Warm up to the new year with one of our ultra cozy flannel and faux sherpa scarves. Sherpa is one of the “it” fabrics for cold weather accessories, and today’s faux fur and fleece sherpa options make it both easy and economical to add this thick and bundle-y texture to your winter warm-up projects. We paired our sherpa fleece with another perennial winter favorite: plaid flannel. The bouncy finishing touch are the jumbo poms at each end of the scarf, because fluffy pom poms make everything a little bit happier.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, where Sew4Home is based, plaid flannel is de rigueur for everyone and nearly any occasion. It’s super soft and warm, and the colors help remind us it won’t always be gray and rainy. We also know flannel loves to shrink, so we strongly recommend pre-washing it in cold water with a fabric softener. Tumble dry on medium heat then press the flannel completely flat prior to cutting.
There’s a free pattern download to get the perfect gently rounded ends to the scarf panels. You’ll create the flannel side first then will use it as a template to cut the sherpa. Take a minute to check out our Sewing with Plush Fabric tutorial. Sherpa is not a difficult fabric to sew with, but to create optimum results, it helps to know the best practices to follow.
Stitching with a Walking or Even Feed foot or engaging your machine’s built-in fabric feeding system, such as the AcuFeed™ Flex fabric feeding system available on many of the Janome models, will make quick work of all the scarf’s seams. Whenever you’re combining dissimilar substrates, flat cotton with fluffy sherpa fleece in this instance, it helps to be able to feed the layers from both the top and bottom, which is exactly what is happening with a Walking foot as well as with a built-in feeding system. The fabric will move smoothly under the needle with little shifting, eliminating twists and puckers in the finished seam.
The biggie poms at either end of the scarf are a quick and easy embellishment, especially if you take our recommendation to work with a super chunky yarn. We used an extra large Clover Pom Maker but you could also make them by hand with a cardboard template. Descriptions for both techniques are given below.
These scarves are something even a brand new sewer can tackle in just a few hours. And they’re a great gift idea for all ages. We did our photo shoot on a particularly chilly day in downtown Portland and our model was very happy to know she’d be modeling something so toasty. “These are sooooooooo soft,” she exclaimed. “Are you sure I can’t keep them?!”
Each extra long scarf finishes at approximately 8″ x 80” with two 4½” poms hanging on a 5” braided tie.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
- Walking or Even Feed foot; optional for working with the thicker layers and matching plaids – you could also engage your machines built-in fabric feeding system, such as the AcuFeed™ Flex fabric feeding system available on many of the Janome models
Fabric and Other Supplies
NOTE: Supplies listed below are for one scarf, which finishes at approximately 8″ x 80” with two 4½”” poms, each hanging on a 5” braided tie.
- ⅝ yard of 44″+ wide plaid flannel
NOTE: The amount of fabric recommended above is enough to account for matching the plaids and some shrinkage in the pre-washing.
- ⅝ yard of 44″+ wide faux fur or fleece sherpa
- One skein of super chunky yarn in a natural color to match the sherpa
- 4½” square of study cardboard for the two poms, or our choice: the Clover Extra Large Pom Maker
- All purpose thread to match fabric
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Pressing cloth, optional but helpful for pressing/steaming the sherpa
- Tape measure
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
- Download and print the ONE Scarf End Pattern Sheet.
IMPORTANT: This PDF pattern is ONE 8½” x 11″ sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide line on each page so you can confirm your final printout is to scale.
- Cut out the Scarf End pattern along the solid line.
- As mentioned above, flannel loves to shrink, so we strongly recommend pre-washing it in cold water with a fabric softener. Tumble dry on medium heat. Press the flannel completely flat prior to cutting.
- From the flannel, fussy cut TWO 9″ high x width of fabric (WOF) rectangles.
NOTE: Be careful to match each WOF strip. This means, depending on the size of the plaid repeat, your strips are unlikely to be cut one right under the other with their edges butted together. Instead, the two pieces should be spread out on the fabric to make sure the plaid pattern within each 9″ height is exactly the same.
- Place the two rectangles wrong sides together. Pin the Scarf End pattern at one end, pinning through both layers. The pattern should span the full width of the fabric. The curved end should sit just above the raw edges so you can cut a full smooth curve.
- Using the pattern piece, transfer the marking dot to both flannel pieces. This indicates there the pom tail will be positioned.
- Using one of the rounded flannel rectangles as a pattern, cut TWO matching panels from the sherpa.
