… and how many you are planning to make!

Suggested materials:
  • Large scarf
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
See all materials

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