Sunday, March 9, 2014

Spring Scarf Tutorials: Part I

Let the spring scarf madness begin! I got so inspired by 'recreating' the above scarf that I went a bit overboard and made lots of scarves...they are all unique but also quite easy to make. I'll be taking this week before the official start of spring (Mar. 20) to show you how you can freshen up your scarf stash!

To start, I put together a really quick tutorial on how to make t-shirt yarn as it is a big part of most of the scarves I made. You'll find it here. If you don't need it, no need to click over! You can skip down to the next step :)

Before you get into cutting and braiding and the like you need to determine how long you want your finished scarf to be. Do you want it to wrap around once, twice? Do you want the braids to be different/graduated lengths? Once you decide, get to braiding your yarn! There are so many options on how to do this, but I went with a basic braid.

Ok, now let's get down to it! You've got your yarn all braided up. You've got the lengths and thicknesses that you want. Next you need a length of lace. It can be a wide lace trim, it can be a remnant of stretch creative :). And some other fabric as a background to the braids (preferably jersey knit so that you don't need to worry about finishing raw edges). If you choose a solid colored braid, go with a patterned/printed under fabric. Or go with 2-3 different colors. this is all up to your personal tastes. Here's some great can hand sew this scarf. I hand sewed the original because I didn't have my machine yet and it was the easiest thing ever. (Though you'll see that my stitching was far from perfect!)

Now, in recreating this scarf I took the liberty of not doing an exact copy...because that wouldn't be much fun, would it! ;) But I'm including close-ups of the original so that you can see the parallels and differences as we go.

Okay, so the original scarf has this length of lace which was an old tank top I cut up. Because it is a stretch lace it doesn't unravel and so I treated it like jersey knit. I rolled it over on itself, wrapping it around the jersey knit and braids before hand stitching it in place.

The jersey knit is a mint green $1 scarf that I grabbed at a Marshall's. It was actually an infinity scarf that I simply took apart at the seam. I did this because as an infinity scarf I couldn't wrap it around twice comfortably, but hanging on my neck it was a little too long. Adding the length of lace made it just long enough to wrap twice and hang to my liking. As you can see, I was very professional here and just gathered it up in my fist before sewing it in place inside of the lace ;).

The braids, as I mentioned above, do show some raw edges (which I like), and are slightly varying in thickness. I simply tacked the ends so they wouldn't come undone then also sewed them in place wrapped up in the jersey knit and lace. And that's it! I can pin a brooch on the hand stitched area to add another touch of spring (a butterfly attracted to the flowers!) or you could add buttons, notions, etc.

Now, let's take a look at the new scarf. I started with this sweater that I thrifted with a refashion in mind. I loved the colors, stripes and the beautiful lace knit patterns. I paired it with a length of crocheted lace that I'd salvaged from another top and some pink braided jersey knit (from a remnant of thrifted fabric). Oh, and for this one I'm doing a bit more sewing, so I grabbed some matching thread from my grandma's old stash :).

I removed the bottom from the sweater, and then tied it around my neck with the back at the front to see how it would drape and it's perfect!
How about that early morning mug! ;)

All I need to do is get rid of the sleeves...I turned it inside out, sewed along the edge of the sleeve slanting towards the neck (roughly along the line of the scissors) and then trimmed them off making sure to leave the actual sleeve intact for future use. I zigzagged the cut edges to keep them from fraying and turned the sweater right side out.

Next step was to zigzag the bottom edge of the sweater where I'd removed the wide ribbed knit waist. Then, I crisscrossed the two bottom corners, sewed them in place and tacked them in together where I'm pointing to keep the new front of the scarf from hanging too low. This is now the portion of the scarf that will lay at the back of my neck.

Now, for the crocheted lace. I cut it to length (layed it across the back of my neck and eyeballed where I'd want it to hang), folded over the edge and sewed it down, wrapped it around the braids and sewed straight across once. I repeated this for both ends of the braids, one hanging just slightly longer than the other.

Here, I'm demonstrating what the options could be if you are including another layer of fabric as in the original. You could wrap said fabric around to the front for a cool effect, around to the back, or scrunch (gather) it up before sewing it in place.

And that's it! I decided not to attach these two together as it gives me more options for layering my scarves (something I'm getting more and more into). I love the lace and braids on their own as simple comfy jewelry (great for anyone working with youngsters and/or who have some of their own). Also, great jewelry for winter where I tend to stop wearing necklaces as they take on the cold of outdoors and I just don't want to wear cold jewelry as I'm walking around town running errands.

So, what do you think? One option is almost no-sew (and I'm sure you could find a way to do it with just some fabric glue), and the second includes just a bit more sewing simply for the use of a knit sweater that would easily fray. I feel like I've created another favorite that is warm enough if there's a chill, but also nice and light for the warmer spring days that are sure to come ...eventually ...someday ...maybe. I WON'T LOSE HOPE! lol!

Hopefully, this gives you enough of a starting point to start playing around with ideas of your own. Be creative with what you already have on hand and if you need to go on the hunt for 'materials', try to keep an open mind (and eyes) on what you can make of things.

Be ready for another tutorial on the way tomorrow! AND I'll do a final post on styling all of the scarves I've made next weekend :). Oh, and there'll be a surprise in that post, so make sure you keep coming back to find out what it will be. Happy Refashioning!



  1. THANK YOU! Now I am looking at every piece of clothing to see if I can cut it up in strips... I may not have anything to wear to work tomorrow but I'll have a cute scarf...

    1. Hahaha, that's the spirit, Becky! I'd love to see how yours turns out :) You could always email or message me a pic on FB! Have fun with it! And, you're welcome. Thank YOU for the inspiration that got me on a roll ;)

  2. Omg I love it! You are brilliant.

    1. Thank you so much, Leila :) I appreciate you taking the time to comment!

  3. where actually did you buy that wide lace/first picture? Natalia

    1. The lace from the original scarf, was from a lace tank top that I bought at Marshall's several years ago. I cut it up to use in a few different projects: this scarf, embellishing a pair of wedges, and still have some bits left over. The second length of crocheted lace was unpicked from a thrifted blouse. :) Great question, Natalia! Hope that helps to illustrate how I gather my 'fabrics' from many different 'sources' (mostly my own closet and the thrift store).