NOTE: You could pre-cut rectangles, as you did above with the flannel (and what we did as shown in the photo above), then use the flannel just to round the ends. Or, use the full flannel piece as your pattern to cut the full sherpa pieces.
At Your Sewing Machine and Ironing Board
Match up the plaid and stitch the flannel pieces together
- Slightly trim the straight 9″ edge of each plaid flannel rectangle to get a nice match for what will become the scarf’s back seam.
- To do this, determine the repeat point along one 9″ side. Measure ½” beyond this repeat point and trim away the excess. When working with plaids, it’s best to use scissors rather than a rotary cutter so you can carefully cut along a line within the motif.
- Match up the straight edge of the remaining plaid flannel rectangle to the newly trimmed rectangle.
- Place the two panels right sides together, aligning the plaid motif. Pin in place.
- Stitch together, using a ½” seam allowance.
- Press the seam allowance open and flat.
Stitch together the sherpa pieces
- Pin the two sherpa panels right sides together.
- Stitch together, using a ½” seam allowance.
- Finger press the seam allowance open and flat.
Create the poms
- As mentioned above, we used an Extra Large Clove Pom Maker.
- You could also use a 4½” square of strong cardboard to create your biggie poms. If you’d like to go with this method, first cut a slit into but not quite all the way through the cardboard. You just need a little “keyhole” to use to tie the yarn. Then, wrap, wrap, wrap the chunky yarn around and around, perpendicular to the slit. This scarf looks best with a very fluffy pom, so you’ll want lots of wraps. When done wrapping, use another length of yarn to tie through the middle of all those loops, as mentioned, you’ll use that “keyhole” to thread it around. Tie the length of yarn nice and tight. Slide off the cardboard. Cut all the loops. And fluff, fluff, fluff.
- We prefer to use the Clover Pom Makers for our poms so they are all consistently fluffy and the same size pom to pom.
- We used the Extra Large Pom Maker, which yields a 4½” pom. As listed above in the supplies, a chunky yarn is the best both for the pom itself as well as for the braided ties.
- You simply wrap the yarn around both of arms of the Maker so they are full and even.
- Cut through the loops.
- Tie off through the center.
- And pop out your perfect pom.
- Cut six lengths of yarn approximately 8”. Separate into two sets of three. Knot the three stands together at one end and braid the full length. Knot at the opposite end to hold the braid in place.
- Near the knot at one end, separate the strands slightly, opening a small hole.
- Thread one of the pom’s ties through the hole in the braid.
- Cinch tight, pulling on both of the pom’s ties, and knot securely so the end of the braid disappears into the fluff of the pom
- Trim the pom’s ties so they are flush with the rest of the pom.
- With the end of the tie secured, measure 5” out and mark with a pin. This is the insertion point for the tie.
- Repeat to create a matching pom with a braided tail for the opposite end of the scarf.
NOTE: If you’re brand new to working with a pom maker, we have a full step-by-step tutorial you can review.
Insert the poms, layer and stitch to finish
- Using the mark you transferred at the beginning of the project, align the 5” pin mark on the pom’s tail with the marked point on the end of the scarf. Pin the tail in place. Trim away any excess tail. Remember, the pom should be hanging down towards the center back seam of the scarf.
- Repeat to pin the opposite pom in place.
NOTE: You could also machine baste the pom tails in place for extra security.
- Place the flannel and the sherpa right sides together. The raw edges should be flush all around and the back seams of both layers should be aligned. The poms are sandwiched between the layers. Pin generously all around, leaving an approximate 5” opening for turning along one straight side.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch around the entire perimeter through both layers. Go slowly and evenly around the ends to maintain a smooth curve. Remember to lock your seam at either side of the 5” opening. We also recommend double stitching over the pom tails for extra strength.
- Turn right side out through the opening. Reach in through the opening with a long blunt tool, such as a chopstick, knitting needle or point turner, and smooth out the curved ends.
- Press flat, using a pressing cloth so as to not damage the sherpa. Turn in the raw edges along the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam.
- Hand stitch the opening closed with a tiny ladder stitch.
- Flatten and smooth the layers so the two back seams are perfectly aligned. Pin across the seam through both layers.
- Re-thread the machine if necessary with thread to best match the flannel in the top and to best match the sherpa in the bobbin.
- Stitch in the ditch along the seam line through both layers. This extra seam will be nearly invisible, and will help the layers from shifting or twisting when wearing the scarf as well as when the scarf is laundered.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild