Infinity scarves are pretty popular at the moment. I mean, who wouldn’t want a scarf that you can throw on and style with ease: one loop or two? It doesn’t dangle and it won’t fall off. In fact, the only danger is being garroted by a grabby, over-excited child.
What more could you wish for, apart from this (deep breath…) – being able to sew your own in half an hour (or less!) for a fraction of the cost on the high street, with better quality fabric which you chose yourself and absolutely love and nobody else has the same one! And, breathe.
This is a pretty straight-forward project, so even if you’re new to sewing, you should give it a try.
A little note on fabric here. I used a knit (jersey) fabric from Girl Charlee, and I used my over-locker. You can sew knit fabrics on a standard sewing machine, but before investing in fabric I would suggest you have a play around using an old t-shirt or similar to make sure you’re comfortable with this and happy with the result. You will need to use a ball-point or stretch needle, and set your machine to the zig-zag stitch. Make sure you don’t stretch the fabric as you sew. This is a very forgiving project so if you’re keen to try out sewing with knits it’s as good a place as any to begin. But if you don’t fancy jersey, then choose something soft and drapey like a light cotton voile.
For this scarf I wanted to cut a piece of fabric measuring 150cm x 50cm. A lot of fabrics are about 150cm wide, so in theory you could make this with only half a metre of fabric, which will cost you as little as five quid. You only need to use a small seam allowance and if it’s a couple of centimetres less than 150 you really aren’t going to notice. So go ahead and make a super budget-friendly scarf if you have some wide fabric.
Because I used a chevron fabric, I was particular about direction, so in fact I used 1.5m of fabric and had a lot leftover for a little scarf experiment which I’ll explain later.
The first step is to pre-wash your fabric. This is always the first step in making anything that you will want to wear and wash. Wash your fabric in the same way that you plan to wash the finished item. I always wash a new length of fabric on it’s own, just incase there are colours that might run in the first wash. You’ll probably need to iron it too, depending on what type of fabric you are using.
Lay your prepared fabric out somewhere with plenty of space – carpeted floor is excellent so it doesn’t slip around. Smooth it nice and flat and make sure it is as straight as can be. Cut a length of 150cm by width 50cm. You don’t need any kind of pattern – just take plenty of measurements and mark the fabric in several places and join the dots. Or cheat, like me, and use chevrons! I marked once and just cut point to point all the way.
Next, you need to fold the fabric lengthways, right side to right side (if you took me at my word and you’re really new to sewing, the right side is the pattern side). Pin the long open edges together, ensuring that the fabric is laying really flat. Fabric can have a lot of movement and if it wasn’t cut super straight to begin with, you may find that the top and bottom ends don’t meet precisely. Don’t panic – it’s more important that the fabric lies flat, and in a project like this it’s ok to trim a little! Then sew this edge using a small but consistent seam allowance – 1cm is ideal.
With the main seam complete, you can turn this long tube right side out. Hold or lay it in a ‘U’ shape and make sure it’s hanging straight, with no twists (unless you want twists – that could be nice!). Place the two seams face together and pin. You need to pin the two open ‘circles’ together.
You will soon find that pinning two circles together all the way around is impossible! Keep going for as far as you can manage, and then you can tuck the bulk of the scarf inside, like this:
Then you can finish pinning that circle seam with the rest of the scarf tucked up in a neat little bundle. When you sew this seam you need to leave a gap the size of your hand to pull the scarf through later. I like to place this gap near the seam so it will be less noticeable when worn. Mark the gap with double pins to remind yourself not to sew this closed. You should now have something that looks like this:
Sew this seam on your sewing machine or over-locker – remember to leave the turning gap, as you can see below left. Below right: you can now reach into the opening and pull the scarf out to the right side.
Now it looks like an infinity scarf! The final step is to simply sew the gap closed. You could do this on your sewing machine if you don’t mind it being visible (though really it’s likely to be unseen when you wear it). I prefer to have an invisible closure. You can sew this closed by hand, using a ladder stitch. Tuck the seams inside neatly and pin if necessary. Using a matching thread make a few stitches on the seam allowance to secure the thread. Then make a small stitch on one of the seam folds and where the needle exits, take it vertically to the opposite seam edge and make another small stitch horizontally along the seam fold. As you pull the thread snug each time the seams should draw closed invisibly.
And you’re finished! One comfy, practical and stylish infinity scarf. The experiment I mentioned earlier is simply to try out different measurements and thus weight, for the scarf. Below left is a lovely lightweight and summery 150cm x 50cm starting size. Below right I whizzed up the remaining fabric into a whopping 150cm x 100cm. Much bulkier, but still wearable. So really it’s down to personal choice and depending on your fabric and style preferences you can experiment with the width measurement to your heart’s content.