Fashion Scarf How-to - Threads

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Fashion Scarf How-to

On a recent trip to market, I had a few hours to spend at an upscale mall with many boutiques and higher end department stores. I know long scarves have been the rage for the past 18 months. The designers and manufacturers have continued to supply us with wonderful prints and textures, but the prices have been skyrocketing. I think the least expensive scarf (2 yards long x 15 inches wide) was $39.00 in a chain boutique. I stopped looking when I saw one that I thought was very pretty at $48.00, but in fact it was $148.00. Old eyes! This is when the old sewing motto applies, "I can make that!"


When I first saw the scarves on the market a few seasons ago, they were sewn with a weighted rolled hem on all four sides. These scarves were not easy to make because the tiny hems were turned on the corners and very often were hard to start stitching under the presser foot. The corners would get caught and be 'eaten' by the throat plate.

It appears the manufacturers also saw this and have started using the weighted rolled hem on the two long sides and fringed the two short ends about 1 inch. Some scarves that I saw had all four sides fringed about 1/2 inch. A 'no sew' project for your non sewing friends!

I showed the weighted rolled hem in my blog post, Weight a Narrow Hem with Thread. The fabrics I have been seeing are loosely woven and soft so they scrunch easily. Rayon batiks, cotton gauze, even cotton cheese cloth, that you can have fun dyeing, would all work well. Moving into the fall and winter months, wool challis would be beautiful.

The scarf length starts outs about 16 inches wide by 2 yards long. Fringe the 1 inch at both ends first. Then sew the weighted rolled hem on each long side, starting and stopping at the beginning of the fringe.

To get a long crinkled effect the fabric was misted with water and twisted until it turned on itself and then left to dry. If it is too crinkled once unwrapped for the look you want, the scarf can be stretched out (but still scrunched up lengthwise) and a steam iron hovering over the length would relax the scarf a bit.

Tie the scarf

We all know the scarf folded in half lengthwise and draped around the neck with both ends passing through the loop. A friend showed me this beautiful flat 'braid' that keeps the scarf in place and is less bulky around the neck area. She first saw this technique in Tuscany.

1. Start with the scarf folded in half lengthwise. Drape the fabric around the neck with the loop on one side and the two ends on the other side of the body.


2. Slip just one end through the loop, position the end the way you would like to see it when completed.


3. Twist the loop a half turn and slip the other scarf end through the loop. Arrange the second scarf end, at the loop to form folds and position the knot at center front. Keep the fabric around your neck loose forming a soft cowl.



The scarf shown is 100% cotton cheese cloth (often found in the food canning isle of the grocery store) The fabric has been tie dyed using small rubber bands to form the pattern and the whole length dipped in Rit Dye till the desired color pulled out and left to dry. The tie dye was done after the short ends were fringed and the long ends sewn. While still damp, the scarf was twisted to scrunch and crinkle the fabric.

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Comments (25)

Ceeayche Ceeayche writes: Lovely! I came across this just in time for the cold weather snap!
Posted: 10:02 am on October 30th

eatsallinsects eatsallinsects writes: Purchased 8 yeards of cheesecloth yesterday. Now to try this wonderful idea! Thanks, Louise! Edith
Posted: 10:45 am on May 10th

Softwear Softwear writes: Love the scarf-nice. Thank you for showing how to knot it-nice. But when you go the site for additional information for the weighted hem not all the instructions are there and it basically wants you to buy the rights to be an Insider-not nice.

Posted: 11:44 pm on April 15th

OrahLee OrahLee writes: I too have fallen in love with the look of that knot!! I don't wear scarves, but now I think that I WILL at least try one!!!
Thanks for your sharing your tallent with us all, Louise.
Posted: 4:39 pm on April 7th

good4food good4food writes: Thank you so much for the instructions for the "knot." I have shown it to all my friends, and everyone is now using it.
Posted: 5:55 pm on April 3rd

Kyla Kyla writes: Thank you so much, i really like this scarf and i love the knot.
Posted: 1:27 pm on April 1st

MDNB MDNB writes: vcalbur Please don't sell yourself short. You are a Professional sewist, Charge enough that people resect your talents. THose of us who sew tend to underestimate our value. If customers want $5 scarves send them to GoodWIll. You are doing custom one of a kind work, you are talented, you have great value. ANy other professional with your years of experience would charge at a min $25/hour for their work, it is not unreasonable to charge more than that.

