i have a tutorial that is forty thrillionty times easier and better than my previous (ahem, first ever...give me some grace!) tutorial.
it is accessible to infinitely more people (you dont have to have a baby, OR a dress to start out with). and it is really simple. there are only 4 lines of stitching total.
5 weeks ago i saw this scarf on pinterest. it was pinned by a VERY popular pinner that i follow under her DIY board. i knew i had to make one for myself. but when i followed this "DIY" link, it actually led to a german store where the scarf was 35 euros ($60 shipped!). no DIY tutorial = no thanks and bum out!
LOVE these colors. must make a yellow and gray one for me. source
the more i thought about it, the more i wanted this, and wanted it CHEAP. i said out loud in our living room, "i am GOING to figure out how to make this for myself."
then i got busy. the hardest part was figuring out the knot/braid, but jesse jumped down and took charge like a freaking boy scout. he actually got really handsy and sort of bullied me out of the way. my hackles were up, but no matter! he figured it out.
high on our success and planning the tutorial that would certainly be "my big break," i tweeted the following:
and then naturally i got sidetracked with sewing orders and running and sleeping and life and never followed through on sharing this with anyone. i never even finished sewing one for myself.
so imagine my surprise when i saw that same pinner (with her tens of thousands of followers) linking to a tutorial for this style of scarf last night! i was SO bummed. my laziness had gotten me beaten to the punch.
granted, it's not THAT hard to figure out and there is nothing new under the sun, but i had so wanted to be the first on the scene with the DIY how to (character flaw? yes!). i resignedly went over and looked at the tutorial of my idea-twin. but, hey, as it turns out, the way i did mine was pretty different.
the scarf is essentially two big color blocked tubes of fabric "braided" together using square knots. but i noticed the other tutorial attaches the different ends of each tube together by sewing straight across all the layers, thereby closing the tube and forcing it to be flat in the place where the two colors meet up, so you cant twist or rearrange it (imagine a paper towel roll that's been stapled in the middle).
the other (now massively popular and pinned, woe is me!) tutorial is very easy and fast and works great if you dont mind the flat section, but i wanted to keep my scarf tubular all the way around so it would be soft and breezy and not squished. my method to accomplish this a little more tricksy, but i like the result much more.
what you need:
-2 long rectangles of fabric. i used cotton jersey knits which are more stretchy and soft, but almost any fabric should work
-thread that is the same color as one of your fabrics
-hand-sewing needle (dont be scurred!)
my rectangles are about 60"x18" each which will create a long scarf looped once but also enables doubling. simply adjust the length if you'd prefer a shorter/longer scarf and adjust the width of this rectangle if you prefer a chunkier/thinner scarf. just compare the look you want to my finished product on me (i am 5'7, FYI).
if you can find yardage of something you like, great! (i had these two colors already on hand in jersey interlock) OR you can actually achieve these by using a big old t-shirt to create each rectangle (you're probably going to need a XXL or larger or use several shirts worth of fabric to piece your rectangles until you get the right length):
cutting along the red dotted lines at the indicated measurements will create a 2-ply (front and back of the shirt) circley-loop that is 15" high and close to 60" around. you will cut one of the sides (if there was a side seam on the shirt, cut there to eliminate it) to get an open rectangle of fabric.
ANOTHER option for fabric is to just use yardage from a fabric store. jersey knits off of a bolt are typically 58" wide. this means that your rectangle's long edge is accomplished by the width of the fabric staight from the bolt, so you only need to order/have cut around 15" of each color. this is great because knits can run $10 per yard, but getting only 15 inches means you're only paying $4 for each of your colors (BEFORE coupons, there are ALWAYS joann and hobby lobby 40 and 50% off one item coupons...USE THEM! one for each item!) AND all the cutting is done for you at the cutting counter: you'll be taking home the exact size rectangle that you will need. so if you have a fabric store nearby, this actually may be the cheaper AND easier option. and knit yardage is thicker/high quality in general that what you will get from a t-shirt.
oh, hi! would you like to make 43 scarves using these fabrics? yeah, me too.
so while upcycling is great, if you dont have these huge t-shirts on hand or cant easily find them for less than $2, buying yardage might be the ideal option, especially considering the awesome printed that are available. i like the feel of the interlock fabric off the bolt better than t-shirts, but it's totally up to you!
several readers have sent me pictures of scarves made from their old t-shirts and they totally rock. it's your world....have it your way.
fabric PSA complete. we now we return to your regularly scheduled tutorial.
so whatever you did to acquire/create/procure/piece together your approx 60x15" rectangles, you now have your two long rectangles (folded width-wise here because i'm dumb like that)
STEP 1: fold each rectangle lengthwise, matching up the raw long edge and keeping right sides together if you have a fabric that has a non-patterned side. sew/serge along the long side:
STEP 2: reach your arm inside each rectangle and turn rightside-out. don't press these seams because we are going for tubular not squashed, remember?
gotta love a step that forbids you from ironing!
the resultant two long tubes of fabric.
