I came across this garment called the "Bina" yesterday and, yes, maybe I am a little slow on this one, but in case you haven't seen it, I thought I'd feature it at Sew-Whats-New.com.
The Bina is nothing more than a piece of fabric two to three yards long with a couple of cleverly positioned slits for both your arms and head. As far as I am concerned this should be every beginner's first project and NOT a Christmas tree skirt or an apron. "Just sayin'".
Check it out:
According to the official Bina web site, you can wear it a multitude of ways by simply changing up how it is wrapped. You can wear it as a back wrap, blouse, cardigan, front wrap, headscarf, poncho, scarf, shrug, stole, and more styles. That's a lot of clothing for two to three yards of fabric.
These garments are so easy to make, you could make a bunch as gifts and put them away for each occasion. I would recommend making a Bina using knit fabric with nice draping. I bought some really nice stretchy grey suiting yesterday to make one for myself. A "buy one, get two free" sale at the fabric store was just over-the-top tempting. I know you understand. ;) You can learn how to make one over at Fine Craft Guild. They've written up a great tutorial! You could serge your edges depending on what type of fabric you've chosen, you might want a nice hem, or simply leave raw edges if you are using a knit fabric since knits won't fray. It's important that we remember to use a ball-point needle and use a zig-zag stitch, or some sort of stitch that will accommodate a stretch. I once did NOT use a stretch stitch and ruined my pj bottoms. Here's some video hints for sewing with knits too.
Here is a video showing us how a Bina can be draped to create several styles:
The Bina was something that a young lady by the name of Bina Brianca came up with after cleaning out her over-cramped, undersized NYC closet and was struck by the stacks of scarves and wraps she had accumulated. She loved them, but rarely wore them. She doesn't know what came over her, but in a fit of inspiration, as she herself is, she grabbed a pair of scissors and started cutting. She had created a versatile fashion solution, as well as an awesome project for any beginner sewer.