Sew Comfortable December 3: Infinity Scarf

sew comfortableWelcome to day three of the Sew Comfortable series! Here’s another simple and speedy project that will keep your neck comfy and cozy while making sure you stay stylish, too. Scarves are a year-round piece of my unofficial daily uniform and I’m particularly in love with infinity scarves since they don’t have loose ends that can suddenly come unknotted. I want to look good but apparently I have limits on the level of effort I’m willing to expend to reach that goal. These twisted infinity scarves are low effort wearables that still get high points for fashion!

Day Three: TO infinity & beyond SCARF

Why the beyond? Aside from getting to use a fun phrase from a popular animated film, it also refers to the extra twist that is incorporated while constructing the scarf. The twist results in a Möbius band which is pretty much the ultimate representation of infinity.* Plus, it helps give the scarf some added detail and I’m convinced the scarf stays in place around my neck better as a result. But that could just be me… Your Möbius mileage may vary!

To Infinity & Beyond Scarf: a tutorial by carrie + fitzProject MATERIALS
  • 3/4 yd of 60” wide fabric or 1 yard of 45” fabric. For a multi fabric scarf, divide the total fabric needed (3/4 or 1 yard) by the number of fabrics you’ll be using. That’s how much you’ll need of each fabric. The two-color example shown in the tutorial covers this in more detail. Any reasonably drapey fabric will work and I’m partial to cotton lawn and knit fabrics.
  • Thread to match or contrast. This is a great project to use those fancy built-in stitches on and a great excuse to use up some colorful threads.
Steps TO Sewing
  1. Measure and cut your fabric. After measuring several of my favorite existing scarves, I found that my favorites all measure about 60″ in circumference. That means using 60″ wide fabric will be the most economical for this project, but you can certainly piece on or both sides of the scarf  if you’re working with narrower fabric, or if you want to end up with a scarf that’s longer than 60.” In this particular example, I’m using a printed cotton knit (60″ wide) paired with some pieces of lightweight black suiting wool that were left over from another project.To Infinity & Beyond Scarf: a tutorial by carrie + fitzI had *almost* enough black but since I really wanted it to be 60″ I decided to piece the black until the length measured the same as the printed knit. Both fabrics were cut 11″ wide which results in a 20″ wide scarf when it’s complete. I use 1/2″ seam allowances in this project, and most other project, as well. If the fabrics you are using are heavier or thicker, you may want to make the scarf more narrow. Conversely, if you’re using something very lightweight like voile or gauze, you could make the panels as wide as 16″, resulting in a 30″ wide scarf.
  2. Join the scarf pieces. Once I had my black fabric pieced together and seam pressed open, it was time to sew the two sides of the scarf  along the two long sides. To Infinity & Beyond Scarf: a tutorial by carrie + fitzMatch the two fabrics right sides together, and sew using a 1/2″ seam allowance along both long (60″) edges. You’re basically making a really big tube. My knit fabric was curling up quite a bit so I used a lot of pins to help keep things in place while sewing.To Infinity & Beyond Scarf: a tutorial by carrie + fitz
  3. Add a twist. Once the two side seams are complete, turn the scarf right sides out. Now’s the time to add the half-twist that creates a Möbius band.  (And I’m really sorry I don’t have pics of this!) In my example, I gave the scarf a half-twist so that when it was laid out flat, the leftmost side showed the knit side up, and the rightmost side showed the black side up. Next you’ll join the ends, keeping that twist in place.
  4. Finish the open ends – the quick way. For a crazy quick way to finish the scarf, simply tuck one end of the scarf into the opposite end and straight stitch across through all the layers. This seam will probably always end up at the back of your next underneath the second layer of the scarf when you wear it, so it you want to make it quick & dirty – there you go! For a neater and more impressive looking finish, continue to step four!
  5. Finish the open end – the nicer way. Still keeping the twist in place, match up the short ends of the scarf, creating a large loop. In my example, the knit was now matched to the black because of the half-twist. dec 03 - 04This is definitely one of the photographs that doesn’t make sense until you actually try this step and have the fabric in front of you. If you’re working with two fabrics, like this example,  the way you know you’re doing it right, is that you’ll always be matching the two fabrics when sewing,  i.e. always black to knit, never black to black or knit to knit.. dec 03 - 05You’ll be able to pin about 3/4″ of the open edge together before bumping into the rest of the scarf that has been turned out. Sew this section by machine, and then pin the the last few inches closed before sewing the opening shut by hand.dec 03 - 05bThe scarf is pretty forgiving, so most types of handstitching would work here – a small running stitch through the layers, a ladder stitch, or whipstitches would all do the trick. Once that little bit of stitching is done… so is the entire scarf!dec 03 - 06

Okay, okay… so not so impressive as an infinity sign on the table but, if you scroll back up to the top of the edge and see it around the neck… much better. The two-color Möbius effect also adds a double-layered effect with just one scarf. Perfect for looking stylish and for staying warm!

It’s now been three days of Sew Comfortable – are you feeling comfy yet? Tomorrow we’re getting our history on with a Very Neat Night-Cap. Yep, really! 

* A Möbius band does not actually equal infinity unless you’re an ant trying to walk in a straight line to find a way off a Möbius band. And even then it would only seem like infinity to the ant who may or may not be able perceive a sense of time. If you can find Einstein, ask him to explain it all while you show off your new scarf.

Sew Comfortable Projects:

December 1: Black Hat, Red Headed
December 2: Toasty Good Handwarmers

 

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