Wedding DIY project: tartan stole

I’ve been on a wee bitty of a holiday which I couldn’t say no to. After all, the last holiday I took from work was 3 days back in February, so the last couple of weeks (plus a few more next week) feels well deserved. My best friend has come for a visit to see Scotland the last couple weeks and it has been a lot of fun travelling and sightseeing like a local, while also seeing the must see points of interest.

I promised that I was going to post a tutorial once I made a stole out of the tartan fabric I bought from the Scotland Shop. I already bought tartan shoe clips for my shoes, but felt a stole would also be a nice complementary piece to my dresses.

My tartan shoe clips from Bouquet by Rosa Loren

In the end, the stole is slightly shorter than I would have liked. The width of the fabric was 140cm so I felt a stole of 50cm would mean my stole would by approximately 140cm x 50cm, but I think it still works. If you prefer your stole to hang longer, you might want to purchase a ready made stole as it would work out to be a better price than making your own. For a longer stole, you’d need about 2m of fabric. I got the 10oz woolen fabric which works out at about £70/metre so you’d be paying £140 for 2 metres of fabric plus lining (which costs £3.50/metre in my local fabric shop). If you’ve got more than one stole to make, you can cut this in two and have 2 stoles of 2m x 70cm so you’d only be spending £73.50 per stole then…still less than buying one from the shop!

So to make your own, you’ll need:

Tartan fabric (I got the 10oz fabric from Scotland Shop which is priced at £47/metre). For fabric 1.5m wide, you can get a length of 0.5m for a slightly shorter stole, or 2m for a longer stole (you can make 2 stoles from this)
Matching lining
Matching thread

Because tartan fabric has quite a few different colours in it, you’re best to choose the most complementary colour. I asked the OH and he recommended hunter green lining which I have to say works quite well.

Fabric and lining

Now, to make your stole!

1. You’ll find when you buy fabric (no matter what kind), the cut edge is usually not straight. It’s not that easy to cut a straight line.

The lining I bought from the shop. There was such a big curve in the line cut, the shop owner gave me an extra 5cm in length.

To get straight edges, you’re best to start with the tartan fabric. Along the length of your fabric (while still folded in half), find the line closest to the edge and cut along these lines on both sides.

2. Now your tartan fabric should have straight edges all around because the selvedge is always straight. To get your lining to be the right length and width (with straight lines), match the selvege on the lining making sure the whole piece is flat, and carefully place your tartan fabric on top. This will be your guide on how to get your lining to be the same size as the tartan.

Note: Make sure the two sides of the folded fabric line up with the tartan, otherwise you’ll end up with a jagged/shorter edge on one side!

3. Now, to make sure your fabric doesn’t move, pin the tartan to the lining on the edges you want cut. For less movement, pin on all 4 sides.

4. Starting with one side, carefully cut the lining using the edge of the tartan as your guide and remove the excess lining.

When you’re finished, your tartan and lining pieces should be approximately the same size.

5. Stoles usually have a fringe at the end, but because it seemed like a difficult step for me at this time, I decided to leave the selvedge as my fringed ends. I started by pinning the right sides of my tartan (both sides are the same, so it doesn’t really matter which side you use unless it’s really obvious which is the right and wrong sides) to the lining.

6. Before you start sewing, if you’re leaving the fringed selvedge as the ends of your stole like me, make sure you snip off the corners of the lining.

7. Leave slightly more seam allowance with knit fabrics in case of fraying (I used 1/2″ as my seam allowance) and start sewing from the cut corner of your lining along the length of your stole.

8. To neaten the sides you’ve just sewn together, cut away the frayed threads.

Now turn your stole inside out, from the short open edges, so the right sides are on the outside.

9. We need to make sure opposite sides of the stole are the same length, so I tucked the raw selvedge edge of the lining under, using a line on the tartan as a guide. I also tucked the cut corners under and pinned these for sewing.

Now carefully sew along the corner and short ends.

10. With the stole turned inside out, the long ends will be quite poofy. You can either iron this, or I prefer a more permanent solution: sew these edges again really close to the edge. Along the stitched seam of the lining and tartan, flatten this as much as you can.

Pin this so that it keeps its place while you do the same with the lengths of both sides.

11. This is the part you need to be really careful. To keep the stitches hidden as much as possible, I used the notch on the machine foot as my guide. I carefully fed the fabric under the needle with the edge of the lining matching the notch on the foot.

Note: Keep your fabric taut (by gently pulling on the fabric yet to go under the needle) so your edges are as flat as possible when it goes under the needle.

Your finished edges should look something like this.

Now you have a finished tartan stole 🙂 Just do a final check to make sure you’re happy with all the stitched edges and that no stitching looks out of place.

My finished Cunningham/Nicholson Ancient Hunting tartan stole

It might seem a bit of overkill to have so many pieces of tartan, but apart from the OH’s kilt, the shoe clips and ribbon on the bouquets and boutonnieres aren’t big pieces, so only the tartan stole will really be the centrepiece matching the OH’s kilt to my outfit. I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

The stole would look nicer if it were longer, I do admit, but for the £40 I paid for the tartan fabric, lining and thread, I’m not complaining 🙂

I’ll post photos up from our holiday travels and eatery highlights soon!

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