Browsing around on Pinterest for what my next beginner sewing project would be, I happened upon a (confusing) tutorial of how to make long silk fashion scarves. Silk scarves huh? Immediate skepticism set in as to whether or not a sewing beginner like me could make a fashion scarf that actually looked good and didn’t have that “homemade” look stamped all over it.
I’ve never sewn silk fabric before, with its sleek and luscious goodness I love so much, so the idea of making my own silk anything made me somewhat nervous. But I decided that if I’m ever going to learn how to sew a variety of crafts, kids and adults clothes, bags, totes and various accessories, I needed to jump right in and get my feet wet so to speak.
While shopping for cotton print fabric to make some kid size pajama bottoms for an upcoming birthday, I spotted a bolt of multi-colored silk material that was calling my name saying “Buy Me, I’ll make a beautiful long silk scarf!” I loved the mixture of colors in the fabric so much that I couldn’t just buy enough material to make a fashion scarf, so I bought four whole yards of this silk material, knowing there will be something I’ll decide to make with the remaining material after the scarf is finished.
How to Make a Long Silk Fashion Scarf
Honestly, fashion scarves are made with many different kinds of fabrics, including t-shirt material, satin, chiffon etc. Silk and chiffon fabrics are quite popular for making scarves, whether it’s a long or square scarf. Any lightweight, soft fabric will do nicely and spice up your outfit quite well. It’s really up to you what fabric to use.
Searching online for what the standard size of long fashion scarves is, the measurements given were 24 inches in width (2 feet) and 72 inches length (6 feet), but you can make a scarf any length and width you choose. My completed and hemmed silk scarf measures 24×70 inches, which is perfect for me to tie the scarf in a variety of ways or just wrap around my neck and allow to drape freely.
Make sure you have a good pair of sharp scissors for cutting the fabric to the width and length you want. I have two pair of sewing scissors in different sizes that are kept hidden away, so they’re not used for anything else but cutting fabrics. Cut your fabric material very carefully, using a long ruler or yardstick if necessary to guide you. I used my rotary cutter and self-healing cutting mat, which sure makes it faster and easier to cut fabric evenly, and without the potential of damaging anything beneath the fabric.
Some scarf-making instructions suggest using fabric glue to help keep the hem in place while stitching, but I opted out of that idea. Using an iron on a very low setting, fold down one edge of the fabric to about 1/8 or 1/4 an inch and press with the iron. Make sure your iron is not too hot because you’ll ruin the silk material. Once you’ve folded down and pressed the fabric on all four sides of the material, fold the same edges down one more time and press with your iron, creating a double-fold. Why double fold the material? It keeps the fabric from unraveling and it also gives the scarf a nice professional looking finish, much like you find when you buy a scarf in a store. Remember, you don’t want a silk scarf that screams HOMEMADE SCARF to anyone seeing the finished product.
To sew the hem of the scarf, you can either use your sewing machine or sew it by hand. If you’re going to sew the hem of a silk or chiffon scarf with a sewing machine, make sure you’re using a VERY fine sewing needle, otherwise you risk damaging the material. Silk and chiffon can be difficult fabrics to sew on, especially for a sewing beginner (like me), so I highly recommend pinning the very thin and narrow hem in place before beginning to sew along the folded edges of the material to create a hem. Once you’ve sewn the hem on all four sides, gently and carefully (on a low setting), iron your brand new silk scarf and you’re done!
I’ve already made two silk scarves, one very long scarf and one only 10 inches wide by about 40 inches in length, because I wanted to decide for myself if machine hemming is better than hand stitching when making scarves. My sewing machine has lots of cool built-in stitching options to help hide the stitches, and sewing a straight line of stitches isn’t very hard as long as you don’t press too hard on the foot pedal. One silk scarf I hemmed with the sewing machine, and the other scarf I sewed by hand. Hemming scarves with a sewing machine is of course much faster than hand sewing, hand sewing can take HOURS and HOURS when making long scarves, so I’ll definitely opt for machine sewing scarves most of the time.
How to Make Easy Pajama Bottoms or Pants for Kids
Making adult-size pajama bottoms without buying a pattern, from fleece or cotton fabrics etc has proven to be quite easy. However, I needed to find a quick and easy pattern for making pajama pants in various kid sizes, in order to make some “PJ” bottoms as a birthday gift.
Luckily, I didn’t have to go buy a pattern for making kids pajama bottoms because FleeceFun.com has FREE printable patterns and instructions for kids pajama pants and other craft projects, sewing and non-sewing. Included with the printable/downloadable patterns are instructions for assembling the printed patterns, as well as easy-to-follow directions (with pictures) of how to make kids pajama pants.
I made one pair of kids pajama pants using the instructions from FleeceFun, but I much prefer making pajama bottoms using the one-seam pajama pants tutorial offered by The Ribbon Retreat Blog. To me, the one-seam method is faster and easier than the other. I’m not a fan of cuffs on pajama pants, so I didn’t do that part of the instructions.
I assembled the pattern from FleeceFun as directed, taping the individual pages together to make the full pattern, then cut off the excess paper surrounding the actual pattern. Then I folded the pattern in half, shown in the picture above, and pinned the pattern to the folded-in-half-lengthwise cotton fabric I chose along the fold as shown. Cut the fabric through both layers of fabric, then remove pattern and pins and lay that cut piece of fabric aside. Place the folded pattern along the folded edge of fabric one more time, pin together, then cut out your second piece of fabric.
Laying right side to right side of your fabric pieces together (as shown above), pin the two layers together. Now hop on over to the pajama pants tutorial on the Ribbon Retreat blog to see the pictures and instructions of what seams to sew first, second etc, adding a cuff if you want cuffed PJ bottoms, creating the elastic waist casing, and how to close up the seams after the elastic has been added, and you’re all done! Easy-peasy DIY pajama bottoms or pants for kids and adults. Fun!