If you have got some lightweight fabric left over from a special make, have you ever thought about getting even more pleasure from it and make it into a scarf that you can use to spruce up an outfit?
You need fabric that is light & floaty – from silk, chiffon, satin, polyester, some viscose/ rayons – you will know whether it will behave well as a scarf or not! I recently made a wonderful scarf back top for a work’s evening event & so loved the fabric I made it out of. But as it’s a bit of a posh top I won’t get to wear it very often. Using remnants to make it up as a scarf brings it out in the open a bit more often & I can enjoy it in the day!
Now there are all sorts of tutorials for using rolled hem feet on standard machines (the By Hand girls’) (see this one too by Miss P) & even sewing rolled hems by hand (by Colette Patterns). I like to use my overlocker which has a lovely neat & tidy rolled hem stitch- no special feet, just a few tweaks to the settings from using a normal overlocking stitch. The benefits of using your overlocker? That’s easy in my view – it produces the loveliest narrow hem that cuts the edge, rolls it under a narrow wrapping of thread that looks neat & professional. All in one go.
The hardest part is turning the corners & getting neat right angles, but I’ll show you how I do it – & also give you a back up plan. What I would advise is that you have a practice- corners & all first on some scrap fabric. I find I need to try two or three test corners to get warmed up!
So let’s get started .
You’ve got your fabric – what size do you have and how does it compare to a scarf that you already have? I would say that the smallest scarf I use is gents’ pocket square size – 45cm x 45cm so wouldn’t make a scarf smaller than this. I tend to opt for a square shape, but have been known to make larger ones at whatever size my fabric is.
With using your overlocker you will lose a smidgeon off each edge- possibly 1/8 “ or so. I would press your fabric once you have cut it to the size that you want it to be.
I use a three thread rolled hem – one of the standard stitches offered by my overlocker. I have to set my machine up a bit differently to do this but it’s relatively easy- take out my left needle & twiddle a few dials – I always have to follow my quick thread guide! It lives under my machine 🙂
Three spools of thread – I am sure you can get different results using different types of threads, but I have not experimented much to feel in a position to advise on options!
Ready to roll it? Start at one corner of your fabric, placing it so that your overlocker blade will be trimming away about 1/8” (it doesn’t matter if you trim away more – it just means that your scarf will end up being smaller).
Sew your first edge with a rolled hem
Leaving your needle down. Lift the foot up, pulling the stitches that make up the final fraction of the rolled hem just sewn, backwards off the “stitch fingers” (but not too far back) and pivot the fabric 90 degrees.
(I’m showing you this having taken my foot off so that you can see those stitch fingers – the two prongs at the back ) . See this tutorial for another view of the stitch fingers.
I find you get a neater corner if you can balance the amount of “pulling back” off the stitch fingers with making a nice snug start to the beginning of the next rolled hem edge. The further you pull your fabric back off the stitch fingers, the more loose threads there are hanging around at the beginning of the next corner. The ideal is that you pull the hem back enough to pivot, but without adding excess threads through too much pulling back. This is why I always practice first – to get a feel for the right amount of pulling back!
Away you go & sew the next edge, stopping as you did for the first corner with your needle down in the very last thread of your edge. Keep your needle down, lift your foot up & gently pull back off the stitch fingers & pivot. Keep the corner nice & snug to the start of the next edge & carry on as above. This is how you do the three corners.
By the time you reach the fourth corner, just keep going, running 90 degrees over the first edge that you hemmed & create a nice long chain. You will have sealed off the corner & now have a chain to darn back into the rolled hem (on the underside of your scarf).
There you have done it! Pleased with what you’ve just achieved?
Back up plan: Finding the continuous corner approach a bit of a faff & giving you inconsistent unreliable results? No problem! All you have to do is to sew each edge separately, running over the end so that you have a chain and darning each chain into the four corners.
I hope you found this easy enough to follow! Now enjoy wearing your lovely hand made scarf.
Do you think you will now try giving a new lease of life to some special fabrics or even to some of your outfits with swanky new accessorizing? You could also use rolled hems for making napkins too. Go ahead & try it – make a scarf using your overlocker’s rolled hem!