Making something with no plan truly lets your creativity flourish naturally through play. We can spend countless hours researching the next project and planning it out perfectly although many times the best creations are made on a whim. I hope you enjoy my very simple visibly stitched wrap bolero and how my creative process works.

I got this beautiful fabric from Sew to Speak and it was my splurge! At $28 per yard I figured one yard would be a nice challenge. Originally, I was thinking I would whip up a bag, but then I noticed the fabric had the visible hand stitches running through both sides. I felt it would be a waste to hide that beautiful hand work so I decided a wearable piece of art would be more fitting.

I began by draping the fabric over my mannequin in different ways to get inspiration. This also helps to see what works and doesn’t work.

If I would’ve bought a quarter yard more fabric I could have squared it up and had a caplet cape. That would have been glorious.

I couldn’t bring myself to waste any of this fabric. But, how could I turn a rectangle into a 3D piece?

From the look of it on the dress form I knew I had a starting line. A simple pull over caftan would work with what I purchased.

I carefully cut two slits in the shoulders to drape down. I did this by folding the fabric in fourths and cutting right up to where my shoulder starts. Then I put it back on the dress form to see what would be next. I studied it on the form before making my next cuts.

Another slit up the center front for an opening seemed lovely. I folded the piece in fourths again and proceeded to cut a boat neck hole out. This move suddenly brought red contrast to the garment and made it look as if it had a red lapel. I really liked where it was going.

What about a button closure and a nice rolled red and exposed hemline? Why not take what was now turning into a bolero top up a notch? I found myself getting more creative as I searched for more ways to make it work.

I practiced my rolled hem to make sure it was perfect with my serger. Once I felt good about my stitches I hemmed all the way around the piece.

I found a good sized button and practiced my manual button hole. The button was so large the automatic feature would not work. Did you know you can do manual button holes for larger buttons?

I loved how the red popped out on the collar so I cuffed the sleeves to bring the two together. The creativity just kept evolving at this point!


I thought I was finished until I realized that I didn’t like how the corners hung down. I went ahead and put this on to see if there were any other options. There are always more options including ripping it all apart and making that bag if I had to.

Flourishing again, I sewed each corner to its same side at 10″ in.

I was lucky it all worked out and at the same time I can’t believe I pulled it off. It feels magnificent to let go and make the rules up as you go along.

This was my only waste – the neck hole and the frayed edges.

Sometimes creativity flourishes from necessity and other times  just from plain, good old-fashioned play time. I hope you find time to play in your near future.

Behind the scenes~

I made bowl cozies for my secret Santa gift using Crafty Gemini’s Youtube tutorial.

They were fun and easy to make if you need a last minute gift.


Thank you for reading,

Tracy McElfresh

Dream it! Sew it!

Tracy McElfresh
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