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FreeSpirit-Rowan 10&10 Series: Long Ruffled Scarves in Valori Wells/Novella Rayon

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What's the lifeblood of any wardrobe? Accessories! Why do we love accessories so much? Because they're a fast, economical way to jump start an old outfit. Throw on a belt, wrap up in a scarf, add a fabric flower pin... suddenly, it's a whole new look and feel. The small size of accessories also makes them a great way to try out new substrates, like the beautiful rayon we're using today from Valori Wells' Novella collection. Our long, beautiful scarf has an elastic channel through the middle, allowing it to ruche up into a fun, ruffly shape secured at each end with a pretty little bow. We made two scarves, each one in two coordinating rayons. Wear them separately or together. For yourself or as a gift, these quick and easy accessories are a great way to brighten up anyone's wardrobe for the new year. 

You need to move fast to keep up with Valori Wells: professional quilter, author, fabric designer, pattern designer, painter, photographer, and co-owner of one of the best little fabric shops in our neck of the woods, The Stitchin' Post in Sisters, Oregon. We've worked with Valori's fabric before, and were excited to add her to our 10 Designers & 10 Collections series with FreeSprit and Rowan.

Valori's Novella came out in November of 2012 in a quilting cotton, a sateen and the lovely rayon we're using today. The collection is readily available at in-store and online retailers. We found a good selection at Sew4Home Marketplace vendor, Fabric.com

Our thanks to the great folks at FreeSpirit and Rowan Fabrics for sponsoring these four weeks of Resolution Inspiration from ten of their amazing designers. What's Valori's resolution? It's deep and beautiful, just like her designs:

"My resolution is to take charge of my life, to take every day and give it everything I have. To remember and cherish the little blessings in the everyday."

Check out the Westminster Fibers Retail Locator for shopping options near you; we will be continuing to add shops throughout the first weeks of the series, so if you don't see your fave right away, check back in a day or two. Remember, not all shops take delivery and/or display fabrics on the same schedule, so actual in-stock dates may vary. Also, you can always ask your favorite local independent fabric retailer to special order fabric for you.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

Supplies listed below are for one scarf, which finishes at approximately 5" x 65".

The amount of fabric needed depends on the direction (if any) of your fabric's motif. We used two coordinating motifs from within the Valori Wells Novella Rayon collection. One was non-directional (the floral) and so could be cut width of fabric (WOF), which meant just ⅓ yard was needed. If you needed to cut vertically, you'd want at least 1½ yards (and you'd have enough left over to make several scarves) Our second fabric was directional (the stripe), and we wanted our stripe to run vertically, so we opted to get a full yard of the second fabric in order to fussy cut our 29" length as one piece. Again, this meant we had leftovers, but we LOVE leftovers! If your end panel fabric is non-driectional, you can get away with ⅝ yard.  

Getting Started

NOTE: If you are new to working with sheer fabric, like rayon, check out our tutorial for some tips and tricks. For example, when cutting sheers, it's best cut as a single layer; once you get the fabric straight on your mat, tape it in place so it doesn't shift. You could also use push pins or fabric weights, depending on your cutting surface.

  1. From the main center rayon (Peony in our samples), cut ONE 11" x WOF (width of fabric, apx 58" in our sample) strip. 
  2. From the end panel rayon (Rain in our samples), cut TWO 11" x 29" strips. 
    NOTE: As mentioned above, cut width and length to best match the motif of your fabric, we cut the Peony WOF and the Rain parallel to the selvedge.
  3. Trim the selvedges from all pieces.
  4. Cut the ⅛" ribbon into two 18" lengths. 
  5. Leave the elastic as one continuous 72" length. 

