Shawls and ponchos are fashion statements that can say a lot about how you feel or who you are. They’re comfortable, compliment many outfits, and are also very easy to make. Most people, when wanting a poncho or shawl, purchase one or buy fabric and make one. There are other ways, though.
Shawls don’t necessarily have to be knitted or crocheted. Things that are made from fabric, like curtains, tablecloths or even a tree skirt, can be quickly made into a beautiful wrap. And by the time you finish reworking the cloth no one will be able to tell what it once was. Make sure whatever you choose has no thick backing or bulky embellishments, and is made of cloth rather than vinyl.
A square tablecloth is one thing that can quickly become a shawl or poncho. For a shawl cut the table cloth into two triangles by cutting from one corner to the opposite corner. Each section can be made into a different design. For a child’s shawl cut one triangle in half again.
For a poncho, find the very center of the tablecloth by fold in half once, then again, to form a square. Where the folds all meet together is the very center. Mark it with a dot. Lay the tablecloth out on the table and place a round bowl over the dot, centering the dot in the middle. Draw the circle then cut it out to form the head opening.
Since you don’t want to appear as though you’re wearing a tablecloth try not to choose bold patterns, intricate or easy-to-recognize designs, or wild color combinations. Instead, choose solids colors, if possible. And choose a tablecloth made from a fabric that you might very well see on a shawl, such as lace, satin or, for a poncho, flannel. Add embellishments to make the wrap look even less like a tablecloth.
Some embellishments that are quick and beautiful are lace edging, piping, fringe or ruffles. With fabric glue you can add the notions quickly. It’s washable and fast. Stitch or glue fringe or another embellishment around the entire triangle, if it’s a shawl or around the neck opening and lower edges if it’s a poncho.
You can use fabric paints to outline designs in the material or paint on your own designs. Consider painting a monogram on the front of the wrap, for instance. Or, cut an image from another piece of cloth and sew or glue it onto the back of the shawl or poncho. Fabric stores have lots of printed cloth with images of Native American or nautical scenes, cartoon characters, and many other prints.
Other things you can use to make a wrap are a sheet, a curtain, a square or triangular piece of cloth or lace, or a flannel throw. Embellishments include ribbon, charms, decorative buttons, metallic thread, faux jewels or beads.