Monthly Archives: July 2013

Infinity Scarf

IMG_3200_edited-1webThere are approximately 10,000 infinity scarf tutorials in the internet.  Now there’s 10,001!  There’s a good reason.  It’s the easiest project ever.  If you have a sewing machine, you can make one.  Two yards of fabric makes two scarves which can be worn doubled or tripled. It could make three scarves if you like them more narrow.  I may try that next.

I was procrastinating starting a knit dress and wanted to make something quick and easy.  When I realized a girlfriend’s birthday party was Saturday, I figured it would be a cute handmade addition to her gift.

Fabric choice is important.  I used cotton voile for all the examples below and it works well.  A gauze would be pretty.  A printed or striped knit would be great too.  I just didn’t have either of those in my stash and once I got the idea in my head I wanted to try it right then.  The curse of the impatient, I guess.  Any woven thicker than a voile would look a little too chunky.  It’s a great way to use fabrics you love but wouldn’t wear as a garment.  The scarves look more bulky here than when they’re actually worn.

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A cool alternative would be to make it out of two coordinating fabrics – it would look very cool once twisted around your neck.  I didn’t have that so below is a simple version.

Wanna learn how?  Here goes:

IMG_3203_edited-1webCut the fabric width in half (cut parallel to the selvage).  You could even cut it in thirds.  Your scarf will be half the width of each cut piece.  In my example, my fabric is 54” wide.  I cut one piece 23” x wide since that was the easiest way to mark the fabric with my ruler.  The remainder was 31”.  Whatever the width you choose, make sure that measurement is uniform the entire length.  That will be important later.  Just trim it up if not.  Square off the ends.

 

IMG_3205_edited-1webTake one of your strips and fold it in half right sides together.  Pin along the edge.  If you have a visible selvage, pin so that side is on top.

 

IMG_3210_edited-1webStitch the entire length of the piece.  I use the selvage as a guide to ensure it doesn’t show through.  Otherwise, I would use about 1/2” or 3/8” seam. (Can you tell this doesn’t have to be exact?)

 

IMG_3215_edited-1webPress the seam flat and then press the seam allowance open.

Turn the “tube” you just created right side out.

Fold that tube in half with the seam lines together.

 

IMG_3217_edited-1webPin the sides with the seam right sides together.  Only pin the inner layers.  Leave the other sides free. 

 

 

IMG_3221_edited-1webKeep pinning with the raw edges lined up as far as you can.  You won’t be able to pin the whole way around.

 

 

IMG_3225_edited-1webStitch along the edge as far as you can.  You’re sewing the loop closed so you won’t be able to stitch this all the way around. 

 

IMG_3229_edited-1webTurn the loop right side out.

 

 

IMG_3230_edited-1webLine up the remaining opening. Press a fold along the seam line to guide your hand stitches (I just finger press. Lazy.)

Stitch closed. I’m not showing that – my hand stitching is atrocious!

Press along the hand stitching.

Admire your new scarf! 

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Burda 7198

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So, what do you do when you have a rare 4-day weekend but your highly anticipated pool time gets rained out? Sew a shirt, I guess!  This pattern seemed to be a pretty versatile, casual style that could work well with various prints.  Also, in the summer I like to have the option of layers without resorting to a coat.

The pattern is Burda 7198 and made from a cotton voile which is perfect. The fabric is from Amy Butler’s Soul Blossoms line. What wonderful fabric! It made the cheap voile I used for my muslin feel like burlap! Granted, it was 3 times the cost on sale but it was so comfortable I bought more prints when my local shop had it 50% off (!)yesterday.

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My first run was made from bright pink cotton voile I ordered on sale.  It was a great deal at 50% off (only $2.50/yard!) so I figured if it didn’t work, it was no more expensive than muslin and if it did work, I would have a second blouse.  I’m so glad I did a muslin – I made a few changes based on it and it helped me figure out how to do the placket.  I seem to have issues with plackets!

Changes I made:

  • I didn’t add the horizontal dart in the back.  It’s so strange.  It was across the upper back of the shirt and served no purpose except a weird design feature.  I didn’t know it was there until I looked at the pattern piece since it’s not on the line drawing.  Ignored on both the muslin and blouse.IMG_3022_edited-1web
  • Sizing – I fell between the pattern sizes 12 and 14 for the bust and 14 and 16 for waist and hip.  I made a 12 throughout.  It would have been huge if I followed their sizing!
  • Removed the center back seam on the final blouse.  It probably would be useful for fitting if you need it but since it was a straight line I just subtracted the seam allowance and cut it on the fold – no need to match the print that way!  Also, with the relatively sheer fabrics I was using, the seam was very obvious.  So much so that even though my pink version fits, I don’t know that I’ll wear it.
  • Shortened the upper portion of the blouse 1.5”.  This pattern has an upper and lower shorten/lengthen line which was so helpful.  My measurements indicated 2” but I thought that was too much.  In hindsight I should have only raised it about 3/4”. I think the top’s proportions look a bit off.
  • I debated whether to add the godets on the side for the 2nd version.  I ended up keeping them because they give some shape even if they do stick out a bit.

The neckline finish is a bit odd but looks nice from the outside (especially on solid colors).  The bias piece isn’t a binding in the traditional sense.  Rather, it basically covers the folded down raw edges of the neck on the bottom and adds a design feature at the top.  You’re covering the seam more than enclosing it.  That’s assuming I did it correctly. I wonder if I did it wrong because I don’t see how this little strip of fabric will prevent the neckline from fraying – it’s still somewhat exposed underneath. I wonder if I was supposed to put it under the folded neckline. Even if not, I think I’ll try that next time.

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All in all, I like it and may make another version down the road since it’s such a versatile style.  My only issue besides raising the waist too much are the seven buttonholes.  My machine does a crap job.  I did multiple practice button holes but on the first ‘real’ one the machine got stuck and sewed a huge knot/ball of thread and pulled a hole in the fabric.  It was impossible to remove the thread without making the hole bigger. As it is, I’m hoping some fray check with prevent the hole from getting worse.  The rest went in fine but look lame –the second side is half as dense as the first.  It’s so bad that in the future I’ll probably find a local tailor and see if they can sew my buttonholes.  You can see below the one on the right where there’s a hole over a big thread knot and the normal buttonhole on the left where one side is good and the other is no more than a zig zag stitch.

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Next time I may narrow the sleeves a bit.  IMG_3016_edited-1web

Looks like today may be rained out again. What’s next? I made a bodice muslin for a maxi dress last week but have been hesitant to start the project since the challis I’m using needs a lining.  I have no clue how to insert one with a side zipper and tank style.  Maybe I’ll try a little knit dress.  I need some of those and no lining needed.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!