Wednesday, January 30, 2013

TUTORIAL: Winter Button Scarf

I don't wear scarves very often.  In fact, I rarely get the chance to wear my fun orange coat!  Cause Texas is more about the warm months than the cold ones.
But since I was headed to Utah last week, I jumped at the chance to give the Summer Scarf a winter twist.
I used warm cozy fabrics, bundled it around my neck a few times, and added a chunky button. Done!

Here's what you do....

• You need about a 1/2 yard of 1 or 2 fabrics.  If you have a serger, you can make a single layered scarf.  If you don't have a serger we'll make a double-layered cozy one.
Types of Fabric: soft cottons, flannel, knits, light-weight and non-scratchy wools
For this polka dot scarf I used quilting cotton on top (from Joanns) and cream colored flannel on the bottom.
• Cut 2 rectangle strips from each fabric, 42x5 inches each (or whatever size you'd like; these are the dimensions I used)
• Sew the two dot strips together, then sew the two flannel strips together.
• With right sides of the fabric together, pin the two strips together and trim the edges so they're curved (optional; it just looks cute).
• Leave an opening in the scarf so you can turn it right-side out when you're done sewing (similar to making a pillow).  Mark this opening with pins so you have a Start and Stop point for sewing.
• Staring at the Start point, sew the two fabrics together all the way down, around the curves and back up to the Stop point.
• Clip the curved ends in the seam so the curves will lay flat when turned right-side out.
• Turn the scarf right-side out.  The best way to do this is to stick your arm in the opening and pull each end out.
Now as much as you want to....resist the urge to iron the seams flat.  I know. It's hard!  I'm always encouraging you to press.   But if you leave it as-is, the scarf will ruffle a bit nicer.
• Pin the opening closed and sew it closed.
Time to ruffle!

We're going to use Elastic Thread.....and if you've never used it, it's going to change your life.
It will.
I use it for so many projects.
And it's SO easy!

It comes in small spools, sold in most fabric shops and on Amazon for about $2/each. I've only seen it in black and white but those seem to work for my needs.
To sew with elastic thread, you place Standard thread in the top of your machine and thread it just as you normally would, then you place Elastic thread in the bobbin.

To get elastic thread in the bobbin you need to wind it by hand.  Don't tug or pull the elastic too tight as you go.  Just casually wind (pretty scientific, right?)
Then place the bobbin in the case, load it in, and pull it through.

NOW.  Elastic thread is not perfect and reacts differently in different machines.  I use a Bernina and haven't had problems.  But some readers have mentioned that top-loader bobbins and some Brother machines need to have tension adjustments for Elastic thread to work (do a Google search on "Elastic Thread and Brother machine", etc if you're having  probs).
The key is to be patient and remember that most of the ruffling happens afterward when you spray the fabric with water and press it with heat.
Also, light weight fabrics ruffle up better than heavier ones.
So there are many factors at play.

Okay, with elastic thread in your bobbin let's start sewing.
• Sew a straight line right down the middle (just eyeball it; doesn't need to be exact)
Then sew another line about 1/4 inch over to the right and a line a 1/4 inch over to the left, so you have three lines of elastic.
Your scarf might not be as ruffled as you hoped. Don't worry!
• Spray it with a bit of water and press down the middle with an iron.  Try your best to NOT press the outside of the scarf.  I know that's hard.  But if you can do it, the scarf will be a bit more "bouncy" and less stiff.
And, you're done!

If you have a serger, you might try this single layer method:
It can be difficult going around the curves.  Just go slow and fold, sew, fold, sew, etc.
One more cozy ruffled scarf.
Now let's add buttons.
Try on your scarf to determine the placement of your button....(and try not to twist it at the neck like I did here. Doh).   One side should be longer than the other and decide if you want to wrap it around once or twice.
Use pins to mark where the buttonhole and button should go, then sew them on!  For detailed info on sewing buttons and buttonholes click HERE.
And....there you go.
Ruffled Winter Button Scarves. 
That's a mouthful.

Bundle it up or down and I'm ready for the chill.  Hope your day is a sunny one!

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