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Saturday, 26 August 2017

Quasi-Tutorial: The Mini Infinity in Chiffon

Mini Infinity Chiffon Scarf by eSheep Designs
Mini Infinity Scarf in my Sewing Machine Zen fabric...
In late June, Spoonflower unveiled its version of chiffon with an accompanying sale.

I was very tempted, since I'd long been looking for a sheer, two-sided fabric to make a lightweight summer scarf. (I believe that until now, their fabrics have all had an unprinted reverse side to them.)

However, I've also handled chiffon in the past and the thought of sewing with it wasn't quite as thrilling an idea as actually having the scarf. So even though I put some product into my shopping cart, I never did click through to buy.

About a week later, however, Spoonflower held one of their BOGO fat quarter sales, which did prompt me to load up on several selections that I had been meaning to get. I added these two... in chiffon.

Canadiana fabric designed by eSheep Designs
Another design from my Canadiana collection...

This first one was a late addition to my Canadiana collection; it's one of two designs that I quickly slapped together in mid-June when Spoonflower held a 30% off sale on general yardage. (I picked up some lightweight cotton twill featuring the other design that you'll see come to life in the near future.)

Sewing Machine Zen fabric designed by eSheep Designs
Sewing Machine Zen fabric...

This turned out to be the first purchase ever of my Sewing Machine Zen fabric, which means it's now available for sale. I've always had the intention of making a scarf out of it.

$4.73 per fat quarter...
Just so you know what this project ended up costing, take a look at my packing slip at right. These 27" wide by 18" high chiffon fat quarters were only $4.73 each, with my 10% designer discount.

Isn't that a super deal? (Non-discounted, regular price is $10.50. Shipping was $6, but that was for the whole order of eight FQs.)

In today's post, I will show you how I turned these fat quarters into a couple of mini infinity scarves. It's a project that'll take less than an hour. In fact, if you're fast, you can conceivably finish two of these in an hour.

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Let me start by saying that the fabric was an unexpected joy to work with, surprisingly enough. I had visions of frayed edges, fabric being driven down into the feed dogs and getting stuck, tension issues with stitches bunching up... and I had none of those! I didn't even have to go out and buy myself a microtex needle.

Testing out the chiffon with my existing sewing machine setup...

The above is a test of a rolled hem using a piece of chiffon cut from the border of the fabric. My machine — and existing needle — handled it fine. Not only that, the fabric held a crease wonderfully when I ironed it on an appropriate setting.

Anyway, a pat on the back to my old Kenmore for standing up to the challenge.

Ready to make a mini infinity?

Step 1: Prep the Material

Iron out the creases and then cut away most of the white borders, leaving about a 1/4" (6mm) of it remaining all around.

Mini Infinity Scarf Tutorial by eSheep Designs
Trim most of the excess borders away...

TIP: Use the discarded border pieces to check your sewing machine's handling of the fabric.

Step 2: Sew Ends Together

Fold the piece in half with right sides together.

Mini Infinity Scarf Tutorial by eSheep Designs
Fold the fabric in half...

Keeping the two raw edges even, fold over once and then one more time (at 1/4" or 6mm each time) to create a rolled hem. Pin in place.

Mini Infinity Scarf Tutorial by eSheep Designs
Create a rolled hem with the two raw edges, hiding the white border as you go.

By the way, take care to point your pins in the right direction for how you're going to sew. (I always, always, end up pinning in the wrong direction the first go-around!)

Mini Infinity Scarf Tutorial by eSheep Designs
Insert the pins in such a way so that you can remove them as you sew...

When you're done with the pinning, take a moment to press the seam with your iron. Don't skip this step; it does help.

Mini Infinity Scarf Tutorial by eSheep Designs
You now have a circular tube...

Stitch the entire length and press again.

Step 3: Finish Top and Bottom Seams

You now have a fabric tube. Starting at the location of the vertical seam that you just sewed, create and pin a rolled hem again around one of the remaining raw edges.

Mini Infinity Scarf Tutorial by eSheep Designs
Pin another rolled hem...

As you did before, press and then sew together.

Mini Infinity Scarf Tutorial by eSheep Designs
Sew carefully around the thick part of the overlapping seams...

Repeat the process with the other end of the tube, ensuring that the centre seam (the one you originally made to join the two ends together) lies flat and isn't twisted.

Mini Infinity Scarf Tutorial by eSheep Designs
Make sure the centre seam is folded in the same direction when you sew up the other two seams...

And that's all there is to it: you have a mini infinity scarf that you can just pop over your head!

[By the way, if you're a regular visitor here, you may recognize this as just another variant of my Bear Buff project. I take ideas from others all the time, so doing the same thing to myself is a no-brainer!]

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Unlike typical infinity scarves, this one doesn't have enough length to wrap several times around your neck, but it's got a significant amount of volume from the 18" of "depth" to give the appearance of multiple layers.

You can achieve different looks depending on how you squish it, fluff it, roll it, pull it to the back or pull it to the front.

Mini Infinity Chiffon Scarf by eSheep Designs
My finished mini infinity scarves... worth every penny!

Rolled up tightly, you can even wear it as a headband. Fully extended, it can cover your whole head if you want that retro Jackie O with head scarf and big sunglasses look.

And of course, the chiffon is so lightweight that you don't even know you're wearing it — perfect for making a fashion statement in warmer weather.

Keep an eye out for Spoonflower's next two for one fat quarters sale and you can make this for next to nothing. In the meantime, if you have some chiffon in your stash, why not give it a try now?

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