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

  1. Place one end panel right sides together, on each end of the main center panel. Pin in place.
  2. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch the ends in place.
  3. Press the seam allowances open and flat.
  4. Fold the scarf in half lengthwise, right sides together. 
  5. Find the exact center of the long edge (it will be approximately 114" in length at this point) and mark with a pin. Then, place a pin 1½" to the left of the center mark and another pin 1½" to the right of the center mark . 
  6. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch the length of the scarf. Stop and lock your seam at the first pin. 
  7. Cut the threads and reposition to start up again at the third pin. Finish the seam. The 3" center opening will be used for turning the scarf right side out. 
  8. You now have one long tube. Press the seam allowance together and to one side.
  9. With the tube still wrong side out, roll the seam to the center of the tube. You are centering the seam allowance not just the seam. The seamline itself should be 2¼" from one folded edge and the raw edge of the seam allowance should be 2¼" from the opposite folded edge. 
  10. Place one pin at the seam line. Place a second pin just beyond the raw edge of the seam allowance. 
  11. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch across the end of the scarf. Stop and lock your seam at the first pin. 
  12. Cut the threads and reposition to start up again at the second pin. Finish the seam.
  13. Repeat these steps to stitch the opposite end of the scarf.
  14. Turn the scarf right side out through the opening you left at the center of the long side seam. Carefully reach in through the opening and gently push out the corners with a long, blunt end tool, such as a long knitting needle or chopstick. You want the corners to be nice, sharp 90˚angles. 
  15. Flatten the scarf, rolling the tube again so the seam itself is 2¼" from the folded edge. Press well.
  16. Fold in the raw edges opening left for turning so they are flush with the sewn seam.
  17. Edgestitch along the seamline. A Ditch Stitch foot can be used for this step, which was our choice. This foot has a handy center guide that we ran along the seam itself, adjusting our needle position so it was just to the left of the seam.  
  18. Stitch the length of the scarf. This seam will also close the opening you used for turning.
  19. Run a second line of stitching ½" to the left of the first line of stitching.
    NOTE: We were able to use the markings on our Janome Horizon Memory Craft 8900 QCP 9mm AcuFeed presser foot to keep a true ½" distance. You could also draw in the ½" stitching line with a fabric pen or pencil and follow along the drawn line. Just be sure to use a fabric pen or pencil that will wipe away easily or disappear with exposure to the air since you are working on the right side of the fabric. 
  20. These two lines of stitching create a ½" channel down the center of the scarf. 
  21. Find the 72" length of ¼" elastic. Attach a safety pin to one end. Using the safety pin as your guide, feed the elastic through the center channel. 
  22. When you pop out the other end of the channel, secure the elastic in place with the safety pin and a back-up straight pin. You don't want the elastic to accidentally snap back through the channel!
  23. Grab on to the the opposite end of the elastic (the unpinned end) and gather up the scarf until it measures approximately 65". 
    NOTE: This was the "ruffle look" we liked. You can certainly increase the length for a softer gather or decrease the length for more ruffles.
  24. Secure this other end with a pin (or two). 
  25. Find one of the 18" lengths of ⅛" ribbon. Fold the ribbon in half to find the middle. 
  26. Unfold and place the middle of the ribbon at the end of the channel, centering it within the channel and directly on top of the elastic. Pin the ribbon in place, being careful to not unpin the elastic.
  27. Make a short horizontal seam across the end of the channel, securing the elastic and the ribbon and closing the end of the channel. Stitch back and forth at least a couple times to make sure your seam is strong.
  28. Fold the ribbon down into place and trim off the excess elastic.
  29. Repeat to attach the remaining ribbon on the opposite end of the scarf.
  30. Distribute the ruffles evenly along the length of the scarf.
  31. Tie each of the ribbons into a pretty bow.


Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Michele Mishler



Comments (50)

ktvita said:
ktvita's picture

These scarves are very stylish!!!! Love the color combo!!! I've bookmarked this!

My 2013 resolution is to sort out, proritize, actually use my stash and implement at least 3 of the projects from my to-do list!!! One quilt, One handbag/may be this clutch and one skirt (yes want to start with a simpler one) or thisese scarves! I've bookmarked so many projects and have bought many books on quilts, handbags, dress making and home decor in 2012.  

Picking one favorite designer is really hard.. I've collected fabric lines from Joel Dewberry, Ty Pennington, Jennifer Paganelli, Paula Prass, Sweetwater, Tanya Whelan and just love all other designers for their creativity!!! 

Okay, if at all I've to pick one now, I think it is Joel Dewberry :)

DesignsbyJanet said:
DesignsbyJanet's picture

This is something my daughter would love.  Will have to make this for her in 2013 for her birthday.  Thanks for the ideas. 

goonybird said:
goonybird's picture

These are so popular right now!

My resolution is to sew more and finish my projects! My favorite designer is Kaffe Fassett...

CnMWynn said:
CnMWynn's picture

I saw this same scarf in a satin and wasn't sure I would like it.  I do however, like this!

Dr. G said:
Dr. G's picture

My New Year's Resolution is to try out new techniques with my sewing (example crocheted trim, embroidered accents).  I love all of these designers(and have made things from each of their lines) but have I been following and have loved Anna Maria Horner from the very beginning.

Dupcodeb said:
Dupcodeb's picture

Very cute project!  My favorite deigner is Anna maria Horner and my 2013 resolution is to finish a coat I have been working and and then moving to some of your projects.

Carmen Country Mouse said:
Carmen Country Mouse's picture

Beautiful! My fav fabrics are Amy Butler. My resolution is to make at least one thing a month for my daughter, new granddaughter or myself!

Dena said:
Dena's picture

This isn't for me but I know many sewers who love the knitted version.  I will have to pass this on.

ginamari said:
ginamari's picture

Thank you for this great tutorial. Nothing like a scarf to get that snazzy look.

gibbylet said:
gibbylet's picture

Admittedly I'm confused since I thought I was supposed to put my 2013 sewing resolution elsewhere but incase not, it's to master my serger and start churning out a nice knit wardrobe.  That's a pretty scarf, I'm not sure if I can pull it out but I'd like to make one for my mother in law!

sewalittle2 said:
sewalittle2's picture

Need this scarf! My 2013 resolution is to spend more time creating in my sewing room! Favorite designer is Joel Dewberry.

hollyfri said:
hollyfri's picture

The fabric design by Valori Wells is very pretty. The shades of blue and grey are very calming. My 2013 resolution is to sew more gifts for family and friends.This design of Valori's would be great for one of my daughter in laws. She loves anything blue.

ggiffinrao said:
ggiffinrao's picture

My resolution is to learn how to make clothing that does not look "home-made". My favorite designer is Valori Wells!

