Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Summer Tassel Scarf Tutorial

You wouldn't know it with the lingering clouds here in Berkeley, but it's finally summer! We have dreams of breezy sundresses and cute shorts, but sometimes we just don't have the time or inclination to work on sewing a whole garment. In the meantime, here's a quick and fun project you can whip up in no time! This scarf is quick to sew but has beautiful details like mitered corners and fun, handmade tassels. It's also a great way to show off gorgeous fabrics. Bonus—it doesn't take much yardage!

Here is what you'll need:

Step 1:
Square up your piece of fabric. Fold your fabric with the selvages aligned and place your ruler straight on the fold parallel to the selvages to find the 90 degree angle. Using your rotary cutter, trim away as little as possible to even out this edge. If using scissors, first mark this line, then trim.

Repeat steps for opposite side. Once the 2 sides are trimmed, repeat steps to remove selvages.

Your piece of fabric should be around 26"x43" or 53" (depending on your fabric width).

Step 2:
Mark your "fold to" lines. Using your ruler and marking tool, mark 1" in from the cut edge on all four sides. The fabric we are using does not have a right or wrong side but if yours does, make these markings on the wrong side of the fabric.

Step 3:
At your ironing board, bring the cut edge to match the marked line (1" from the edge) and iron fold in place. Repeat for remaining 3 sides. Don't worry about the directions the corners are folding, these will be addressed in the next step.

Step 4:
Mitering the corners! Fold your scarf along the diagonal into the corners. Place your ruler on the fold of the diagonal, with the edge aligned to the raw edge of the fabric. Using your marking tool, mark a line where the ruler meets the raw edge (90 degree angle from the diagonal fold). Sew on marked line, making sure to back stitch at the beginning and end of the seam. Trim seam allowance and threads. 

Repeat steps for 3 remaining corners.

Step 5:
At your iron, fold your hem a second time to hide the raw edges. Using your finger or a point tuner, poke out the corners. Starting from the corner, iron the second fold in place working your way towards the center. It works best to start at each corner and work towards the center.

Step 6:
Stitch around your hem, pivoting in the corners.

Step 7: Tassels!!!
 For each tassel you will need 2 skeins of floss (8 total) plus additional lengths from the 9th skein for tying and attaching. We want our tassels to be big and noticeable so we have our Clover Tassel Maker (size small) set to the largest size (2 inches).

Unwrap your floss to find the ends. Hook the two ends onto the side of your tassel maker and begin wrapping around the  center. Wrap until you're out of thread.

Using your sewing thread (rather than embroidery floss), wrap a length of thread and tie into a secure knot. If the wrap or knot do not seem tight, do it again. It's important this stays secure.

Using the grooves along the top and bottom of the tassel maker, cut through your floss on both ends to remove from the maker.

Holding at the wrap, let the upper threads cascade over the wrap. You want to spread them out evenly from the center. We found pushing the tassel through your fingers can be helpful in getting the top smooth. This step is kind of like brushing a doll's hair.

Cut a length of thread (about 12") to use for creating the head of the tassel. Make a loop at one end of the strand. Hold the loop at the top of the tassel (about 1/2" from the top) and wrap the length around the tassel, keeping the loop visible in the wrap. Insert the end of the floss wrap into the loop. Pull both ends until secure.

 Wrap a piece of paper around the tassel and trim the tails evenly.

Step 8: Attach the tassels to the scarf!

Take a length of floss and tie a knot on one end. Our favorite trick for this is to point the tail of the thread at the point of the needle, wrap the tail around the needle a few times, then pull the wrap down the needle and thread until you reach the bottom. This usually creates a perfect, sturdy knot! 

Insert your needle into the bottom of the tassel and pull until your knot is hidden. 

To secure your tassel to the scarf, insert your needle through the bottom of the mitered corner, pull the thread leaving about a half inch length so the tassel can dangle. Loop back through the scarf twice. To tie off; insert the needle under your loops on thread, catching the fabric. Before pulling through, insert your needle into the loop twice, then pull taught. 

Rather then cutting your thread here, bury the tail to create a cleaner look. Insert your needle in between the seam allowances of the hem,  exit an inch or two past where your knot is and cut your thread flush to the fabric. 

Repeat steps for remaining 3 tassels.

You're done! YAY!

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