Ginger Made: The Rambo Project!

Hi, guys! I’m already giggling a little bit because this garment is pretty funny. A while back, Seamstress Erin asked me if I wanted to take part in The Rambo Project. You can read more about it on her blog, but in a nutshell, she received a box of old turbans, costumes from Rambo III, and sent them to a bunch of sewing bloggers so we could refashion them! I’m super excited about this! I love that we’re taking old, unloved items and reusing them, I love that there’s a Hollywood connection, and I love in particular that it’s to a schlocky action movie. I’m an action movie junkie, and I remember my dad watching Rambo on his Betamax player after I was in bed when I was a little girl. I tried to sneak peeks, but alas, he always caught me and sent me back to bed!

The Rambo Project | Ginger Makes

I wanted to make something really over the top with this, since it was such a fun project. I had a vision of a shorts jumpsuit or little shorts with suspenders. I thought and thought and thought about how to accomplish this out of a scarf-sized strip of fabric, and started realizing that I was descending into one of my patented Ginger Overdoes It moments. I mean, I’m all in favor of overdoing it, but when you start having trouble sleeping because you’re trying to work out in your head how to cut out all your pattern pieces, you’ve probably gone too far. I decided to scrap that idea and keep it simple.

The Rambo Project | Ginger Makes

The fabric is stretchy, very narrow, and had lots of holes and snags. It had a fun stripe on either end, and solid fabric in the middle (really should’ve taken a before pic!). I planned to utilize the stretch and make a fitted tank top, but it was looking very 1930’s men’s swimsuit-y and, well, that’s a bit too unisex, even for me!  I decided instead on my yoked Sorbetto Top hack.  This worked well with my limited amount of fabric and allowed me to have some fun with the stripe placement.

The Rambo Project | Ginger Makes

I sewed this up much like the last version, splitting the front and back so I could have yokes and slashing and spreading the lower front bodice before gathering it into the yoke. But this time around I decided to skip the bias tape and finish it off with inner yokes. This makes the straps narrower and gives a more summery look to the top, which I like. It’s also about 1000x less fiddly than dealing with bias tape- win! Well, it helps if you don’t sew the yokes together in such a way that it’s impossible to turn them right-side out, but, you know, you win some, you lose some. It wouldn’t be a sewing project if I didn’t have to pull out the seam ripper at least once!

The Rambo Project | Ginger Makes

All in all, this is super wearable! I know that I’ll snicker a little every time I put it on, which is an added bonus. Action movies hold a very dear place in my heart (I’ve seen Terminator 2 so many times that an old coworker had a t-shirt printed for me that reads “I’d rather be watching T2″, ha!), so I’m excited to combine two of my obsessions in one project! I’m also really looking forward to seeing the other turbans-turned-magical-garments as they pop up on blogs!

The Rambo Project | Ginger Makes


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88 responses to “Ginger Made: The Rambo Project!

  1. Wow, I really like your approach and solution for this project. This shirt is pretty darn awesome.
    I love action movies too, and have watched T2 a bunch of times myself. I like things blowing up and fight scenes, oh yeah!

  2. Sh

    I LOVE IT!!!!! Boy I’ve been so giddy waiting to see what everyone comes up with. You’ve got a great tank that has such an awesome story to it!

  3. So yeah, with a title like that I had to click over here and see what was up. This top is rad! I’m a nut for neutrals lately, and the stripes are so cool & interesting. Plus, what a story behind this piece! Awesome.

  4. YES! T2 is freaking amazing! I love a bit of Eddie Furlong! Also, this top is totally cute and versatile! What a winner of a project!

  5. misscrayolacreepy

    You are good! I still don’t know what I am going to do with my fabric :(

  6. What a fantastic tank!! I quite enjoy that you made something super wearble out of it when the fabric has a secret wild past.

  7. Oooohhhh – I love what you did with the challenge.

  8. Katie

    That’s a super cool top, I love the stripe placement. Even better than it had such a cool past!