STEP 3: make your braid. it can be difficult to explain so i have attached pictures of the process and a really quick video of me doing the knots (in which i show what a HUGE nerd i am at the end and jesse patronizes me silently while taping)
a: make two loops by folding in the middle of each tube- overlap them on on top of the other. b: reach your arm under the crook of the bottom (blue) loop and grab the ends of the top (purple) loop. c: pull the ends of the top loop back through the crook of the bottom and lay them on top of the bottom crook. d: cinch and straighten making sure the knot is in the middle. e: spread the ends of the top loop out and away from each other. f: reach between the top ends and under the bottom crook to grab the tails of the top ends. g: pull the top ends back through the bottom loop. h: pull through to lay them over the bottom loop. i: pull all four ends to cinch the knots tighter j: squnch and shift to make your knots compact. k: twist and adjust and do what you need to to make the knots uniform and pretty. l: admire!
and watch it live (with special price is right hands at the end!):
you're so welcome, world.
NOTE: you can repeat the steps as many times as you like if you want your knot/braid to be longer. these steps make a braid with 3 sets of V's (just like the inspiration scarf), but you could make as many as you like. just keep in mind that every additional V makes your total length a bit shorter.
*IF YOU WANT TO MAKE A DOUBLE BRAIDED SCARF STOP HERE. you can pick up with the steps for that tutorial here.
now we are going to sew the tubes together for our completed scarf. we want to keep the tubes open on the interior so the layers arent all squashed together. we are going to sew in the manner you may have used if you have made a reversible garment before. we have to sort of sew our way out of the fabric. here's how--
STEP 4: lay out your finished knot into an X shape. match up the top tails of the X (one from each side/color), bringing the raw circular ends together. you can add in a few twists on each individual tube before matching the ends up to give your finished scarf that twisty swirly look rather than just a straight loop (i didnt twist mine so you can compare that look to the yellow and gray one which was twisted...i will twist next time!).
STEP 5: find the seams from when you created your tubes in STEP 1 and align them side by side:
nice bandaid...hey, guys rotary cutters are mother flipping sharp. fiskars don't play.
*DOUBLE BRAIDERS PICK BACK UP HERE
so here are your two raw edges that you have matched up. for reference, i am going to call each layer of this little pita pocket by a number:
STEP 6: pinch the two inner layers together (keeping that long seam aligned...see how mine are both at the bottom?)
STEP 7: take your pinched together 2 and 3 layer and put them under your presser foot. start sewing, taking care to keep layers 1 and 4 away from the needle and out of the way:
now since these are tubes, we are dealing with circles, so as you go, what was your 1 and 4 layers, start to come around to the middle and become your 2 and 3 layers that you are sewing. thats okay, keep going:
you can see on the left below where i started stitching. it is coming back around and i am starting to run out of room. what we have done here is essentially sew a small portion of the ends of these tails inside out. you wont be able to complete the circle of stitching because the back door has to remain open for the rest of the scarf to go out of:
STEP 8: you will start really running out of room running up against the long tail of the rest of your scarf. just go as far as you can WITHOUT stretching the fabric and then back stitch at your stopping point:
when you snip your threads and remove from your machine, this is what you will have: a little almost circle stitched around the ends and turned inside out around the remaining material. a tortellini of fabric spewing scarfy goodness:
STEP 9: flip the end right side out:
REPEAT STEPS 4-9 with the other two raw ends of your scarf
ta-da: you have successfully sewed 90% of your tube circumference with an awesome invisible seam:
but there's the 10% you couldn't quite reach (see how my blue has more length at the hole than my purple...it's because i got greedy and did a no-no and stretched my fabric back on step 8. this is why you shouldnt do that...sadface):
STEP 10: we hand sew the little openings closed. grab some coordinating thread and a need and blind stitch that puppy closed.
mine is wonky on the blue because my open ends werent even due to my truancy in step 8:
that's it! you're done
much more difficult for me than this tutorial was trying to get acceptable shots of me wearing the scarf. ugh. jesse almost lost his head because i was so self-conscious and picky. i HATE having my picture taken by myself. why, you ask?
jesse took his ball and went home so i had to take the un-looped scarf pic by myself.
i got a lot of free turquoise jersey...that's why it's in all 3 of my last projects...like the camera strap.
and here are tons more cute ones i have made since falling hard for the awesome fabrics at Girl Charlee:
the possibilities are endless!!! getcha some!
and if/WHEN you make one of these beauties for yourself (or if you plan to sell them using my tutorial), would you PLEASE send me a pic? that would just make my life. you can email it (and any questions about the steps or anything else) to putapuredukes (at) gmail (dot) com.
*since a bunch of you asked, i am also now selling these in the colors of your choice in my etsy shop if you're unable or unwilling (no shame in that game!) to make one yourself.