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Randomly Shirred (and Stretchy) Scarf


Happy 2012 to you all! 

My husband told me, “well, writing that date is going to take a lot longer now.  Writing ‘1-1’ was a lot easier than writing ‘1-2’ is going to be.”  Haha…….I laughed at him.  And then said, “I think you’ll manage.  And will somehow regain the time lost writing a 2 instead of a 1.”  Ha.



We spent New Year’s Eve out until midnight with several friends.  It was nice.  And much needed. 

(Thanks friends!) And wow, I think this is the first year we’ve stayed out late with friends on New Year’s since having kids.  (Thank goodness for grandparents who put our monkeys to bed at home this year!)


And, to get the New Year start off right, I have compiled my resolution lists that have been scribbled out on random papers or emails to myself during the past few weeks.  (I don’t usually even write a list.  I think about a few things that I want to change…..but it always ends there.)  I don’t know why I have been so excited for a fresh start this year, but I really have.  And how funny that I couldn’t start any of them a week or two ago.  Mentally, I needed 2012 to ring in.  I needed a good starting point.  One of the biggest items on my list, is taking care of my poor body.  My body told me she’s had enough.  And wants more love during 2012.  Yeah, the poor body who is forced to stay awake until after midnight most nights, gets fed too many snacks and sweet treats, is busy most of the day tending to every other need except her own, craves a schedule of exercise, and would like to relax and read a few grown up chapter books this year (the thousands of children’s books I read last year doesn’t count).  So what do I have to tell this body of mine?  You better watch out…….because you’re gonna get it! ;)


How about you?  Do you have some New Year’s resolutions that you have been excited to get started on?

. . . . .



Well, you’re in luck today if one of the following items made your resolution list:


  • practicing more on your sewing machine
  • creating something new
  • trying out a new technique
  • making yourself something lovely……….just because


Because this pretty simple scarf will help you out with that goal.




And is perfect if your weather is feeling a little chilly.



Because really, who doesn’t love a new scarf to celebrate a new year?  And a new you? 

(My niece Aubrey was happy to test this one out.)



And do you remember this post, showing you how to shirr (or smock) your fabric

Well, you’ll need it to create random lines of shirring on your scarf.


And just so you can see, here’s a view of the back of your scarf.

(And in case you’re worried…….your shirring can be far from perfect and your scarf will still turn out great!  This is VERY forgiving.)



But don’t worry, once your scarf is hanging around your neck, it kind of curls up and hides those elastic stitches from view.



And if you want to turn your scarf into an infinity scarf, just wrap it around your neck a couple times, and then either tuck your ends under, tie them together, or add a brooch.  (That brooch was something my mother snagged from my late grandmother’s jewelry box, thinking I could use it for something.  She and my aunt were getting rid of a bunch of her stuff but she knew I would love it and use it for something.  Bless her.  I love it!)




What a fun and flouncy way to add some beauty to your winter wardrobe.



Would you like to make your own?


First of all, be sure to check out this tutorial here on shirring/smocking with elastic thread.

(Don’t be afraid of it.  Just try it.  And if you absolutely hate it, you only wasted a dollar or two on the thread.  But if [and when] it works for you……’ll love this technique!!!!!)



Then decide what type of fabric you want to use.  It needs to be something pretty thin so that it will gather in well and keep its shape.  I used some thin and stretchy jersey knit that I bought at Hancock Fabric while living in Georgia……and since it’s knit, it won’t fray on the edges.  So no hemming.  This would be my first choice but some thin and soft cotton would work well too (you just may need to hem under your edges [or zig-zag them], all the way around). 


Okay, and as a side note, not all jersey knits are the same.  Some are really thick like a man’s basketball Tshirt or something.  And then other types of jersey knits are more thin like a ladies fitted Tee.  The thinner jersey knit is what would work best for this.


So first, you’ll need a long strip of fabric but the length will depend on how long you wear your scarf, how you tie them, etc.  I cut my strip to be 11 x 100 inches.  But since I didn’t have a piece of fabric that was 100 inches long, I had to sew two 50 inch long pieces together.  But you could get away with buying once yard of fabric and cutting three 33 inch long strips that are each 11 inches wide……and then sewing the ends together, making it 99 inches long.  Make sense?



Now, on the right side of the fabric (the wrong side of the fabric will have your raw ends from sewing your strips together) draw some squiggly lines with chalk.  You don’t want the lines too close together or too crazy.  Just make some nice and full bubbled lines that go all over the front side of the fabric.  (And make sure they are drawn pretty close to all the edges……you don’t want to see big loose flaps of fabric around the edges that weren’t sewn.)


Now, load your bobbin with elastic thread and increase your stitch length (just like explained in the link above) and start sewing right along those lines that you drew.  (Be sure and backstitch at the beginning/end of your stitch and then anytime your thread runs out and you have to start a new stitch.)  You will see your fabric start to pull in.  But just keep the fabric flat while you sew right along those lines.


After a while of turning here and there, it’s going to get a bit tricky and look messy.


Just stretch it out nice and flat as you’re sewing and keep following those lines.


And please oh please don’t worry if you aren’t sewing exactly on your chalk line.  Those are just a guide.  Sew wherever your little heart wants to go.  (That is what’s great about this scarf…….it’s just random.  So keep it that way!)


And then once you’re done, it’ll look like this:


See how making those curved lines kinda bubbles it out nicely from the front?



Your scarf is now complete.  Yay.



Now, because that was so quick and easy, go make one for a friend.



And again, a big Happy New Year’s! 

I hope your goals have motivated you to become a better you! :)


Ashley Johnston

Administrator at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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