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Organza scarf

SewNancy | Posted in Feedback on Threads on

Dear Carol,

I liked your atricle on the scarf, but I wanted to know how much yardaga you used and how long the scarf ended up measuring.   Also how come I couldn’t put your name in the to box?  It kept saying that there was no member Carol Fresia



  1. carolfresia | | #1

    Hi, Nancy,

    My i.d. is CarolFresia without a space--maybe that's what was causing the trouble.

    I'm not sure how much yardage I used since we had a bunch and just kept cutting until we had enough for two scarves and several test strips. I can figure it out for you, though, probably tomorrow. I'm on my way out the door into the April showers that seem to have hung on into May.


    1. SewNancy | | #2

      Thanks, I am not ready to make it any way. 

      Lots of people have mentioned looking for non boring tops and I just bought an interesting one., a cotton and lycra knit top that has some very interesting seaming.  I am busty, a D cup  and often I have too much fabric under the arm.  This top has princess seams, raglan sleeves, and a dart from the sleeve, above the princess seaming pointing toward the neckline, which is an off the shoulder band.  It fits really well and is flattering, or of course I would not have bought  it!


      1. carolfresia | | #3

        Here's some info. on yardage for the organza scarf:

        For the Ripply Scarf shown on page 29 of Threads, No. 119, you’ll need 2 1/4 yards of 45-inch wide-fabric; we used silk organza, but synthetics will work as well. The scarf itself calls for 12 3-inch-wide strips of fabric cut on the true bias, so you will end up with two large scraps of fabric, each one a right triangle that measures 45 inches on each short side and almost 64 inches along the hypotenuse. These leftovers can be used for interfacing, lightweight stay tape, bias trims, etc.

        <!----><!----> <!---->

        Another way to create this scarf and save on yardage is to use the directions for bias layouts shown in Threads, No. 107, pp.30-34. Start with a 1 1/2 yard length of 45-inch-wide fabric, and sew it into a bias tube. Cut the tube open to make a flat rectangle of fabric; this rectangle will be 64 inches x 38 inches (more or less). Cut strips parallel to the long edges of the rectangle, and stitch as shown in the scarf article. The main difference if you use this approach is that you’ll have some piecing seams along the strips, and the ends of the strips will be cut straight across rather than at a 45-degree angle. (If you cut the tube open on a line that runs at 45 degrees to the edges, rather than straight across, your strips will have slanted ends.)


        1. Barbaran8 | | #4

          If you want to hand dye the scarf that you make, consider that when deciding whether to go with silk organza or a man-made fiber, it will affect your choices in dyes....

        2. bel | | #5

          I LOVE this article... I have already trawled my stash and 'special thread' collection to see what I can find....Thanks Carol and Judith! It's nice to see some new ideas and I appreciated your sleeve suggestion...

          1. tcsew | | #6

            I also love this scarf.  Can we get more instructions on the smaller tube scarf shown in blue?  I am a bit confused about where to sew the pieces together.  I would also love a drawing of what the finished paralellogram would look like.

            Sources for the organza and the dye would also be nice.  Not everyone has the resources available locally to put this together.


            This would make a great wrap for a prom dress. 



          2. sueb | | #7

            here's a great source for organza and dye stuff - dharmatrading.com  they'll have everything you need and they've got the best prices.

          3. carolfresia | | #8

            You can order organza from http://www.thaisilks.com, and the Color Hue dyes from http://www.silkthings.com.

            To make the blue scarf, all you do is take the pieced fabric and kind of roll it up.  Imagine that you have a long rectangle, and you roll it into a tube and sew up the seam; now, if you offset that seam a little bit rather than matching it at the ends, you'll get a slightly twisted tube. A similar principle works here, except that you're working with a slanty rectangle. It's actually much harder to explain in words than to do once you have the fabric in hand! Think of an empty paper towel roll--unroll the cardboard tube and you'll have a parallelogram. That's what the blue scarf is, in organza, and with the ends sewn straight across.

            I think (although I haven't tried it myself yet) that you could make a one-color scarf from a single piece of bias fabric, by folding and roll-hemming along the fold every 3 or so inches. You'd have to experiment to see if the ripples form as well as you like, though. I've thought this would look magnificent draped over some fancy hardware for a curtain or bed canopy.


          4. tcsew | | #9

            I showed the photo of the scarf to my boss.  She is a very funky dresser and loves scarves.  She is hooked!  So I may have to get some organza and make one for her too. 

