Thursday, February 13, 2014

Make this! DIY bow scarf.

Listen up! Because I spent 34 years living in the desert Southwest (Arizona) I had NO IDEA that scarves were anything other than a sometimes sweet fashion accessory. But NOW? Living in the Midwest, I KNOW they are a ABSOLUTE cold weather necessity. Since moving here, my girls and I have become obsessed with finding the holy grail of scarves that does its job to perfection AND looks super cute, to boot. I'm not entirely POSITIVE that this prototype right here is the HOLY GRAIL OF SCARVES because I am merely a beginner scarf wear-er, but I contend that the style is pretty darn good at keeping you warm AND I love bows more than I care to admit (as a grown-ass woman.) Plus, this scarf is SUPER cheap and SUPER easy to make. Its like the scarf-trifecta!

To make one scarf you will need:
  • a women's sweater - long sleeved, medium weight sweater, sized medium or larger
  • 1/4 yard - 60" wide velour or cotton knit fabric (you can use anything that has some stretch)
  • common sewing supplies: scissors, ruler, straight pins, sewing machine, thread, marking pen, etc

I purchased these sweaters at a thrift store ($2.49 each!) which is OBVIOUSLY a great place to get sweaters that you are going to cut up :) Look for bright or unusual prints and stick to the more tightly woven knits - that will make it SO MUCH easier to cut into the sweater without the entire thing unraveling. Also, make sure the sweater isn't ITCHY! It is going to be up against your neck. Also, keep in mind the color of your everyday coat - my coat is black felt so I tend to wear scarves that are more brightly colored. But if you have a purple or red coat? Maybe stick to a neutral color, you wild woman, you!

First, you are going to hack up your sweater: Cut the arms off, along the black line as shown. If you are working with a cardigan, cut off the band. If you are working with a pull-over sweater, after you cut the arms off, carefully cut up the middle of front.

You should end up with something like this - a beautiful sweater vest shape. Don't worry- this is not some diabolical plan to trick you into wearing a sweater vest! This is only a temporary situation.

Next, cut open the shoulder hems. Then, turn the mangled sweater inside out, line up the bottom hem and pin the arm holes closed. You are working to achieve a rectangular piece of knitted fabric. Sew the armholes closed, while maintaining a straight line from bottom hem to shoulder. You may have to sew down each side, in its entirety. Then, trim any excess.

You should hopefully have a piece that looks something like this. Isn't this pattern amazing?

Now, trim your piece down to approximately 20"x30", making sure to keep the seams on each side as even as possible by trimming off of both sides. (you should size down for kid sizes.) Now, fold your rectangle in half, right sides together. Pin and sew a straight stitch, leaving a 4 inch gap open in the middle.

Now, you will create the bow ends. Take your piece of stretch fabric and , with right sides together, round off each end, as shown. Pin and sew. There is no need to leave an opening. Once the entire piece has been sewn, fold and cut in half at the middle. Turn bow ends right side out.

Next, adjust the placement of the seam on the sweater piece so that it is in the middle-back, as shown. With it still turned inside out, place each of the bow ends inside the sweater tube, as shown, and pin in the middle along both ends. (There is no need to leave the tails out, as shown, that was done to further illustrate the step.) Sew along each end. Turn the whole thing right side out through the opening. Finally, either whip stitch or machine stitch the opening closed.

I wish I could say that I think that scarf weather is almost over..... but yeah, no. Its 8 degrees as I sit here, typing this. At 2:20 p.m. Today's high was somewhere around, ummm, 8. That's without the windchill, my friend. So, viva la scarf!

I've made about 6 of these so far, with no end in site. (PSST - if you crochet or knit, you can whip up a tube out of thick yarn if used apparel freaks you out. And then just sew in the velour bow ends. You wouldn't need to worry about raw edges so just stick the right-side-out bow ties in the ends and top stitch in place. I made my girls some of that variety for Christmas. Not to say that much skeeves me out. I am pretty much low skeeve.)

(mad props to my youngest for braving the elements ( NEGATIVE 11 DEGREES) to model for her crazy mom.) 
But seriously. Doesn't her neck look WARM? :)

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