Square Bolero…

Square Shrug
Let’s call this a bolero and not a shrug. Bolero sounds of music and latin songs and Spain, while shrug sounds like this…a form of nonverbal communication that is performed by lifting both shoulders up, and is an indication of an individual either not knowing an answer to a question, or not caring… (Wikipedia)
Last week while thrifting I found the bolero pictured above hanging sadly on its hanger. The reason why it looks shapeless on a hanger is that the bolero is actually a square and only recognizable as a shrug when worn. This one was made by H&M and loosely knitted. The “dress” on the right is actually a skirt I made this week from two black t-shirts. I used two different tones of black (easy, if you have only thrift shop t-shirts to work with, ha! Finding matching ones is tough). Luckily, thrift stores have plenty of black shirts so they can be pieced together for a bigger project.
Square Shrug

I love the idea of garments that drape and move and are not what they seem to be. Obviously I wanted to understand how to make one of those. The measurements below are for a child (or very small adult: me) size bolero, because my daughter was intrigued by the idea of a square which could be worn as a vest and wanted one, too. The good thing is that experimenting is fun, as the vests are simple and fast to make: Here are some images from my notebook.

Square Shrug
Measurements in inches.
Square Shrug

Square Shrug

Square Shrug

Black Bolero T-Shirt

The one pictured just above was made from thrifted t-shirts and looks very similar to the one in the top image, although it doesn’t drape quite as well. The “pattern” would be perfect for the knitters amongst you!

I’ll definitely will make a bigger one to keep me warm in the cool North East summer nights. Yep,  a woman can dream, right?

Have a lovely weekend!

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15 Responses to “Square Bolero…”

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  1. A Mom's Choice says:

    Great Idea. Is the maroon one a miniature one to test the pattern? I'm learning so many new things from your blog.

  2. lorenabr says:

    Lovely idea:)

  3. suschna says:

    Da raucht das Gehirn beim Nachvollziehen. Schöne Übung fürs räumliche Denken.

  4. Maite - vitoma says:

    Genial idea.

  5. Ida says:

    I understand how you constructed it, but how does one wear it??

  6. ritahart178 says:

    Would you show us how you made the skirt with the t-shirts?

    Thanks, Rita

  7. Amoronia says:

    Wow! I will try to make this for sure!

  8. Rowena says:

    I am still trying to figure this one out. The top flap is sewn to the arm flaps, but the bottom is completely open? So the open bottom is both the neck and the back hem? Like a bag with two arm holes?

  9. annekata says:

    Hi all,
    It took me a while to figure out a pattern for this. Rowena is right, the open bottom is both the neck and back hem. The maroon one is indeed the test pattern. The (poorly photographed and desaturated) black and white image shows the transformation from square to bolero by lifting up the "bottom hem" which is then the neck, front and back hem. It took me also a while to figure this out.

    @Rita: As for posting a tutorial on the skirt, I can't do it at the moment. My friend Maya from mayamade.com has a great pattern for t-shirt skirts with many variations very similar to the one above if you want to take a look: http://mayamade.blogspot.com/2010/08/reinvention-skirt-pdf-now-available.html

    Have a great weekend everybody!

  10. Michelle York says:

    Fantastic Design..Can't wait to try it. You are so generous.

  11. dorie says:

    thx for showing and explaning the pattern, I have to give it a try.

  12. kate says:

    i just whipped one of these up in 15 minutes with a waffle knit organic cotton and my serger threaded with fun orange & purple thread–it's gorgeous & cozy! thank you so much for this awesome tutorial.

  13. konzong says:

    C’est l’un des plus cool tutoriel que j’ai vu.
    Merci beaucoup.

  14. ctm says:

    thank you! i’ve made mine!

  15. loran says:

    Hi- Great idea and tutorial….. just checking, though….. many of us throughout the world use centimeters…. are you using inches?

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