  9. This is soooooo cute and so wearable! I love what you did with the turban fabric!!!

  10. What a nice top! I love how you refashioned it. The stripes add a nice bit of interest. Very cool :)

  11. Oh wow! Now that’s the kind of project origin story every refashionista dreams about!
    *the finished product is fabulous too! ;)

  12. Omg that is the best! Lucky you for getting to participate. I used to watch Rambo with my dad (he was alcoholic and thought Rambo was appropriate for an 8 year old girl to watch) so those movies are very nostalgic. I love your tank!!

    • I feel quite lucky- if I’m remembering right, I think Erin put out a call on Twitter for ppl who would be interested in “something weird”… who wouldn’t be down for that?! ;)

  13. I’m not much for the action movies but. I love the stripe action on this top. I am inspired.

  14. This is actually a really lovely wearable top! I love how you’ve placed the seams. Plus a great conversation starter if someone comments on it!

  15. I want one! This is so great.

  16. I love the top and the way you have used the stripes. What a great project…x

  17. This top is adorable! I love the stripe placement!

    Silly question time: What’s a yoke? And what did you do to finish the edges with bias tape? I love making tank tops, and I have no idea what you did here. It looks amazing!

    • Not a silly question at all! The original pattern calls for you to finish the arm and neck edges with bias tape, but I omitted it. The yoke is the separate upper bodice piece (on the front and the back). I cut two pairs of front and back yokes and sewed them together like you would an all-in-one facing, if that makes sense.

  18. I can’t even believe this started out as a turban. It is SO cute, dude! Also, when people ask you where it’s from, you’re going to have the best answer ever.

  19. I love this project, and I love your top!! Also: Betamax – brilliant! :-D

    • Heeheehee… my parents bought it when they were living in West Germany and it came back with us. Sadly it was almost impossible to find Betamax tapes back in the States so we didn’t have much variety in entertainment! :)

  20. oh gosh, the yoke to finish the neck and armholes is genius! i’m so gonna use that trick sometime. this is a really nice top, i love the stripes! and the origins just crack me up… it’s like a funny little secret sewn into your garment. nice job with the challenge!

  21. What fun! Your little top looks sweet! Sweet as in awesome! Ingenious stripe placement! And great story attached to it!

  22. dietcouture

    This is pretty spectacular…I always love those makes that have a story! It makes something even as simple as a cute top like this into something that is so much more fun to wear!

  23. Oooh, I love what you did with it! It definitely looks very *you* (I mean that in a good way!) and I’m sure you’ll get a lot of wear out of it – which is always a plus in my book :D Love how you played with the stripe placement!

  24. Super cool concept, and you actually got a very nice garment out of it!

  25. Nicely done! I have some cool scraps that may work well for a top like this. When you say “Hack” do you mean to changed up the pattern yourself a bit? Is there instruction somewhere on just how you did it? Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  26. Wow, this is brilliant, and you’ve got a very wearable item at the end of the day! Well done!!

  27. Dude, you can totally wear that out like a normal top! All the stripe placement makes it really cool to look at too. So after we watch T2 can we throw in Total Recall? “We Got To Get To Mars!”

  28. This is such a cute top! And it’s so wearable too. I love the stripe placement. I can’t believe it started out as a turban in Rambo!

  29. I love this top on you, a perfect Sonja top. Also, I love the story behind the fabric, so fun.

  30. Love this, both the top itself and the history! Fantastic project!

  31. I think your decision to keep it fairly simple was a good move. The irregular stripes are cool and it’s very wearable. Loving the Sorbetto hack.

  32. Wow! You would never guess your top had once been a turban! The stripe placement is awesome! And it’s SO cool it was in Rambo III!! Action movies are the best!

