It's just about time for scarf weather! Usually when people think of making a scarf, they consider knitting or crocheting, but there are so many easy fabric scarves that anyone can make for any kind of weather- some with no sewing! Here is my finished ruffled scarf:
Scarves with lots of volume and fabric are everywhere right now. You can make this easy ruffled scarf out of just about any material you like. Different fabric textures will drastically change the way it looks. I just used a light blue and white cotton that I had purchased on a whim quite some time ago, but I think I'll make another using more fall-appropriate colors.
1. To make the scarf, first cut your fabric into a long rectangle. You can see how long mine is in the picture, but to get a scarf that length, I started with a rectangle long enough to reach my knees on both sides, about 14 inches wide. Better to go too long with the rectangle than too short, by the way- it's really the ruffling that determines how long the scarf is, and you have a lot of control over this later.
Fold the scarf in half the long way, with right sides together. If you like the way your fabric looks on both sides, you could skip this step, but then you'll probably have to finish your fabric edges all the way around. Doubling up like this also gives the scarf a bit more stiffness and volume; the choice is yours. Pin (if you feel like it) and sew around one end of the folded rectangle and the long side. Leave the final edge open and turn right side out.
3. Fold the raw edges of that third open side in, and stitch across, closing up the rectangle.
4. Now the tedious part. Baste down the center of the scarf. You can choose to do this with the machine, but for something this large, it's best to baste by hand. Choose a thread color that contrasts the fabric. You're going to sew large stitches all the way down the center. I usually knot one end of the thread and leave the other loose. Don't worry, you'll cut these out later. It's easy to get the thread knotted up since you're probably starting with a long piece. It's okay if you have to do it in pieces. I did half the scarf at a time.
5. Pull the thread to scrunch up the fabric, creating the ruffle. Play around with it to see how much ruffle you want and how long you want the scarf to be. It's difficult to keep the ruffles in place between now and when you sew them in, so it's best not to be too picky. I did some pinning, but ultimately, a lot of the ruffling has to be redone while you're sewing.
6. Now you're going to sew straight down the center, over the same line you basted. This seam will stay in, so use a matching thread color! Sew over the ruffles, keeping them in place. In some places, I pulled the sides of the ruffle in towards the center, changing up the width of the scarf. It's okay if things are uneven, that's part of the charm of this kind of scarf. Keep an eye on the consistency of the ruffles, though- you don't want to have big pieces without any ruffles at all!
7. Once you've sewn all the way down, pull out the stitches you basted- the big ones in the contrasting color. You might have to cut some, but it shouldn't be hard to get rid of these.
That's the scarf! If you don't like the length or some parts of the ruffles, you can always whip out the seam ripper and readjust.
And if this is too much sewing for you, there are ways to make it even easier. For example, you can buy a plain flat scarf (often $5-15 at department stores) and just do the ruffling. Or, use a knit fabric, like a t-shirt type material. These often won't fray, so you all you have to do is cut the rectangle and ruffle it up (or not!).
Finally, this is my first tutorial- let me know if you have any questions or if some parts are difficult to follow. Enjoy!