When working with recycled material, patchwork is often the only option. There are many different ways of using small fabric bits to create a larger piece. This scarf is made from suiting material and sewn with a half french seam, pojagi style. My initial idea was to make it reversible, but I didn’t like the feel of the suiting material against my skin and the fabric felt a bit too thin, so I lined it with softer fabric. The scarf below was sewn with brown suiting material taken from fine woolen pants. The original seam can still be seen. It’s the lighter brown strip between the red and cream colored hand stitching.
To make your own:
- pattern paper (newspaper is fine) and pen
- fabric marker
- suiting wool (or any other fabric of your choice)
- crochet or other trim and fabric strips (cut on a bias, as they don’t fray that way)
- thread (buttonhole thread is strong and recommended)
1. Make your own pattern which is easy to do. Decide how long and wide the scarf should be. Mine is 46″ long and 7″ wide.
2. Get some paper and draw a rectangle 46″ x 7″ (or your own measurements). Here comes the fun part. Draw different sections and number them (see page from my notebook below). The sections don’t have to be straight. Diagonals make the scarf interesting.
Tip: Draw as many pieces as you want. It can be as few as 3. The part that’s draped around the neck won’t be that visible and doesn’t need as many different sections patched together.
The scarf above has 7 pieces and the sample below 5. The nice thing is by drawing the pattern yourself, it makes the scarf completely unique and you can make as many as you want.
3.Cut the paper pattern apart.4. Trace the paper pattern onto the fabric.
5. Add plenty of seam allowance at the diagonal seams (and the usual seam allowance at the other seams). The diagonals will be sewn with a half french seam (pictured below) and you’ll need a double seam allowance. Then number the fabric pieces so they can be sewn together in the right order.
6. Place the right sides together of piece 1 and 2 and use a half french seam as seen here (through step
The interesting detail is when you add a strip of fabric or crochet into the seam and fix it in place by stitching it down as in the picture below. When using fabric strips, I recommend cutting them on a bias (which means diagonal to the weave) to minimize fraying.
7. Make sure the trims change direction in the center of the scarf so the seams “fall” to either side when wearing the scarf as seen in the last picture. When making my first scarf I had sewn the seams all in one direction so when I finally wore it, the seams on one side “flopped” over….and that was a hand sewn disappointment. But, of course, this won’t happen to you.
8. When all the pieces are sewn in place, it’s time to add the lining. Measure the full scarf and cut a piece of fabric to the same measurements.
9. Place the right sides facing together (wrong sides are out), pin and leave an opening about 6″ through which the scarf will be turned inside out. Sew together with a running stitch.
10. Pull the scarf inside out (just like you do with the coin purses before sewing on the frame).
11. Close the remaining opening with a slip stitch and, voilá!, you’re very own one of a kind scarf is ready for the crisp autumn breeze.
This is not really a step by step tutorial, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to figure it out. If you have any questions, please email and I´d be happy to help. This patchwork technique works for a many other things. Try it on pillow cases, headbands, book covers and bags. The patchwork can be as intricate as you like.
You can also make different fabric strips and sew them together for a bigger project. There´s no need to line the patchwork, because the half french seam makes the fabric reversible.