|My P&P Mobinity Scarf!|
When weather conspired to keep me inside during a cold January this year, I headed over to the Spoonflower site, opened an account and started designing fabric. It now counts as one of those odd moments in life that starts out being rather ordinary and ends up very much a point of highlight. (I'm not going to say "life changing" as I believe — particularly with respect to this past Thursday being a day of giving thanks south of the border — that far more important matters are truly life changing.) If I hadn't done that, a couple of months later I wouldn't have created a few more designs of the Pride & Prejudice persuasion, which wouldn't have led to my first fabric sale and we would not have had the experience of seeing Wendy Dudley's fabulous hat. Funny how things go, huh?
Anyway, when I saw how clear the text was on the fabric that Wendy used for her hat, I knew that I had to get some for myself.
|Enjoy the look of two scarves in one!|
While out and about, I started to notice the preponderance of infinity scarves on people. I have three scarves that I wear on a regular basis, but they are all "yarn-y" and meant to keep me warm. While stylish, two are in fact fairly bulky and not really "all season". None are infinity scarves.
Decision made. I would come up with a design for a trendy infinity style scarf and offer up my very first "project kit" style tutorial based on my Spoonflower fabric. The pattern is free, the fabric not so much. ;-)
But which fabric would it be? I narrowed it down to a few choices, but after much consideration, decided to go with the performance piqué (Wendy's fabric was the silky faille), which Spoonflower describes as a "100% polyester piqué knit fabric with a moisture-wicking, soil release finish" suitable for "yoga tops, polo shirts, sporty dresses and skirts, headbands, scarves and more". A scarf will sit against your neck all day long, so those fabric properties were just perfect, in my humble opinion.
More importantly, the performance piqué comes in a width of 56", which yields enough fabric to make three scarves. (One for me/you, two to sell/give away?)
There are scads of tutorials for making an infinity scarf, so what I am about to offer here is really nothing new. However, the way in which the fabric is allocated (to achieve a "two in one" look) and the "mobius" part of the equation should at least be somewhat different.
Other than that, I wanted a total length that would allow for optimum versatility and — important to me — the ability to triple wrap. Two yards will yield very close to a 72" finished length, particularly in light of how Spoonflower prints its fabric with a border. Six feet of scarf in a circle accommodates many, many varieties of fancy wrapping.
|The two different fabrics can produce several different looks...|
The actual sewing part of this project is really rather simple and I would call it a beginner's project even with the potential for challenges with the fabric itself (noted later). You will have to sew around a small curve at the end, but all in all, this is a scarf and therefore mostly forgiving of any particular blunders.
With that in mind, here we go with the materials required...
- 1 yard performance piqué Pride & Prejudice Text fabric in black
- 1 yard performance piqué Pride & Prejudice Text fabric in white
- thread, rotary cutter and cutting mat, ball point sewing machine needle to accommodate stretchy knits, etc., etc.
CUT THE FABRICCut a strip 18" wide from each of the two fabrics. That's about 46cm for my metric friends. (And if you are actually using my P&P Text fabric, that is roughly the equivalent of three design repetitions.)
|Cut each piece to 18" wide by the entire length (36")...|
JOIN FABRIC PIECESPin the two pieces of fabric right sides together along one of the 18" edges. Whether you choose to orient the text in the same or opposite way is totally up to you. (Since a scarf is ultimately looped around when worn, the text will be upside down at some point regardless of how you do this.)
|Pin ends of fabric with right sides together...|
Because Spoonflower fabric comes with a white border all around, use that white area inside the seam to your advantage (i.e., to maximize length of scarf).
|All Spoonflower fabric is printed on a white base with a border all around...|
Sew together using a 1/4" to 3/8" seam allowance. The recommendation is to use a short length zigzag stitch to allow for the fabric to be stretched. (Then again, this is just a scarf and not an actual piece of clothing, so do whatever works.)
|All sewn up despite my challenges!|
WARNING: I had significant problems sewing that piqué on the crosswise grain! Even with my sewing machine's recommended needle for stretchy knits, my stitches were still slipping and skipping all over, regardless of what kind of stitch I used, straight or zigzag. I ultimately got the job done by stitching over top of the original sewing line twice and sometimes three times and then checking to see that there were no open gaps in the seam. (Click here to read Spoonflower hints for sewing with this fabric.)
UPDATE: Turns out there was a special stretch stitch setting that I could use on my machine. I recant my complaints and will remember next time to read FURTHER in the manual.
|Checking the stitching for open gaps...|
SEW EDGE TOGETHERFold the long strip of fabric in half lengthwise with right sides together. Pin, starting in the middle at the seam where the two different fabrics meet.
|Pin long edge together, ensuring that the middle seam is even...|
Starting in the middle, sew down half the length to the end. Then go back to the middle and sew the other way. If you have similar issues like I did with the slipped/skipped stitches, sew again as needed. (Or check your manual!) Sewing with the grain was a comparative breeze, as long as I kept the presser foot at maximum pressure.
|Long edge all sewn up...|
Turn the entire tube right side out.
|Turned right side out...|
ADD THE MOBIUS EFFECTTake the scarf and fold the two ends evenly on top of one another as shown.
Take the top end and give it a half turn (i.e., turn it over), like this.
|"Mobius" your scarf!|
Once joined, this will create a "single surface mobius strip".
FINISH UP THE ENDPin the remaining two free ends together as shown.
|Pin the ends right sides together...|
Keep pinning until you are unable to do so; i.e., because the scarf starts to become trapped within itself.
|... pin until you can't pin "no more"!|
Due to the nature of the fabric, you should be able to get the pinning to within just two or three inches of completeness.
|Here is another view of the process...|
Sew as far as you can go.
|I ended up with an opening of just two inches left...|
Hand sew the gap closed and you're done!
|Can you see my hand-stitching?|
If you don't encounter any issues with your machine sewing this type of fabric, this is truly a project that you can complete in under a half hour. (And the results are well worth whatever troubles you might encounter.) With the fabric allocated like this, you can get a variety of looks from your scarf.
Here are some ideas...
|The two yard length allows for a triple wrap...|
I have seen infinity scarves where you are instructed to use one fabric on one side and a different one on the other for a "reversible" scarf. Now, I am all about multi-use and reversible (recall my Bodaciously Basic Bucket Bag?), but I have yet to see a scarf "behave" itself by staying on one side as you wear it. So the part about that design construction being reversible is really about it being two-toned.
|Some options for wearing...|
With the way that the two different fabrics are joined here, however, it can appear as though you are wearing two different scarves at once.
|You can even wear it this way under a cardigan...|
Or it can even look like you are wearing a stylish top! Or a hoodie! (No more photos; Google "how to wear an infinity scarf" for more ideas.)
By the way, for those who are interested in the Spoonflower stats: cost to ship the two yards of fabric to me (in Canada) was $6. It was sent out two days after my initial order and I received it twelve days after that. (Actually last Friday... I've been a busy bee!) Cost per yard of the performance piqué is $20 (all prices in USD). So a total starting cost of $46 is not exactly cheap, but given that you can make three of these and easily sell one for $20 — or give them away as gifts, as it's that time of year again — it's really not so bad at all.
ATTN: Spoonflower is offering free worldwide shipping on Cyber Monday!
Otherwise, if you want to make a purchase that will arrive in time for Christmas, Spoonflower's order deadline with standard shipping to the US is December 6. If you wait right until that day, you may wind up sewing on Christmas Eve but hey, it'll only take you half an hour! ;-)
Like it? Want to keep it? For a copy of this tutorial in PDF format, go to my Craftsy shop and download it for free!