How to Make a Sash Belt or Scarf

2007-08-27-belt-1-400

2007-08-27-belt-2-400

Silk charmeuse sash belt measuring 71.5″ (1.8 m) long by 2.5″ (63 mm) wide with angled ends and edgestitching.

 

This sash belt also works as a long scarf, especially if you make it wider, like this 5.5″ wide Banana Republic scarf, this 9″ wide Karen Zambos Vintage Couture scarf, or this 5″ wide Porter Grey scarf. Some, like the Karen Zambos scarf and this J.Crew silk twill sash belt, are topstitched. They are generally about 2 yds (1.8 m) long.

Materials: Silk twill and silk charmeuse are common fabrics to use, but any non-sheer woven fabric would work. Heavier weight fabrics would work best for use as a belt; lighter weight fabrics should be used if you want it to double as a scarf.

Instructions

    1. Cut a strip of fabric about 2 yds (1.8 m) long as shown in Diagram 1. To determine how wide the strip needs to be, multiply your desired finished belt/scarf width by two and add 0.5″ (13 mm).

Diagram 1

Diagram 1

Note: Alternatively, you can cut the fabric on the bias. With 44″ (1.1 m) wide fabric, you can make a bias sash about 60″ (1.5 m) long before having to add a seam.

    1. Fold the fabric strip in half lengthwise with right sides together and cut the ends at an angle, as shown in Diagram 2.

Diagram 2

Diagram 2
    1. With a 0.25″ (6 mm) seam allowance, sew the raw edges together along both angled ends and along the length of the fabric, leaving an opening of about 4″ (10 cm), as shown in Diagram 3.

Diagram 3

Diagram 3
  1. Trim the seam allowances at each corner, turn the sash right side out, and press.
  2. Finish by either (a) slipstitching the opening closed or (b) topstitching close to edge along all four sides of the sash.

How to Make Twisted Fringe for Scarves and Wraps

DIY Twisted Fringe on a Scarf

Twisted fringe on the end of a wrap.

 

While I’ve shown fringe on a sarong and a scarf already, I haven’t covered how to make the most popular type of fringe, the twisted fringe.

First, section off the loose fringe into evenly spaced intervals. Starting at one side of the scarf, divide the first section of fringe in half and twist one of the halves until it starts to kink. Separately twist the other half in the same direction until it starts to kink. See Diagram 1.

Diagram for DIY twisted fringe  on a scarf or wrap

Diagram 1

When the two halves are twisted, hold them together at the ends and twist them together in the opposite direction, as shown in Diagram 2.

Diagram for DIY twisted fringe or scarf

Diagram 2

Finish by knotting the twisted fringe close to the end. Repeat on remaining sections of fringe.

How to Make a No-Sew Jersey Scarf

DIY no-sew scarf tutorial

Close-up of DIY no-sew jersey scarf

Viscose jersey scarf with raw edges, measuring 2.5 yds (2.3 m) by 18″ (46 cm).

 

Perfect for a long strip of leftover jersey fabric. I was inspired by the American Apparel jersey scarf which is as basic as it gets (just a rectangle of raw-edged fabric), but seems to be pretty popular for being so soft, versatile and portable (read what Mighty Goods had to say about it). All you’ll need to make your own jersey scarf is 2-2.5 yds (1.8-2.3 m) of a soft jersey knit fabric. Cut the fabric as shown in Diagram 1.

Diagram 1

Diagram 1

You can pick a slightly sheer cotton jersey like the American Apparel scarf (which is 93″ long by 16″ wide). You can also try rayon jersey like this narrow Banana Republic metallic scarf (80″ by 7″) or this Nordstrom scarf (80″ by 18″). Make sure that the wrong side of the fabric looks fairly nice because both sides of the fabric might show when you are wearing the scarf. After you cut your fabric, just leave the edges raw; the edges of many jersey fabrics curl up naturally.

