12 Days of Sewing
Over the next 12 days we will be sharing some great ideas for your holiday sewing. Small handmade items perfect to make as gifts for family and friends or for you to enjoy yourself this holiday season. Best of all we will only be using “fashion fabrics” or fabrics designed for apparel sewing. There are so many ideas out there that use quilting cotton, we wanted to share some great ways to use your favorite apparel fabrics like boucles, rayons, knits, flannels and lots more!
Check back everyday for a new project idea. We will include tutorials here and there as well as some great tips and trick along the way.
Now, let’s get started!
On the First Day of Sewing…
We decided to start things off with a simple, but stylish, straight scarf. While the concept is relatively easy, there is a lot of room to get creative with your fabric choices and finishing techniques.
First, let’s talk about the fabric (our favorite part!). The obvious choice is flannel- We all love it, it’s warm and cozy and easy to sew with. A great choice, especial for the men in your life.
But what about the less obvious… a more fashionable woven like a boucle or other plush woven like this houndstooth we chose for one of our scarves. Look for bold patterns, large plaids or statement colors- something that will really pop when paired with the neutral outerwear we all own.
Don’t forget to also consider knits, while these are most often used for infinity scarves, thick or plush knits can also make a great simple scarf. Try a double knit or thick sweater knit for something cozy and warm.
Next, how are we going to make these scarves? For a long, straight scarf you typically need more than just the width of the fabric. You can get a longer scarf two different ways- 1) cut it lengthwise or 2) seam it in the middle. We made our scarves using both of these methods.
For the red houndstooth woven we cut 2 yards of fabric and divided it to make three scarves roughly 18 inches wide. If you are making multiple scarves to gift during the holidays this is a great way to go.
For the ombre houndstooth knit we cut strips roughly 14 inches wide and seamed two of them together to get the total length. This fabric comes in a panel repeat (1-1/4 yd) so it kind of a special case but a similar thing could be done with any fabric. Take 1-1/4 yard and cut into an even number of strips. You get the idea.
Once we have the scarf pieces cut, we finish the long edges. There are a variety of ways to do this so we have listed our favorites below:
- Press under the desired hem and stitch in place using a cover-stitch machine or double needle on your traditional sewing machine. (We used this method on both of our scarves)
- Don’t have a cover-stitch or double needle? Finish both raw edges of scarf using a zig-zag stitch or serger, press the desired hem and top stitch in place. For knits you can simply press and top stitch the hem in place if you aren’t worried about raveling or fraying.
- Use a double folded hem and top stitch in place- this is probably our least favorite- the thicker your fabric, the more bulky these hems will be.
One of our favorite tools is the new Hot Ruler– it is heat resistant, anti-slip and makes pressing those long hems a breeze!
Now, the fun part, finishing the ends! Sure you can simply hem the ends like you did on the sides (we did this on our ombre knit scarf), but isn’t fringe more fun? Especially with some of these really cool fabrics, like a boucle or the houndstooth woven we chose, they are easy to separate, pull out those width-wise threads and create amazing fringe. You can make the fringe however long you’d like (we went with 4″) and you can knot it, braid it or just leave it as is. For added security, we top stitched across the scarf just above the fringe to prevent the scarf from unraveling anymore over time.
Easy right?! Take a simple simple scarf and make it amazing with some incredible fabric and professional finishing techniques. A wonderful gift that nobody will believe you made yourself.
P.S. December 1st Only! Save 20% on select scarf fabrics and $3 off the Hot Hemmer or Hot Ruler. Shop Here