Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fleece Scarf Tutorial

We did figure eights to celebrate daughter Mary Ashley's 8th birthday. Before heading to a local ice skating rink, the girls gathered at our house to sip hot cocoa and open presents. I found some winter hat and mitten ornaments in our color pink and aqua color scheme on clearance at Wal-Mart after Christmas, so I picked up a dozen of those and dropped them into an apothecary jar so each guest could choose one. Then I filled another apothecary jar with gloves in pink, white and aqua. And finally, each figure skater received a fleece scarf with rosette detail.

I found the aqua polka dot and pink fleece fabrics at Jo-Ann's Fabrics. (I believe this is the polka dot I chose, although the online photo looks a little more pale blue than aqua.) Fleece was an easy option for this project because it does not fray. To make our scarves, I simply used my rotary cutter to cut strips of fabric. Party guests ranged from ages 6 to 8, so it worked for me to cut 5-inch wide strips from one selvage edge to the other. Mary Ashley did not want fringe on the ends of the scarf, so I finished the edges by cutting scallops. You could do this by tracing a pattern to get exact scallops, but I just cut mine freehand. A pretty rosette added a sweet accent of pink to each scarf.


Making rosettes is so easy, and each one comes together in minutes.

 (1) Cut strips of fabric. Mine were about 1 1/2" x 10". Shorter strips will result in smaller buds, and longer strips allow for bigger roses.

(2) Cut a rounded edge on each end of one long side. This will be the top edge, so choose the most even side. Use sturdy thread to hand-sew a running stitch along the bottom edge of the strip. (I actually forgot to photograph this step, so I added dotted lines to demonstrate.)

(3) When you reach the end of the strip, gently gather the fabric. Roll the end nearest the needle into a little rosebud, and tack it into place with a few stitches. Then wrap the rest of the ruffled strip around the rosebud, and stitch it into place.

I think the longest step of this project was trying to decide where I wanted to added the rose accent to the scarf. The rosettes are so pretty, they would look lovely clustered in a grouping of three near the bottom of the scarf, covering the entire scarf, or stitched onto the edges to make a ruffled floral border. I ultimately decided it would be best to let the girls decide. So I stitched each rosette onto the center of a strip of pink fleece. This would allow the girls to position the rosette as desired, or leave it off if they preferred not to wear it. From the angle of the photo above, you can see a little of the fabric strip. Attaching the rosette to a ribbon of fabric turned out to be the best option for adaptability, and it allowed for cute presentation at the party.

Here are the scarves rolled, wrapped and ready for an afternoon on the ice. Our scarves and mittens kept the little girls warm, and the ornaments will serve as a lasting memento of the day.

"Brew me a cup for a winter's night.
For the wind howls loud and the furies fight;
Spice it with love and stir it with care,
And I'll toast our bright eyes,
my sweetheart fair."

~ Minna Thomas Antrim
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