  33. Your Rambo top is so chic! Who’d have thought I’d ever type that sentence…….

  34. This is brilliant! I love how you’ve placed the stripes. I’ve never seen any of the Rambo films, or Rocky’s (maybe I should stop typing now!), but I have seen T2 loads of times, in fact I remember going to see it in the cinema when it came out. My chum loved Arnie so much, that she cried at the end!

  35. HAhahahaha!! What a hilarious premise for a sewing challenge!!! I LOVE IT! Love that this is reusing old Hollywood leftovers – and you did such a fantastic job transforming it! Who would have thought that this was once a turban worn by an extra playing an Afghani rebel??

  36. Oooh, I love the turban fabric and your yoked Sorbetto is genius. I wonder if it could be lengthened into a summer shift. Ponder.

    Anyhoo, the stripe-placement is especially fantastic.

  37. M. Powers

    What a bizarre story! Not the leftovers, that seems usual enough, but a box of old Rambo turbans making the rounds in the sewing blogosphere? Haha. Anyway, I like the way you placed the stripes!

  38. Such a cool project! Erin had a good idea with this one. You made a great garment too, so surprisingly wearable!

  39. Such a fun project, and I just love what you have done with it! You made a cute easy to wear, summery top! Bravo!

  40. This is such an amazing idea for a sewing challenge and what you created is really cute and wearable. We are big action film fans here too and I think my husband would have been in awe if I’d got my hands on something like this!
    Sidenote, have you ever watched the No Retreat, No Surrender films?
    K x

  41. Shams

    I *love* what you’ve done with the turban fabric! That stripe placement is brilliant! Well done!

  42. The stripe placement is really fun, very clever!

  43. This is the perfect summer top, Ginger. Keeping it simple really worked on this one.

  44. We were seperated at birth I think, coz I used to sneak and try to catch a glimpse of Rambo on my Dad’s beta too! :D hahahaha I’m loving the top, and I totally sympathize with the “Ging overdoes it moment” and “Not getting sleep because you’re thinking of how to make a scarf into a dress” type thing…….yeah. This is fab and I’d steal it if i were next door. LOL Ok that’s creepy. Off to ponder sweet memories of Term 2 now, thanks for that. :D

  45. Awesome! I guess I better actually watch a Rambo film…

  46. So cool! Great stripe placement and you were so smart to keep it simple.

  47. Nice work, sonja!! I showed the pictures to my beau – a devoted Rocky Fan – and he instantly said “It’s from Rocky III”. How’s that for paying attention, eh? Love the stripes!

  48. puu

    “I’m all in favor of overdoing it, but when you start having trouble sleeping because you’re trying to work out in your head how to cut out all your pattern pieces, you’ve probably gone too far. ”

    story of my sewing life, right there. :-) loving the stripe placement, and i like the thinner yokes – very summery, like you said. and T2 is my favorite as well.

  49. It’s so cool! Thumbs up for the stripes!

  50. Amy

    This is such a funny project but you’ve made something totally cool and wearable!

  51. It’s insane just how much I love this top! I want it! (Of course, I’d have to be slim like you to get away with it! LOL)
    Awesome job with your Rambo top.

  52. This is awesome! I love how you used the stripes on the yoke and side front. Now if only Erin could find a box of T2 costumes… :)

  53. Pingback: John Rambo’s Worst Nightmare #ramboproject

  54. Kim

    Love it! This is such a cool project and it looks awesome with the stripes!

  55. Ines

    Adorable, great choice!

  56. I love this! So v, v much. I have visions of you and the pugs with red bandanas round your heads leaping out at unsuspecting visitors hahahahahah xxx

  57. Hi Ginger,
    This is such a cute fun top. Love the placement of the stripes.

  58. Kat H

    Waaaa so darn cute!! I love that you’ve taken something so completely random and turned it into something so completely wearable. Nice work, lady!

    (Also, Terminator 2 is awesome. Fact.)

  59. Pingback: Yoke + Gathers Sorbetto Hack Tutorial! | Ginger Makes...

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