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Projects & Patterns

Make a Simple Sarong

Weightless fabrics combine in a versatile sarong
Threads #214, Summer 2021
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Sarongs have a romantic and feminine look. An unstructured wrap sarong is a garment you can make without a pattern and wear several ways: as a skirt, an elegant shawl, a beach cover-up, or even a strapless dress.

The sarong is made with two fabric layers. The raw edges are enclosed between the layers to create a finished edge. Use different colored fabrics, as shown, for more styling options.

A drapey fabric is essential. Look for lightweight, flowing materials such as  chiffon, rayon, silk crepe, or fluid cotton. Avoid heavier linens, organza, or any fabric that’s too stiff to drape.

Try this style to get started. Once you’ve made one, you’ll discover more fabric combinations, sewing techniques, and embellishments to try.

Tools and materials

  • Drapey fabric in two colors, 1 3/4 yards each
  • Hand-sewing needle
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread

Cut and assemble the sarong

1. Cut the sarong layers. Cut two 40-inch by 64-inch fabric rectangles. Fold each rectangle in half, widthwise. Follow the diagram to trim the rectangle’s front edges to a curve.

Cut two 40-inch by 64-inch fabric rectangles. Follow the diagram to trim the rectangle’s front edges to a curve.

2. Assemble the sarong. Align the fabric pieces with right sides together. Serge the edges together, or sew with a 3/8-inch-wide seam allowance. Leave a 6-inch opening to turn the sarong right side out.

Assemble the sarong.

3. Turn the sarong right side out. Pull the fabric through the 6-inch opening (A). Press the sarong and slipstitch the opening closed (B).

Pull the fabric through the 6-inch opening (A) Press the sarong and slipstitch the opening closed (B).

More ways to wear It

There are no rules when it comes to wrapping your sarong. You can drape the fabric around your shoulders as a shawl; tie it as a skirt on either side; belt and blouse it; or roll it at the top for a shorter look. If you’re wearing it off the beach and concerned about exposure, add a safety pin to discreetly anchor the opening.

More Ways to Wear It, dress More Ways to Wear It, shoulder dress More Ways to Wear, skirt

A two-color sarong provides wearing options, from a chic one-shoulder cover-up to a classic sarong skirt.

If you sew, rather than serge, the sarong seam, pink the raw edges for a narrow seam allowance that won’t fray.Tip: If you sew, rather than serge, the sarong seam, pink the raw edges for a narrow seam allowance that won’t fray.


Adapted from “So-Easy Sarong” by Teresa Montalvo and Joanne Beretta, Threads #65 (June/July 1996).

Photos: (model) Jack Deutsch; (all others) Sloan Howard. Illustration: Gloria Melfi.

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