Zippity Do Dah Scarf~

MarveLes Art Studios Blogs, Sewing Loves 2 Comments

And my oh my, what a wonderful day to make a new scarf for spring!  I adore these new cotton voiles that are out on the fabric market now…. 

And it makes a beautiful, lovely, and lightweight scarf!

First begin making a scarf by cutting two, 6″ wide strips of fabric, according to the length of the fabric, whether it is 45″ wide, or 54″ wide.  Mine was 54″ wide, so this scarf will finish over 100″ long.

Placing right sides together, sew the two end strips with a 5/8″ seam.  Press the seam open.  At that same point, fold those raw seam edges under 1/4″ and press under again, so you have a neat, tidy little fold, and then topstitch.  The raw edges are now encased in the seam. Press flat.

Now that the ‘untidy ends’ are finished, it’s time to think about an edge finish.  I decided to use my hemming foot, and I begin by selecting stitch #3, which is a hemming stitch. The width is set to 4.5 and length to 3.0. The sewing machine automatically sets the top tension to 2.5 when I select this stitch… but you may want to experiment with this up or down a bit more.  What I wanted was a definite scalloped looking edge, and a slightly higher tension helps accomplish that, and the folded edge of fabric forms this scalloped look.  The weight of your thread – whether a 50 or 40 weight; cotton or polyester, will also affect the top tension setting.  Be prepared to experiment!

 Next, attach one of these types of feet, the ‘hemmers’ as I call them.  I use foot #69:

Now it’s time for the “Reality Check” on yourself —  Know this may take you a while to get the hang of it, given your particular machine, tension, and fabric choice — that’s a big part of the fun!

I start by folding the fabric 1/4″ and pressing lightly, and then again – this doesn’t have to precise, just so you can get started.  The raw edge is enclosed at this point, and it’s just to start – the foot will feed the raw edge eventually, and encase it in the stitching, but it’s real difficult to slip it under the foot to begin that way, so I just kind of finger press it, so it’s easier to get started.

I put the folded fabric under my foot, and straight stitch, for only about an inch.  Stop, just far enough so you’re well on your way, and then while the fabric is trapped under the foot, you can lightly grab the edge of your hem; the one that is in front of the foot, and feed, or slip the edge of the fabric – or the fold of it – into the curly metal piece of the foot.  I stop, sinking my needle into the fabric to do this – (or have needle stop already engaged) and using my knee lift, I barely lift up the presser foot, so I can do just that – slip the folded edge of the fabric into the curly-q metal piece. Not to concerned if it comes ‘unfolded’ – that will eventually work into the curly part of the foot that forms the hem. Don’t worry about the one inch of fabric behind you… that will either be trimmed off, or encased into the final bottom edge of the hem of the scarf. 

And another VIP TIP:   One that poses a bit of a problem for many sewers.  Many times the fabric will get stuck when they first begin stitching.  Typically, that means there is not enough fabric under the foot, to enable the feed dogs to grab the fabric and feed it. In other words, we barely stick the fabric underneath the foot, and when the feed dogs have no fabric to grab, you may end up with a mess of threads, and sometimes the fabric is also sucked down into the throat plate… and you start over! 

To help prevent this, it’s  a truly simple technique; hold the thread tails just ever-so-slightly taut as you begin sewing.  Give a very slight tug if you don’t feel your fabric moving forward… then let go once the feed dogs take hold. Also, the thread tails won’t get all knotted up, making that nasty thread mess on the back of your fabric.

When finished, it should look similar to the photo above.

This is another scarf where I have just begun to feed the fabric into the curvy piece of the foot… it’s almost like magic, it’s SO DANG COOL!

It’s so cool in fact, it’s ‘zippity-do-dah’ and you’ll be singing the song as you finish this… lickity-split!

To finish, I turned those scarf ends in 1/4″ twice, and topstitched them down.  I haven’t tried scalloping them, like I do on the long edge of the scarf, but if you wanted to, it’s probably best to scallop the short end first, and the long ends last.

It’s may not be perfect… but have fun perfecting it, as you enjoy your nice decorative finish.

If you have questions about my instructions (I tried really, really, hard)… just let me know.  I’ll do my best to answer them!
And Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! 

Comments 2

  1. What great instructions! Thanks for posting such a detailed description. I must try this technique… 🙂 And the fabric you chose is wonderful.

  2. Darn Leslie. I'm just beginning one thing and you are off on another very cool thing. Spring is springing here at the heart of the continent. Lots are out and about in summer clothes so a scarf really would make a fashion statement!

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