Sunday, September 4, 2011

DIY: Patch Infinity Scarf

I found myself restless and bored this afternoon, so I decided to do something crafty. I've been trying to get better at using my sewing machine -- my skills are currently, erm, remedial, at best -- so I figured I'd aim for something quick and simple. Last week when I was out and about with a girlfriend, I saw a scarf at a little boutique that I fell in love with. I absolutely refused, however, to pay $80.00 for a simple jersey-knit infinity scarf with a decorative patch when I could easily make one myself for considerably cheaper. I think the grand total of the supplies for this scarf was around $5.00, though I had everything on hand already, so it cost me nothing to make!

Before I dive in, let me apologize in advance for the unhelpful photos, and the lack of precise instructions. To be honest, I just kind of winged it... wung it... whatever.

 Step One: Assemble the A-Team

My sweet little boy cat decided he wanted to help sew the scarf, taking a break from solving mysteries (name that TV show!). He's an ace with the sewing machine, so I figured his presence could only help.


 Step Two: Pick, measure, and cut your primary scarf fabric!

I bought this jersey-knit material a long time ago to make a skirt, but never got around to it. It was actually ideal for this particular project, since the scarf I saw in the boutique was similarly striped.

I didn't really measure too carefully. In my estimation, my fabric ended up being somewhere between 84-96 inches in length, and 15 inches wide. While you definitely don't need to stick to my measurements, keep in mind that the longer the strip of fabric is the more times you will be able to wrap it around your neck. Also remember that you will be folding the fabric in half length-wise, so the scarf will be half as long when you're finished.

Note: Because I went with a jersey-knit fabric, I didn't need to worry about seams, or stitching the raw edges, as this particular fabric won't fray. If you decide to go with a cotton fabric -- or something that does fray -- it's a good idea to sew seams around the perimeter of your fabric.

Step Three: Pick out fabric for the patch

This wonderfully whimsical and colorful heart-print fabric came courtesy of my adorable grandmother (she has white hair, and smells like freshly baked cookies all the time!) who had had this vintage fabric sitting in her basement since my mother was a little girl (she used it to make my mom a dress when my mother was a child, actually). She gave it to me last Christmas, and it's been sitting with all my other vintage fabrics ever since.

I decided that I wanted my patch to be roughly six inches by six inches, so I added another inch (so the square I cut was 7 in. by 7 in.) so I could fold the raw edges under.

Step Four: Fold and iron edges of patch (optional)

I ironed the raw edges of the patch under about an inch. I wasn't too careful. This scarf is meant to look homemade and "rugged." Given that fact, I actually think the scarf would look really nice with the raw edges of the patch showing -- the fraying fabric would add some nice character -- but it's completely up to you.

Step Five: Pin the patch to the scarf, and sew it on!

Pin the patch to the scarf, and sew around the edges. I don't have any pictures of this step, because in a moment of absolute and astonishing brilliance, I completely forgot to take one while I was sewing.  Because I wanted this scarf to look decidedly handmade and "rugged" I didn't really worry at all about straight seams or clean stitches. I just wanted to make sure the patch was affixed to the scarf.

Step Six: Pin the ends of the scarf together, and sew.

Fold the scarf in half length-wise, pin the two shorter edges of the scarf together, and sew them. You are going to be stitching the fabric together so that it forms a giant tube/ring/circle/thing.

Step Seven: Finished!

You can call it quits here if you're happy with your scarf, or you can move on to optional step eight.

Step Eight (Optional): Buttons! Embellishments!

I decided that the scarf wasn't quite whimsical enough for me. It was missing something. I dug out my giant bag 'o vintage buttons that I have randomly accumulated over the years, and with Mr. CP's very helpful input, selected three buttons to attach to the patch. (heh! That rhymes!) I went with a giraffe, an anchor, and a clock. I feel like there must be some sort of a story here... Maybe the giraffe is a time pirate? Or... something...

Step Nine: Marvel at your charmingly whimsical new scarf.

My form of celebration included, but was not restricted to, the following: parading around the 80 degree house in my new scarf. Other options include writing an ode and/or sonnet in honor of your scarf (didn't do this, but thought about it); taking an inordinate number of pictures with your iPhone and sending it to everyone you know (might have done this); setting those same pictures to music in the form of a slideshow (didn't do this, although...); shoving your scarf in your significant other's face until they, too, marvel at the most recent product of your genius (can neither confirm nor deny whether I did this); or being normal, folding it up, and putting it away until Fall and/or Winter officially arrive (... obviously didn't do this).

For the sake of the photo below, I left the scarf hanging so you could see the patch. It should be noted, however, that the scarf can wrap around my neck about four times, so it's quite long, and will provide plenty of warmth come Winter!

That's all for the tutorial. If you decide to give this a try, I would love to see the finished product! If anything was at all unclear, don't hesitate to ask for clarification. It would do me good to learn to be more articulate! =P

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