While winter may be working its magic across the snowy peaks, there are also some definite signs that summer is not too far away. So while the new lambs frolic in the fields, it’s time to set your sights on enjoying some long hot summer days with a fun sewing project.
A Pacific-inspired sarong is just the thing to get you in the mood for some tropical adventures, so let’s take a journey to the warmth of the coming months at our sewing table by whipping up a fabulous sarong with some gorgeous Pasifika fabric.
A sarong is a very useful piece of clothing with a myriad of uses past a stroll on the beach at sunset, so in this blog, we will chat a bit about ways to repurpose your Pasifika fabric sarong and chat about the steps you will need to take to get it ready to wear.
What is Pasifika Fabric?
Before you rush off to the fabric shop to purchase the material for your sarong, we better have a quick discussion about what it is you need to look for! Pasifika fabric is known for its sometimes vivid colours, intricate patterns, and mesmerising motifs. These repeated patterns are inspired by traditional tapa cloth traditionally made from bark.
These tapa cloths are called different names across the various Pacific Islands - Tonga says ngatu, Samoa is siapo, and Nuie is called hiapo. Pasifika fabric draws from the repetitive pattern work, and the subjects often used in a Pasifika fabric often reflect the way tapa leans into images of marine life, flower motifs and birds.
Gather Your Materials
A sarong is a fairly simple sewing project, but you will still need a few essential materials to embark on this creative journey. Don't worry; we've got you covered! Here's what you'll need:
- Pasifika fabric - approx. 2.2 metres
- Fabric scissors
- Measuring tape
- Fabric chalk
- Sewing machine
- Thread - choose a colour that complements your Pasifika fabric
- Optional: decorative fringes or tassels
Now that you have all your materials ready, it's time to begin; let’s go step by step together through the preparation for sewing your sarong.
Measure and Cut
As a rule of thumb, a standard sarong measures around 150cm long x 115cm wide, but it really is up to you. Wrap your fabric around your body to get a good idea of what will suit you.
- Mark Your Measurement
Using your fabric chalk or a washable marker, carefully mark where you want to cut - you can use a ruler for this step to be sure your cut is accurate and straight.
- Cut Your Pasifika Fabric
Using your chalk or marker lines, cut precisely along the fabric length with good scissors - make sure they are sharp so you get a clean cut.
Pin Your Fabric
Fold over the edges of your fabric by around 1.2 cm and firmly pin them in place. This will stop your sarong from fraying - even if it ends up in the ocean!
Sewing Your Sarong
Now it’s time to set up your sewing machine with the matching thread you have chosen and start sewing! Choose a straight stitch on your sewing machine to sew along the edges, securing the folds that you made with your pins - you can remove the pins as you go.
If you opted to buy some tassels or fringing, you will need to pin these on after you have sewn the edges. This can look really great and will add some originality and flair to your creation. Be careful not to get fringing or tassels caught up as you sew the border onto your sarong.
Ultimately you want to tie that sarong on however you like and wander down a white sand beach immediately! However, there are so many applications for a sarong you don’t need to wait until the sun shines to use yours.
A sarong makes a fabulous tablecloth; you can use it to wrap up your hair after a shower, dry off after a swim or use it as a vibrant scarf or as a wrap for cooler nights - there are no firm rules, do as they do in the Islands and go with the flow.
Browse Pasifika Fabric
The Fabric Shop has some great Pasifika fabric options available - and we can supply all the other things on your little sarong sewing shopping list.
Have a look at our range of fabrics now, or get in touch if you have any questions.