Easy Liberty scarf

Liberty and pom poms

My Mum's birthday is coming up in a few days, giving me a chance to use some of my heavily guarded Liberty stash. As the fabric really speaks for itself I thought a simple design would work well. It's an easy make, using only squares and rectangles, so I've provided a little tutorial for those of you who might be interested in making your own scarf.

The finished length of the scarf is 72" long and 8" wide. And it's a circle. My scarf is a scrappy one so it's a little difficult to say how much fabric was required altogether.

All seam allowances are ¼" 
Front : cut 18 squares 4½" x 4½"
Back : cut rectangles 8½" wide
* To make the back a little interesting I cut the back rectangles in lengths varying from 9" to 13" depending on the size of the piece of Liberty fabric I was cutting into. Alternatively, you could cut 6 rectangles, each 12½" long.
76" /  190 cm

1. Arrange the squares into 2 rows, in a pleasing arrangement to your eye. Sew the squares of those two rows together using that ¼" seam I mentioned.

Press the seams of one row in one direction & press the seams of the other row in the opposite direction.

 * Pressing in this way allows the seams to nestle snugly together sewn, as you can see in the pink highlighted circle in the above photo.

2. Pin the 2 rows Right sides together (as in the photo below) matching the seams. 
* My friend Fi of Living Cloth introduced me to Clover fork pins. The two prongs of the pin sit either side of the previously stitched seam, giving the sewing machine an extra secure grip when stitching. They have improved the accuracy of my seam matching noticeably. 

 Press the long centre seam open or to one side depending on your preference. I pressed mine open. Put the finished front aside when you've finished patting yourself on the back for how clever you are ;)

3. Pin the back rectangles together into one long piece. Sew. Press the seams open or to one side.
* If you've cut random lengths of backing fabric as I did, you may need to trim the back length so it is the same length as the front. In the photo below I have placed the finished front on top of the back to show where the backing needs to be trimmed. 
I've placed them a little bit askew so you could see more easily where the edges of each are.
The pink dotted line is where I will trim the backing.

*My initial plan for trimming the scarf was to crochet along the edge when the scarf was finished. But like so many hopeful "plans", it didn't look how I'd hoped it would :( Throw that idea out the window! If I'd realised this earlier, I would have chosen to add the trim before sewing the side seams, i.e. before step 4.

4. Place the front and back Right sides together, aligning all the edges. Pin. Sew along the long sides only. Turn inside out and press.

5. Now for the tricky, uncomfortable bit ..... sewing the ends together to make the scarf into a circle. With the front Right sides together, pin the fronts of both ends together. Now pin about 2" further into the backs. You will have to wiggle things about a bit and the scarf will not sit flat.

In the photo above you can see how scrunched up my scarf looks at this point. I'm going to start sewing very slowly and carefully, at the purple dot, stitching in the direction of the arrow. I'll then stitch across the front, finally finishing at the turquoise dot. 
* If you find this too uncomfortable, just stitch across the front sections. It means you will have to do more hand sewing later, but that's better than throwing the scarf out the window in frustration.

 Turn the scarf out the right way and press the new seam flat.

6. It's time to sew the turning gap closed. I like to use a ladder stitch when stitching seams together. Stitch from one side to other, slipping the needle a little way through each side every time. When those stitches are pulled up tight, they sit quite invisibly.

Remember how I said I'd started out with a plan for a crocheted edge? It was at this late stage that I discovered it didn't look good and if I still wanted a trim, it would have to be added now. I could always have unpicked all the sewing I'd already done ... as if!

Grab your trim time. 
7. Pin your trim along the edge of one long side. I chose to add the pom pom trim to the back. Beginning sewing at the beginning of the trim. Sew until there are only 2" left to sew. Cut the trim, allowing about 1" extra to turn under neatly. Finish sewing the trim to the scarf. 
*A zipper foot is useful for sewing on the pom pom trim. 

Well hello there gorgeous!

This method of making scarves allows for so much variation. You could experiment with different sized pieces of fabric, or have a lot of fun adding a variety of trims. Each creation will look very individual, very special and very you.
*sigh* I guess I should stop admiring it and wrap the scarf before the birthday.
I hope I've inspired you to enjoy some time playing with beautiful things to make your own very unique scarf.
best wishes,

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