Yes, I am well aware that I am like two years behind in my love of scarves. In fact, two years ago, when EVERYONE else was wearing scarves, I thought they were kind of dumb. Fast forward to yesterday, and my boss asked me if I own like a million scarves because I am always wearing one. And then he proceeded to prance around in my leopard print scarf for a half an hour. It’s okay. He has pre-teen daughters. I hear that makes you a little wacky…
Anyway, on to the fun stuff – new scarves! I started making these cashmere ruffle scarves for the November market, and they were definitely my biggest sellers. Maybe it was because the day of the market was a record low temp, but I choose to believe it was because they are friggin’ awesome. And now I will reveal my most cautiously guarded secret to you…
I don’t know how to ride a bike.
Okay, maybe my second most cautiously guarded secret – how to make a cashmere ruffle scarf for yourself!
You will need
A sweater (you might recognize this as the one who contributed its sleeves to hold up my boots)
a rotary cutter if you have one, but scissors are fine
First, cut the body of your sweater into strips. These are 4.5 inches, but you can obviously adjust it to the width you want.
Pin the strips “right” side together at the point where you cut off the seam. Notice that on sweaters, there is a subtle difference between the “right” side and the “wrong side. On the “right” side, the stitches look like clean straight lines. On the “wrong” side, they are kinda zigzaggy. Yes, I made that word up. I’m cool like that. Stitch the strips together. Don’t forget to backstitch at the beginning and the end.
When the strips are all stitched together, turn them so that the raw edges are facing you. Separate them as if you were going to press them open like you normally would for any sewing project. (Um, I totally never press my seams open. Don’t tell my Aunt Pat.) Stitch the raw edge down with as small a seam allowance as you can. In other words, stitch it down, really close to your original seam.
When you come to the end, turn the scarf and go back down the other raw edge, again as close as you can. You are just tacking down the raw edges so they look a little less sloppy.
When you get back to where you started, backstitch across your original seam. You should have sewn a really long rectangle. Trim off the excess.
Yay! Now you have a really long strip of cashmere! How exciting!
Here is where my method differs a little from the expected. If you have been sewing for a while, you know that to make a ruffle or gather, you sew a long running stitch and then pull the thread to create the ruffle. Well, I did that, and the result was Beth yelling at strips of cashmere and thread. (Don’t judge. My chemistry prof told me that it helps to talk to your experiments.) The thread broke, or got bunched up in weird places, etc. So I tried gathering/ruffling another way – by hand. Yes. It is more tedious, but I think you get a more fun random and unique look because the gathers are not uniform. And there’s less yelling at inanimate objects. To hand gather, you simply pinch the fabric into little bunches and run it through the machine. This takes a little practice, but it’s worth it.
Just so ya know, I’m holding my camera with my chin for this picture. It was awesomely awkward
Anyway, continue to gather little bunches and run them through your machine until you reach the end.
When you are totally done ruffling, simply sew another line of stitches over the original ones. This isn’t strictly necessary, but I think it makes the ruffles more secure and also gives you the opportunity to fix any gaps or weird stuff that happened during the hand ruffling.
Don’t stitch it with a twist in it!!! Why the heck did I take the picture like that? Sorry peeps.
Now put on your scarf! It’s supposed to be “cold” here again this week again – 60’s brrrrrrr – so you have an excuse to wear your new cozy, warmy, ruffly scarf!
Just don’t let my boss get it. He’s a little off, you know.