Retail Roundup: Wide Headbands

Wide Headband with Covered Elastic - 1

Links to Retail Examples of the DIY Wide Headband

Echo headband, in nylon mesh with colorful embroidery.

Anthropologie Strata headband, 4.5" wide in a brightly-striped open knit, made from cotton and polyester.

Anthropologie Gardening headband, 3" wide in floral silk.

Ann Taylor headband, about 3-4" wide in white cotton with brown floral embroidery. And a similar Ann Taylor headband in black with white pindots.

How to Make a Headband, Version 2: The Wide Headband

Wide Headband with Covered Elastic - 1
Wide Headband with Covered Elastic - 2

Cotton voile headband measuring 3.5" (89 mm) wide by 15.5" (39 cm) long with covered elastic measuring 0.5" (13 mm) wide by 4" (10 cm) long.

Materials

  • Woven fabric, like lightweight cotton or silk
  • 0.5" (13 mm) wide elastic–you’ll need a length of about 4.5" (11 cm), but you can wait to cut it until the fitting stage
  • Safety pin or loop turner

Instructions

Measuring and Cutting

  • Main Piece: Cut 1 rectangle from your fabric as shown in Diagram 1. The width range of 4.5" (11 cm) to 12.5" (32 cm) results in finished headband widths ranging from 2" (51 mm) to 6" (15 cm), respectively. Multiply your desired finished headband width by two and add 0.5" (13 mm) to determine the exact fabric width to cut.
  • Connector Piece: Cut 1 rectangle from your fabric as shown in Diagram 1.
  • Note: Any grainline orientation should be fine, but laying the long sides of the rectangles crosswise (i.e., perpendicular to the selvage) will use the least fabric yardage.

    Diagram 1

    Diagram 1

Sewing

  1. Fold the short sides of the main piece in half with right sides together and, using a 0.25" (6 mm) seam allowance, sew the long raw edges together to create a tube as shown in Diagram 2. Repeat with the connector piece.
  2. Diagram 2

    Diagram 2
  3. Turn the main piece right side out and press so that the seam is positioned at center back (CB). Repeat with the connector piece. Use a safety pin or loop turner to turn the pieces right side out if needed.
  4. Insert the elastic inside the connector piece using a safety pin or loop turner.
  5. Sew the elastic and connector piece together at one end with a 0.25" (6 mm) seam allowance as shown in Diagram 3. (On the other end, just leave the end of the elastic sticking out for now; you can pin the end of the connector piece to the elastic to keep it in place if needed).
  6. Diagram 3

    Diagram 3
  7. Mark the short ends of the main piece about 0.375" (10 mm) away from each long (folded) edge as shown in Diagram 4. In between the markings on each end, make pleats as needed so that the width in between the markings matches the width of the connector piece, which in this case is 0.625" (16 mm). If your main piece is on the narrow side, try one knife pleat in the center; if it’s on the wide side, try multiple knife pleats. You can also try an inverted or box pleat as shown in Diagram 4. Pin or baste stitch the pleats to secure them.
  8. Diagram 4

    Diagram 4
  9. Lay the main piece down with the front side facing up (i.e., CB seam facing down). On top of the main piece, lay the connector piece down with the back side facing up (i.e., CB seam facing up), aligning the edge of the connector piece that is sewn to the elastic with one of the ends of the main piece. The connector piece should be laying on top of the pleated portion of the main piece and should fit just within the markings you made on the main piece. Fold the short sides of the main piece 0.375" over the connector piece (the folded sides will overlap), and sew all layers together with a 0.25" (6 mm) seam allowance as shown in Diagram 5.
  10. Diagram 5

    Diagram 5
  11. Turn the headband right side out and test the fit by trying on the headband while stretching the elastic to the unattached end of the main piece. Cut elastic to desired length.
  12. Repeat Step 4 with the other ends of the elastic and connector piece.
  13. Repeat Step 6 with the other ends of the connector piece and main piece.
  14. Turn the headband right side out.