EstateTailor said:
EstateTailor's picture

So happy to see brown being replaced with gray when combining with blue! My favorite combination when crafting accessories!

BI Mai said:
BI Mai's picture

Such beautiful colors! Aqua is a favorite for sure!

jovy.ann said:
jovy.ann's picture

This is cheating! I knitted something like this and it took forever, while this looks like it would only take an afternoon. 

More proof of why sewing is a better hobby than knitting, I suppose.  I wish I saw this tutorial before I tried making that ruffle scarf.

auctiongal said:
auctiongal's picture

I have made a sewing resolution for 2013 to actually make some projects instead of just pinning them or sharing them on facebook!  I love so many of the projects on this site that it is truly hard to decide where to start.  I really like the colors in the Tula Pink fabric and I love the design.

Pam S said:
Pam S's picture

I love this new trend in ruffled scarves. And I'm surprised to see how doable it could be to make one.

mooslie said:
mooslie's picture

So beautiful. I can't wait to try making this scarf. I will be the envy of the office!

corsetkitten said:
corsetkitten's picture

My 2013 sewing resolution is a 2-part resolution: 1) that I would like to become a better quilter--since I'm self taught and I'm only making miniature quilts (1:6) and I make a lot of it up as I go along and it's not always "right" and 2) that my goal for 2013 is to start  a Log Cabin quilt to use as a quilt on the couch (and for guests) in our home. It will be the first human size quilt I try to make.

You have fantastic designers and it's really quite difficult to pick just one.  If I had to though I would go with Jane A. Sassaman. Her designs seem to be so vibrant and alive! They jump out and make me want to use them! (a close second is Mark Cesarik -- his designs and colors are ace too!)

If you need to you can contact me by email (I'm registered with the site). 

ssmullis said:
ssmullis's picture

My 2013 sewing resolution is to actually start machine quilting my own quilt tops. My favorite designer would have to be Jennifer Paganelli. Her fabrics are so full of joy! Thanks so much for this most awesome giveaway!

Rina said:
Rina's picture

I have a niece that would love one of these. I just keep adding projects to my to do list.

kplaposata said:
kplaposata's picture

Since I don't knit, this is a perfect way to get a beautiful scarf with just my sewing skills.  Thanks so much.

AlphaBecky said:
AlphaBecky's picture

What a great way to have some beautiful fabric with you all the time - love Valori's designs!

Lbayliss said:
Lbayliss's picture

Love It! I'm going to have to try that this weekend!

elimarie said:
elimarie's picture

These are so trendy and fun. A great way to use a big print, too.

bec.nichols said:
bec.nichols's picture

I'm in love with scarves!  Thanks for sharing some tips with us!

connandvansmom said:
connandvansmom's picture

Super cute. Might have t try one of these for my daughter.

Sew4fun28 said:
Sew4fun28's picture

These are really cute scarves! My sewing resolution for 2013 is to sew more often because I love it and to create more of my own patterns. My favorite designer is Amy Butler! I also like Valori Wells and Kaffe Fasset. :)

Savannagal said:
Savannagal's picture

I would never make this, but it would be a great beginner project for someone.

squigglytwigsdesigns said:
squigglytwigsdesigns's picture

I've been thinking about making one of these.  Thank you for the tutorial.

BJMarley said:
BJMarley's picture

This scarf lends itself to so many possibilities. I love it.

MooMommy said:
MooMommy's picture

What a neat idea! My DD would love making and wearing this!

KnittyWhit said:
KnittyWhit's picture

I'm not a scarf girl, but I know several people who might like this as a gift.

Fawn B. said:
Fawn B.'s picture

Wow this doesn't look so hard, yay!  I love these fabrics, they are so pretty.  But I'm really sold on blue/grey and yellow/grey combos right now.

Heather81203 said:
Heather81203's picture

Oh man! I must have this aquastone! It's gorgeous! I've never made a scarf but this could be next on my list! It's hard being stylish with an on the go 17month old, but I think I could step up my game with this tutorial! Thank you!

QuiltinKitten said:
QuiltinKitten's picture

My niece would love this scarf....the fabrics are lovely....may have to try this one.

JoyceLM said:
JoyceLM's picture

Very pretty - I love scarves.  Thanks for the great tutorial.

GypsyThread said:
GypsyThread's picture

Both colors are so pretty. Thanks for showing a tutorial using some of the non-quilting cotton designer fabrics.

labriek said:
labriek's picture

Very pretty! This may be my weekend project. Is the ribboon a necessary, functional component or just decorative?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:

@ labriek - the ribbon covers the end of the elastic channel. If you didn't use it, you'd want to do something to cover either end of the channel.

GloriaLaVonne said:
GloriaLaVonne's picture

Thanks for the tips on working with Rayon. 

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