What on earth is a wrap? I hear you ask…
Weirdly, I think it’s a Guernsey thing, perhaps to do with living on an island and being brought up on the beach! Surely it cannot just be a Guernsey thing? Anyway, a wrap is basically a tube of towelling, elasticated at the top. It’s useful on the beach or at the pool because you can use it to change into your swimsuit while wearing it (we’re modest folk in Guernsey) as well as using it to dry off after a dip.
I made my first wrap recently so I thought I’d share the process here on the blog. The explanation below assumes you have some sewing experience. Apologies for the lack of process photos – I used dark blue towelling so the photos I took showed very little detail. Hopefully my work sheet helps.
You will need:
- A length of towelling 1 m 80 cm x 1 m 50 cm (this fits a medium-sized adult, adjust as needed). Note that the larger measurement is the height of the wrap.
- Cotton thread to match your towelling colour
- 1 m of thick elastic (I used 1 inch thick elastic)
- A large safety pin
- Sewing needle
- Sharp scissors
- Sewing machine
- Tape measure
- Download this worksheet: How to make a Guernsey wrap worksheet
In the explanation below right and wrong sides of the fabric are referred to. It’s quite tricky to work out which side of towelling is “right” and which is “wrong” so just make your own choice and stick to it. If one side looks like it will be more absorbent than the other, have that as the wrong side so it’s closest to your skin.
Download the How to make a Guernsey wrap worksheet.
Make sure the edges of your fabric are properly squared up. Trim as needed. Don’t rely on your fabric shop to cut straight…!
Serge/overlock the edges of your fabric. If you don’t have an overlock stitch on your machine then use a zig-zag stitch instead. This is to stop the edges of your fabric fraying.
Refer to the worksheet. With the wrong side of the fabric facing you, fold over over the top of the fabric (edge C) to create the hem where the elastic will feed through. This is the neck of your wrap. The size of this hem will depend on the width of your elastic. Ensure there is plenty of room for your elastic to fit through. Pin and sew.
Hold the fabric against you to work out how long you would like your wrap to be. I recommend ankle length but it’s up to you.
With the wrong side of the fabric facing you, fold up your hem (edge D), pin and sew. You may need to trim the fabric before you hem it.
Fold your wrap in half, right sides together. Pin and sew edges A and B together, starting just underneath the opening where the elastic will go (see photo below, start sewing next to the horizontal pink headed pin to ensure the elastic opening is not sewn over). Sew right down to the bottom of the wrap (edge D).
Attach the elastic to your large safety pin and feed through the top hem. Note I only had a kilt pin handy… it was a bit big!
Put your wrap on and give the elastic a tug to work out how tight you’d like it. It just needs to sit on your shoulders really. Make sure you hang on to both ends of the elastic!
Trim your elastic. Pin it and sew by hand or on the machine. Both options are a little fiddly.
Finally, you need to close the gap over the elastic – just tuck in the raw edges and over sew by hand (funky nail polish optional).
There you have it! Your lovely Guernsey wrap.