Posted: 1:22 pm on March 30th

MissPat MissPat writes: I absolutely have to try this with the cheescloth and dying the fabric! Why, oh why, do I always find the most interesting projects two days before a scheduled vacation. I will just have to wait a week, darn it anyway. Thanks for the article, can't wait to try it.
Posted: 7:33 am on March 30th

Mamato8 Mamato8 writes: The fringed edge is also a simple no-sew technique for making napkins and place mats. I think they look really cool using Homespun. Way to easy!
Posted: 12:44 am on March 30th


this will take you to the blog about how to do a weighted rolled hem.

Yes, it is presser foot...thanks for the catch...wanted to get the article in and miss that. Old tired eyes!

the fringe was just pulling the cross thread until I got to about an inch, then combed the fringe. I didn't even stitch across the short end to secure...wanted to keep it as light weight as possible


sent from my iPad
Posted: 4:58 pm on March 29th

alaskaangelgirl alaskaangelgirl writes: Won't fully load to see and print ... really love the idea ... Thanks
From Desperate Alaskaangelgirl

Posted: 3:27 pm on March 29th

shocreations shocreations writes: Love this idea. Thank you for the great instructions. Was really easy to understand.
Posted: 1:57 pm on March 29th

Carly_Sue Carly_Sue writes: Love, love, love this scarf and the new knot method. I ca't imagine not being able to sew. What a pleasure to create and also feel good about the savings too.

Posted: 1:31 pm on March 29th

whoneedlesthis whoneedlesthis writes: Seamster asked what is a weighted hem? It is a narrow rolled hem sewn with two passes at the machine, first you fold under and press a one quarter inch fold of fabric, then topstitch. Now fold it under again and topstitch again. Only one row of stitching shows on the right side, but the extra row of stitching inside the roll adds a tiny bit more weight to the edges and it looks better.
If I am wrong, I hope Louise will comment and correct me!
Thanks again, Louise for a brilliantly easy article on how to copy otherwise too costly acccessories. Long live sewing!
Posted: 12:49 pm on March 29th

seamster seamster writes: What is a "weighted" rolled hem, don't believe I've ever heard this description.

Posted: 12:17 pm on March 29th

PatriciaEllen PatriciaEllen writes: Now I know why I bought 10 yards of cheesecloth on Ebay! And it dyes SO WELL. Thanks for the great ideas and techniques. And especially how to tie a beautiful knot.
Posted: 12:14 pm on March 29th

stillsuesew stillsuesew writes: I believe it is a "presser" foot not a "pressure" foot. I've seen similar scarves with extremely light fabrics and threads appliqued or couched to them.
Posted: 9:24 am on March 29th

NoraBora NoraBora writes: Cheese cloth? I wouldn't have thought of that, but now I will.
Posted: 8:07 am on March 29th

user-312002 user-312002 writes: Interesting choice of fabric!
Posted: 5:52 am on March 29th

Cleo_Elaine Cleo_Elaine writes: Sounds great. Your methods are described very clearly so even I will try this. I love scarves.
Posted: 12:13 am on March 29th

barbarella barbarella writes: I was ust looking at a scarf in the store the other day for $48, way out of my price range. I can't wait to try this, thank you! How did you do the fringe?
Posted: 11:25 pm on March 28th

adagiolane adagiolane writes: Great way to wear the lovely scarf you've made!

Posted: 10:38 pm on March 28th

SoCalCynthia SoCalCynthia writes: I love that tying technique. I plan on wearing a scarf tomorrow and can't wait to try it!

I've also been thinking about buying silk scarf blanks and dyeing them myself. This way I can get the colors I need.
Posted: 9:33 pm on March 28th

vcalbur vcalbur writes: In the last twenty years, I have been given 2 scarves as gifts and purchase one scarf. The one scarf I purchased on sale made out of silk I dyed. I make all my scarves and give scarves away as gifts. No woman or man can ever have enough scarves.
I also sell scarves in my business but not for $48.00 or $150.00. People feel the scarves should cost them $5.00 and try to bargain for less. They ask questions, did you make this scarf. All clothing is made by someone or the machine controlled by an individual. People either want to purchase my items are not but I go on because this is my retirement job. Back to my passion of sewing. I use no patterns only my head knowledge.
I have two businesses, one I sell handmade items and the other items I purchase wholesale and enhance them with crystals, rhinestones, etc.
You gave another edge on the scarf and that is great. I will eventually learn the roll hem because I purchased a serger.
Thanks for all the tips.
Posted: 8:15 pm on March 28th

MeredithP MeredithP writes: Love the "knot" AND the scarf dying how-to. Even I could probably do that...well, I'm going to try. :-)
Posted: 3:22 pm on March 27th

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