Which accessory gives you the most fashion muscle per square inch? A big, gorgeous scarf! Awhile back, we spotted and purchased an amazing chiffon at a local fabric retailer. We’ve pulled it out to make it into something wonderful. In our ongoing job as “trend-spotters,” we’re always on the lookout for the coolest items on the store shelves so we can show you how to make on your own. Adding tassels, along the sides and/or across the bottom, to a simple scarf is not only be a fashion winner, it also seems to up the price of the accessory in the stores by about 200%! Here’s what you need to know: scarves are super easy to make as are custom tassels.
Patterned Chiffon is a very lovely and very inexpensive option for making scarves. It’s generally 54″+ in width (our choice was 58″) and normally is under $10 per yard.
We used two yards for our design below, so for under $20 (including the floss for all the tassels), we created a designer style scarf that could easily fetch two to three times that in a boutique.
You might also want to check out voile or even rayon. Both of these substrates are often available in the collections of many of today’s top designers.
Our scarf finishes at approximately 40″ wide x 70″ high, excluding the tassels.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing machine and standard presser foot
- Rolled Hem foot; optional, but it makes quick work of the long, narrow hems on this scarf
- Quarter Inch Seam foot; optional as an alternative to using a Rolled Hem foot
Fabric and Other Supplies
- 2 yards of 44″+ wide chiffon or similar lightweight fabric
- TWO – THREE skeins EACH of FOUR coordinating colors of heavy embroidery floss for the tassels; we used DMC Size 3 Pearl Cotton Needlepoint Thread
NOTE: The amount needed is determined by how thick and fluffy you want the tassels. We used three skeins of each color.
- All-purpose thread to match fabric
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors and rotary cutter and mat
- Tape measure
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
- Yarn darner or similar large-eyed hand sewing needle
- Seam sealant, such as Dritz Fray Check
- If you are new to working with sheer fabric, like chiffon, check out our tutorial for some tips and tricks. For example, when cutting sheers, it’s best to 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. You might also like our tutorial on Sewing with Specialty Fabrics.
- From the scarf fabric, cut ONE approximate 41″ x 71″ rectangle from your fabric.
NOTE: We say “approximate” because the cut should follow your chosen motif. We selected a wonderful striped motif and so made sure our side edges terminated along an edge within the design. Your motif may have a different directional pattern or none at all. If you are not worried about cutting along the motif, the finished 40″ x 70″ size is still a good standard to go by for a loop-around scarf.
- We used scissors to carefully cut the side edges along our motif…
- … and a rotary cutter to trim away only about ½” from the top and bottom.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- To finish the edges, we created a rolled hem on all four sides. This technique requires a special presser foot and a bit of pre-pressing.
- Fold back each raw edge ½” and press. We adjusted our side fold slightly to make sure the fold aligned with the fabric’s stripe.
- Next, fold the the raw edge back in on itself, tucking it into the crease. Press again, creating a narrow, double-fold ¼” hem.
NOTE: We chose this folding method over two ¼” hems because the slightly wider, ½” starting hem width is easier to manipulate with the slippery chiffon.
- Attach a Rolled Hem foot.
- Slip the folded fabric into the foot, and stitch each side independently.
- If you are brand new to using a Rolled Hem foot, we have a great tutorial to review: How To Make Rolled Hems by Machine.
- Leave long thread tails at the corners, and pull them through to the back. Tie the tails in a double knot. Use a few dots of seam sealant at the corners prior to clipping away the excess thread.
- If you do not have a Rolled Hem foot, you might want to consider picking one up from your local dealer. However, of course there are other options.
- You could create the ¼” double-turn hem as described above, pin it in place super well (you might even consider hand basting), then stitch in place with your regular presser foot or a Quarter Inch Seam foot.
- If you have a serger, you could simply serge all four sides with a standard overedge stitch or even a lettuce edge.
NOTE: Remember, for even more information, check out our full tutorial on Making Rolled Hems by Machine.
- Following your favorite method, or our Sew4Home Tassel Making tutorial, make the tassels. Ours are approximately 3″ in length.
- Create SIXTEEN tassels – four each of four colors. We worked with a doubled strand, wrapping around our cardboard template 30 times (60 lengths) in order to get the full and fluffy look we wanted for our tassels.
- As shown in the illustration below, we spaced eight tassels along the top edge of the scarf and eight along the bottom edge. They are approximately 5″ apart.
- To attach each tassel, use a large-eyed needle (we used a yarn darner). Thread both ends of the tassel’s top tie through the eye of the needle.
- Insert the needle into the hem of the scarf from front to back.
- Pull through until the top of the tassel sits right up against the edge of the fold.
- Remove the needle and tie the ends together into a tight double knot against the back of the hem.
- Put seam sealant on each tie, extending out from the knot about ¼” to ½”.
- When the seam sealant is thoroughly dry, trim the thread tails close to the knot.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild