Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Scarves Everywhere!

I'm trying to finish up a big pile of cashmere scarves. As mentioned in an earlier post, I get old cashmere from thrift shops, friends, etc. I wash and dry the sweaters and cut out the seams and necks. Usually I throw out those bits but lately I've been saving them to use as stuffing for my heart pillows or unknown, future adventures.

With all the strips cut, I lay out a two-sided scarf. This one will be a longer scarf in shades of purple with some lime green thrown in. I loved that argyle sweater I found so I make sure that strips with the argyle are on the ends so they're visible when the scarf is worn.

After laying it out, I pin the sections together and go to the sewing machine. I use a special stitch that makes a cross-hatch pattern to sew the pieces together. I do not make a seam per se. The edges are butted together and then sewn. You could use a wide zigzag that's fairly compact (settings of 5 for width but about 2 for length so the zigs are close together). Anything to pull the edges together with few gaps.

Sewing together a long scarf takes about 10-15 minutes. Then I press the whole thing and pink the edges. I try to leave any ribbing hanging free on the ends so I can cut fringe using a small, sharp scissors.

Here's the finished scarf. You can see the buttons in the picture. If a cashmere sweater has some detail like a pocket or buttons. I try to save that detail and use it in the scarf.

My shorter scarves are done in the exactly way but they are only 36 inches long. I piece them and sew them together leaving about 8 inches at each end un-sewn. Then I embellish the ends. This one used a circle motif. I pre-cut the circles and applique them on one layer of cashmere using a tight zigzag. I love the way these look and they only use small bits of cashmere.

The shorter scarfs are a muffler type. I sew in a long buttonhole (about 4 inches) so one end can pass through. My sewing machine has the capability of making a buttonhole of any length. You can see more original sweater buttons on this scarf. The circles are made from cashmere scraps from cutting the strips and also some tweedy recycled wool that picks up all the color of the scarf. I love the combination.

The last picture shows two of the short-type scarf. Similar in color and style, but still one-of-a-kind. These will sell for about $40-50. It's a great deal for a pure cashmere scarf, I think. I remember a few years ago I saw a Neiman-Marcus ad for a similar design. Retail was about $175! Hmmmm...
Tomorrow and Friday are men's scarves. Less embellishment but still beautiful.


  1. I am inspired. I might have to try making a scarf for me soon. I'll let you know how it turns out. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. When you think of a beautiful winter garment, Burberry scarves first come into mind. They feel amazing on the feet and are much more reasonably priced than getting anything else. They can be offer as a great gift for anyone whether male or female.

    Burberry Cashmere Scarf