Saturday, December 11, 2010

Handsewn scarves as Christmas presents

I was agonising over what to give to our neighbors - Mr & Mrs they seemed to be the sort who have everything. I figured my best bet is to show up at their doorstep with either something home-cooked or handsewn. I decided on the latter.

I do not have the time to sew anything too I thought I could make them HIS and HERs scarves - since the weather is turning cold!

A simple scarf is like one of the easiest things to sew! I got 3 different types of fabric from Jo-ann - one brocade (bright red for the lady), one suit material (grey for the gentleman) & one polar-fleece (black). The black fleece is going to be the base material for both scarves.

First I cut out 2 fleece pieces of the following dimensions L73" x W15". Then I cut the red brocade and grey suit fabric into L73" x W6" each. I happened to have very long fabric pieces hence was able to cut a single long piece of L73". But if you do not have such long can always join the pieces together to yield the required biggie! You can vary the length and width of your scarf to suit your needs.

It's such a simple project that I decided to do a tutorial to show you how easy it is. Any beginner to sewing should be able to pull it off!

Here, I'll be demonstrating how to make the man's scarf - which is in grey (suit material) and black (fleece). I know the color combi looks kinda boring but I decided to play safe with a more conservative formal look as my neighbour is a mature gentleman who works at a top-notch research institution.
As the grey suit material is kinda thin.....I decided to iron on a layer of fusible interfacing on the wrong side of the fabric. You can omit this step if your chosen fabric is quite heavy.
Line the long edges of the fabrics together, with the right sides facing.
Pin the fabrics together to hold them securely for sewing.
Feel free to use as many pins as you wish to secure the fabrics.....there's NO SHAME in using pins!! :)
Leave 0.5" gap from the edge of the fabric and start sewing in a straight line down the entire length of the fabric. I'd usually back-stitch at the start and end to secure my stitches.
As my suit fabric seems to fray......I decided to sew the fabric edges with a "W" stitch which is available on my sewing machine.
Moving the needle to the edge of the fabrics.....I started sewing down the entire length. The W stitch is good for preventing the fabric edges from fraying. You can omit this step if your fabrics don't fray.
After you are done sewing one edge of the 2 fabrics the same on the other edge. Place the right side of fabrics facing and edges lined and do the W stitch.
As I hadn't cut my fabrics properly (bleeah!), I needed to trim the ends a little. I drew a straight line with my chalk on the fabrics...leaving a small 0.5" gap from the edge.
Then....I pin, pin and pin to secure the fabrics in preparation for sewing. I'd sew straight across the entire width using the chalk line as guidance.
Here it is.....then I trimmed off the excess fabric but leaving some allowance to do my W stitching again.
See how the W stitches are actually "holding" the edges to prevent further fraying?
Do the same on the other end of the scarf......but this time, leave a gap in the middle of the width of the scarf. The gap should be big enough for you to slot your hand in. the fun and exciting part! Put your hand into the gap and push the entire length of scarf up your arm until your fingers can reach the other end. Pinch the other end with your fingers and slowly pull the fabric through the gap.
Pull gently and slowly to avoid ripping your not rush the job!
After you've pulled the entire scarf onto the right are now left with the gap.....

...fear not, you can hand-stitch it close with a slip-stitch using needle and black thread. If you don't know how to do a slip stitch.....refer to
The good thing about using a slip stitch is that it will not be visible. And then you are DONE! If you'd like, you can iron the scarf (make sure the iron temperature is suitable for your scarf fabrics) for a neater look. Finally, SHOW IT OFF!
Here are my scarves for Mr & Mrs A....ready to be wrapped and gifted.
Took me very little effort/time to make these. Think I probably spent less time making the scarves then I took writing this tutorial! Try it and do share with me your creations.

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