DIY Pashmina Refashion – Number 1!

I think of the 3 pashmina refashions I posted about last week, THIS is my favourite! In a less drapey fabric, making a top that is essentially a huge square, could run the risk of swamping me and making me look huge. But because pashmina fabrics are generally so soft and drapey they fall really nicely and, unless you walk around with your arms held out to the side, you wouldn’t know it was just a simple square shape….

Essentially, I started by folding the pashmina in half, tassled ends together and folded edge at the top. (This photo is actually sideways on. So the folded edge is to your left) I’m using the full width of the pashmina to give me that really slouchy/drapey feel. So the selvedges of the pashmina will become my side seams. Because they are selvedges, I won’t need to hem the sleeves or finish the edges of the side seams. (Less work! Yay for that!) From the folded edge, I marked out the length I wanted + 3″ and cut the excess off from the tassled bottom end. (on the right in this photo). So I had basically, a rectangle of pashmina fabric, folded in half to make a square….

Ok, so now we’re looking at this the right way up. The folded edge along the top. I used an embroidery hoop centred on the folded edge, to trace my neck hole. (You could use an existing garment also, or anything round of the right size. Plate, bowl etc). The shape and size of your neck hole is basically down to personal preference and/or the size of your head! I’d suggest measuring a top you already have to get a rough idea of the dimensions….

Mark a point 1.5″ –  2″ down (depending on how much of a slope you want in your shoulder) from the folded edge on each side/selvedge. Then join each side point to the edge of the neck hole you just marked to create your shoulder lines….

Mark down from your new shoulder line, where you want your armhole opening to finish. (I used my trusty hole reinforcers to avoid marking this part with chalk). Again, measure an existing garment to get an idea of the size armhole you need. My finished armhole is about 8″. Don’t forget to take account of seam allowances. I moved this dot down another inch after this photo was taken because I forgot to add SA initially…You can always err on the side of caution and mark them quite large, then sew up the side seams a bit more if you want the openings a bit smaller after you’ve tried it on…

Cut along the shoulder and neck lines you marked. You now have 2 pattern pieces,with selvedges running down the side….

Construction is as follows:

1. Sew shoulder seams, press open, finish raw edges.
2. Finish neckline using bias tape as a facing. Good tute here or here.
3. Sew side seams from the armhole dots, down to the hem. (no need to finish any raw edges as they’re selvedges!)
4. Hem, and you’re done!

Oh, and I added a patch pocket from my Roxanne pattern just as a finishing touch….

Because of the way this particular make hangs when it’s worn, (mostly due to my “ladies”!) it naturally forms a high/low hem…..

TIP: Pashmina  fabric frays like hell. So work quickly and finish any raw edges quickly and securely. Possibly even before you begin constructing.

TIP: Check  fabric content/label.  Pashminas often contain wool/cashmere etc and may shrink in a tumble dryer. This black one did shrink a little in length after the first wash.

TIP: Use the correct needle for the weight of fabric. Pashmina fabric is suprisingly fine when laid out flat. I used a “sharps 60”

TIP: Use a walking foot. Pashmina fabric is not only surprisingly fine, it also has a relatively loose weave. The walking foot ensures the layers are pulled through at an even rate and not distorted.

So, what do you think? Are you gonna give this a try? I’d love to see them if you do! I shall certainly be on the lookout for some more pashminas to make some more of these! Soooooooo comfy….


Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestGoogle+


  1. Lady Sewalot September 16, 2013

    This is a great idea! I can’t wait for my next charity shop visit so I can pick up some pashminas and have a go for myself!

  2. flossiejamieson September 16, 2013

    Fabulous! I’m loving the easy comfy look and the way it drapes. Will def be onto this as soon as nursery/school/work allows. Looking forward to the next two tutorials – it’s like you read my mind with this style of top. Good work!

  3. foamofdays September 16, 2013

    Oh, I love pashmina refashion! Beautiful top!
    I made a poncho from my pashmina scarf, that hardly required any sewing skills..

  4. MrsC (Maryanne) September 16, 2013

    ‘ve been drooling over some of the patterned ones around and imagining tops made from them for ages, but not done it. And now you’ve proven the approach works, so I feel far more inclined to give it a go! Thank you! It looks awesome!

  5. julie September 16, 2013

    I am going to try this as soon as I find the American to English dictionary for what bias tape is and also what a walking foot is! You are a great inspiration. I will be visiting my local “charity” or thrift store soon!

  6. opportunityknits September 17, 2013

    This looks easy enough, thanks for sharing! Now I just need to have the courage to cut into the shawl, cos the fabric on my shawl does look very loosely woven.

  7. Nat at Made in Home September 17, 2013

    I love the look of it, but I am not sure I am experienced enough to work that sort of fabric…

  8. The Crafty Novice September 17, 2013

    What a clever and inexpensive idea! Thanks for the tutorial!

  9. Clare Szabo September 17, 2013

    Oooh I am totally going to have a go at this. I love this kind of top and have a cream pashmina that I never use. Great tutorial!

  10. Lisa DeNardi September 19, 2013

    I just LOVE this. I’m all about comfort and I could live in something like that. Might have to give that a try!

  11. Clare Grobler September 20, 2013

    Your pashmina top is great and just in time for the South African Summer. I certainly will be making a few for myself.

  12. Tina September 22, 2013

    TOTALLY unrelated quesiton–where did you get that grid/curve tool?

  13. Elizabeth September 11, 2016

    I did mine the other way around, no need even to cut and you get long sleeves. Wrap it around like a shawl and stitch the two fronts together, leaving the top open for the neck you can then stitch the sides to make sleeves or not as you prefer.

    • Portia Lawrie September 12, 2016

      Sounds great!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *