Every time I pull out my trusty sewing machine, I am reminded why I rarely pull out my trusty sewing machine. But it’s SCARF WEEK, and that makes it worthwhile! Plus, I’ve been crocheting a lot lately, and it felt sew nice to do something a little different, a little scarfy and a little lacy. And a little t-shirt-y.
Have you ever put on a really soft, really comfortable shirt and wondered what would happen if that shirt just kinda hung out around your neck instead? Well, I guess it’s happened to enough people because there’s plenty of t-shirt scarf inspiration out there on the interwebs. I like my tshirt crafts, but it’s really the material that I like, not the fact that I used to wear it as a shirt. It’s really all about the soft stretchy jersey knit, whether it’s 100% cotton or a polyester/rayon blend; there’s just something so cozy about jersey. Probably helps that I’m a Jersey girl too!
For my scarf, I didn’t take apart a tshirt. I went and bought a swatch of jersey knit fabric that was on sale. I loved the soft green and oatmeal stripes on the fabric, and as a joke, wore the fabric around my neck for the ride home. My husband asked why bother making a scarf when it looks like I’m already done?!
So, this project–a square, jersey knit scarf with a vintage lace edging. It isn’t so much of a step-by-step tutorial as it’s a collection of tips to help you sew a lace edging onto super thin jersey material. I fiddled around for days before getting it right, so here I am to spare you the trouble!
Tip #1: For thin fabric like this loose and comfortable jersey knit, cut a LARGE square for your scarf. I cut mine at 36″ and wished I cut it bigger so there was more fabric to give me that sense of coziness. I have a J.Crew scarf that is 48″ square and I had thought it was too big, but that’s probably closer to where you want it.
Tip #2: Use a cutting mat to cut your fabric. Folding the fabric and lining up the edges can also help you get that square shape. But hey, it’s jersey knit. It’s pretty forgiving, especially along the two sides that curl.
Tip #3: Curl? Yup! The fun thing about “t-shirt fabric” or jersey knit is that it curls, like a scroll. Pulling the curl gives you t-shirt yarn. In this case, the curl conveniently allows to skip hemming! Yeah! On the 2 non-curling edges, I folded it over and ironed it down. These are the edges to which I attached the lace.
Tip #4: Speaking of lace, don’t you love this vintage lace I found in my stash? I got a whole bunch of different vintage lace borders at an estate sale a while back, but never found a good place to use it. Figured now’s a great time!
Tip #5: Alright, with your fabric cut, your edges ironed down, and your lace ready to go, it’s time to SEW! As a helpful hint for you, and a reminder for me, here are the settings I used. I kept the tension as low as possible and chose a small zigzag stitch. I played with the width of the stitch until I decided 3.0 was my Goldilocks; it wasn’t so narrow to not capture both the fabric and the lace, nor was it so wide to be too visible.
Tip #6: Here’s the fun part. I didn’t actually layer the lace on top of the fabric. I just put them side by side and zigzag stitched my way to victory. So the tip? GO SLOW. Don’t push, don’t pull, just let the sewing machine do its thing.
I sewed lace on two edges and reinforced the ends. Writing it all down now makes it sound so easy, but I had a hard time figuring it out, probably because I was so rusty when it came to wrestling with the sewing machine and the super super thin stretchy fabric. Seriously, I was looking at my quilting muslin wondering if that’d feel good around my neck…
If you’re handy with sewing, this shouldn’t take long at all, and then you’ve got another cozy comfy scarf to pair up with you favorite t-shirt! If sewing isn’t quite your thing, you can try your hand at a couple easy crocheted scarves, like this hot pink number, or this “perfect-for-beginners-and-great-for-cold-winter-days” basic infinity scarf.
Want More Scarf Week Inspiration?
The sewing fun has only just begun! Be sure to chomp those
shark scarf teeth into each of these inspirational D.I.Y. projects hitting the blog-o-sphere today.
Click the images above or links below to check ’em out.
1. Quick and Easy Knit Infinity Scarf by It Happens in a Blink
2. Simplest DIY Lace Infinity Scarf by The Southern Couture
3. Sewing a Patchwork Loop Scarf by It Was Weekend
4. How to Make a Bandana Scarf for Baby by Burlap & Babies
5. Upcycled Scrappy Scarf by Lucky Scarf
6. Lace Trimmed Jersey Knit Scarf by One Dog Woof
7. Scrap-Busting Children’s Scarf With Pockets by Crafty Bonds
8. Easy to Sew DIY Two-Sided Scarf by Apron Strings & Other Things
9. Kids Infinity Scarf by The Crafting Nook
10. Wire Head Scarf Tutorial for the Beginner Sewist by The Thinking Closet
We’re only in the middle of Scarf Week, so take a look at what’s coming down the wave.
To access all 5 days of Scarf Week, visit our co-coordinators, Lauren from The Thinking Closet and Vanessa from Tried & True. They’ll be updating their posts with the clickable collages as they go live this week. And you can also follow along with our hashtag, #ScarfWeek2015.