Saturday, September 20, 2014

American circle scalf and shawl

The hardest part of making these circle scarves is finding the right fabric.  You need about 2 yards of soft, stretchy knit material

Super cute, right?
And super easy!!  Essentially all you are doing is sewing the ends of a large rectangular piece of fabric together to create a circle.  The trickiest part of sewing the scarves is cutting the fabric.  Because it requires such a large piece of fabric, you need a large even surface to spread out the fabric, measure and cut it.  The floor works great!
I think for the scarf to look good, you need to have a really wide piece of fabric so that it is extra plush and voluminous. The scarf doesn’t look so hot if its skinny and limp.  Most knit fabrics come 54″ wide which is perfect for these scarves!  And the added bonus is that you don’t have to cut the edges of the fabric, just leave the selvage as it is. (see how easy this is?)  If your fabric is wider than 54″ (the pink knit fabric was 66″ wide) and you need to cut it skinnier, don’t fret.  Knit fabric doesn’t fray, so you can cut it and not worry about hemming the edges.   Just cut as straight as you can and the edges will roll up instead of fraying.   Since the scarf is so puffy, it’s pretty forgiving if you don’t cut out the perfect rectangle.  The beauty of these scarves though is that you don’t have to cut the lines perfectly.  There is lots of room for error and different variations.  I also experimented with different lengths of fabric, making some scarves shorter than others.  The yellow striped one is on the shorter side at 60″ long.  The light gray scarf with the skinny blue stripes (top left corner photo) is the longest at 74″. The others fall somewhere in between.  The length can vary, its really up to your own preferences.  When you are fabric shopping, make sure to get at least 2 yards of fabric so that you have enough to at least double loop it around your neck.
Once you cut out the fabric into a rectangle,  fold the scarf in half so that the top edge is aligned with the bottom edge, right sides together. Pin together well. Since knit is pretty stretchy, its important to pin the layers together so that it doesn’t stretch or move when you are sewing it. Then sew the edges together with about a 1/4″ seam.  I sewed over the seam twice to reinforce it:

 You can leave the edges raw because they won’t fray. They may even curl up and hide the seam. The American Apparel circle scarf is woven to be seamless but the seam doesn’t bother me. Just adjust the scarf when you are wearing it so that the seam is at the back of your neck. If you are using striped fabric, make sure to align the fabric so that the stripes line up:

 These scarves are so versatile, too!! You can wear it with a double loop around the neck like in the photos above or you can also just wear it with one big loop or as a shawl:

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