Retail Roundup: Summer Scarves

Wide Fringed Scarf - 1

Links to Retail Examples of the DIY Wide Fringed Scarf

Urban Outfitters striated crinkled linen scarf , 70" by 25" in linen gauze with fringe.
Faliero Sarti Ombre Scarf, in crinkled lightweight cotton with short fringe.
Extra-wide linen-viscose scarves from SCOOP (76" by 38") and Intuition (74" by 39"), both with fringe and in several solid colors.
Plus, Coquette explores Jessica Alba’s summer scarf collection.

Retail Roundup: Sarongs

Sarong 2

Links to Retail Examples of the DIY Sarong and the DIY No-Sew Sarong

Lotta Stensson sarong, 67" by 38" printed silk chiffon in plum with a border print.
Calypso Mirabel sarong, 76" by 37.5" sand-colored linen blend with tassels.
Scoop Ikat sarong in a blue or orange cotton blend with a border print and tassels.
Calypso Kailash sarong in turquoise or peach printed silk with fringe.
Calypso Island Batik sarong in turquoise silk.

How to Make a No-Sew Sarong

No-Sew Sarong

Close-up of a no-sew sarong made from cotton voile. The sarong has selvage edges along its length and fringed edges along its width.

You can easily avoid all the hemming involved with the DIY Sarong by selecting the right fabric and doing a little fringing.

Start with 2 yd (1.8 m) of a lightweight woven fabric that is 36-45" (91-114 cm) wide and has nice-looking selvages (the selvages will end up as the finished lengthwise edges of your sarong). See Diagram 1.

Diagram 1

Diagram 1

Fringe the short, raw edges of the sarong by pulling out the crosswise threads until you have 1-3" (3-8 cm) of fringe on each edge. A seam ripper is helpful to grab individual threads. You can leave the fringe as-is or create tassels by knotting it as shown in the DIY Wide Fringed Scarf.

How to Make a Wide Fringed Scarf

Wide Fringed Scarf - 1
Wide Fringed Scarf - 2

Cotton gauze scarf, with a finished length of 72" (1.8 m), including 3" (8 cm) fringed ends, and a finished width of 24" (61 cm). Fringe is shown unfinished at top right and knotted every 0.75" (19 mm) at bottom right.

Lately, I’ve seen many versions of the summer scarf, a wide scarf (call it a wrap if you’d like) with fringed ends. It comes in a lightweight, semi-sheer fabric about 2 yd (1.8 m) long and about 15" (38 cm) to 30" (76 cm) wide. Here’s a sampling:

Anthropologie macaw wrap, 70" by 27" in mint-colored linen.
Anthropologie crepuscular wrap, 67" by 19.5" in white cotton.
Banana Republic cotton woven wrap, 65" by 30" in semi-sheer white or blue.
Urban Outfitters crinkled linen scarf, 70" by 16" in brightly-colored gauze.
Urban Outfitters floral gauze scarf, 69" by 18" in linen-polyester.
Michael Kors linen scarf, 80" by 25" in white or tan demi-sheer linen gauze.

You’ll need about 2 yd (1.8 m) of lightweight woven fabric, like cotton voile, cotton gauze, or linen gauze (although I couldn’t find any linen gauze myself–any tips?–and had to settle for cotton gauze). Cut a rectangle of fabric as shown in Diagram 1.

Diagram 1

Diagram 1

Fringe the two short edges of your fabric rectangle by pulling out the crosswise threads until you have about 3" (8 cm) of fringe (or until you can’t stand it any longer). A seam ripper is helpful to grab individual threads.

Next, hem both long edges of the scarf by folding each edge 0.25" (6 mm) to the wrong side twice and sewing along the inside hem edge. See Diagram 2.

Diagram 2

Diagram 2

Leave the fringe unfinished or make tassels from it by knotting the fringe in regular intervals, such as every 1" (25 mm).