          5. jean_b | | #15

            I tried both scarves yesterday, and both the magazine instructions and yours for the blue one still leave me confused!  However, I'm wondering if I didn't roll it too much?  Are you just rolling it enough so the two long sides meet and can be stitched together?  I have seen messages on PatternMaster Chatter about this as well, so I'm not alone in my confusion!  Thanks.


          6. carolfresia | | #17

            Here's a reply from Judy, who made the blue scarf:

            Organza scarf

            Jean, regarding your question about the blue organza scarf:

            In the magazine, we explained how to make the scarves shown in the article---but I’m going to explain the basic principle and then you can make your own decisions about how to make your scarf. There are no hard and fast rules. The blue scarf is a spiral of strips. You can sew the long sides of a number of strips together before you spiral them or you can sew several strips end to end and spiral a single long strip. I guess the key is to make as many strips as it takes to get the size scarf you want. Just imagine spiral wrapping a ribbon around a dowel so that the edges meet and then sewing those edges together. Obviously, if your dowel is 1-inch in diameter you will have a much narrower and longer tube than you will from a 4-inch diameter dowel using the same length strip.

            Cut extra strips from the triangles and experiment to get a feel for the process and how to manipulate, sew, and roll the fabric. I think it’s easiest to start in the middle of the strip and start spiraling it toward an end. This way I get an idea of how large I want the diameter of the tube to be. The white sleeve on page 32 was made from two strips sewn together and then spiraled around an arm. You can pin the edges as you spiral to see how well you like the effect. It helps to pin one revolution to hold your chosen spiral, but once that section is sewn just continue to join the unfinished edges until you come to the end of the strip(s).

            We had great fun making these scarves and thinking about the many possibilities this technique has for other items of clothing. If you don’t like the results after you’ve sewn the spiral, you can just cut off the seam and sew it again---you’ll only lose about 1/4-inch. You can risk it.


            Judy Neukam

          7. jean_b | | #18

            Thanks.  I think I have it now.  I did play around a lot, but somehow the idea of sewing the edges as I made the spiral escaped me.  I'll have to try it again tomorrow. 

        3. Estancia | | #10

          Would silk chiffon work, or is it better to stick with the organza?

          1. carolfresia | | #11

            I think chiffon would work, but probably better in the blue version done on a sewing machine. I suspect that the serged rolled hems might be a little heavy for chiffon, and could pull out easily. If you try it, set the cutting width so that it cuts off only a little bit; this will leave more of a seam allowance to roll up inside the stitch, and it will be sturdier that way.

            Also, the overall look will be quite different, because the chiffon will drape and slither, while the organza king of goes "boing." It certainly wouldn't hurt to cut a couple of chiffon strips and see what happens...


          2. Estancia | | #12

            Thank you I will fiddle with it.  P

          3. kgseidel | | #13

            I made two organza scarves this week-end. They were fun -- I had never dyed anything before. They were also very easy. Irregularly sized stripes and meandering seams added to their charm. But I found them difficult to wear. I am not tall or slender, and even though neither of mine were as big as the one pictured on the magazine's cover, the crispness of the scarves wasn't flattering on me. They added width to my already too-wide self. So I trimmed one dramatically, making it fairly narrow. It's now wearable, but it doesn't have the drama of the original. But I'm very glad that I made them, especially as the project introduced me to dyeing. From the source listed in the magazine, I bought the $35 sampler set of dyes (my Mother's Day gift to myself). I have since dyed a RTW silk blouse which I had had no use for so the dyes have already paid for themselves. Kathy Seidel

          4. carolfresia | | #14

            Kathy, I'm glad you enjoyed making the scarves. I agree--they're a pretty dynamic design, and definitely make a statement, so you can't really just toss one on and be sure it's going to work with your outfit. The cover scarf is almost as big as a shawl; for daily wear, I'd probably tone down the colors a smidge and make it narrower, as you did. That one does look magnificent with all-white or all-black, though.

            I think the suggestion another person made of using chiffon, or some slightly softer fabric like georgette, might be another option for making the scarf a little less overwhelming on a smaller person.

            The Color-Hue dyes are a lot of fun to work with, aren't they? We had a "workshop" here in the office in which we dyed silk scarves, then stencilled, stamped, and silk-screened them. Using dyes that didn't require boiling, steaming, chemicals, etc., made it possible to do all this in a couple of hours.


          5. SewNancy | | #16

            You could add beads to pointed ends.  Adds drama and no width.


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