I've had my eye on a few airy cotton scarves for spring (like this one), but I wanted to try making one of my own - always more fun and less expensive than buying one! It's also a great project for beginning sewers who want to practice simple hems and play around with zig-zag stitching for a decorative touch - all the lines you'll be sewing are straight, so you don't have to worry about any complicated fanciness : )
For this project you will need:
1. a rectangle of white 100% cotton fabric that is 9 inches wide and 70 inches long (inexpensive muslin works great, my fabric is actually cut from a white cotton bed sheet that I thrifted and have used pieces of in quite a few projects!).
2. sewing thread in white and one accent color (I used green, but you can choose whatever color you like).
3. 2 teabags (I used black tea) and a bowl of hot water to steep them in.
We are going to begin by hemming the edges of our rectangle using a double-turn hem. Simply start on one side, fold in the raw edge 1/2 inch and press, then fold and press one more time so you have a clean edge. I also used straight pins to hold the edge in place.
Do this on all four sides.
Next, use your sewing machine and white thread to sew the edges in place. I used a simple zig-zag stitch because zig-zagging is fun! Of course, if you're not comfortable with zig-zagging you can always use a straight stitch : )
Now that our fabric is hemmed it's time to dye it! Dying fabric with tea is easy and pretty much impossible to mess up so have fun with it!
Simply fill a small bowl with hot water and brew two bags of black tea for 10 minutes. Put your fabric in the bowl, making sure that it is submerged (I used a spoon to stir it around).
You can also add more tea bags for a darker color, or try a different variety of tea for a different color (hibiscus for a pinkish hue, for instance).
Keep in mind that your fabric will lighten when you rinse it out and as it dries, too. I soaked my fabric for five hours before rinsing, which gave a lightly antiqued look. I just put it in the bowl in the early afternoon and left it on the counter all day, then rinsed it out when I had a few minutes to spare before making dinner.
When you've decide that your fabric has soaked long enough all you have to do is rinse it in cool water and hang it to air dry.
When your scarf is dry it's time to pick out a color for your accent thread. I chose a pretty sage green to celebrate the arrival of spring.
Before you add your accent stitching, though, give your scarf a good press with a warm iron. This will remove all the wrinkles and set the tea stain.
Using your accent thread, add several lines of zig-zag stitching along the length of your scarf. I tried out a bunch of different zig-zag stitches, so my scarf is kind of like a little sampler! It adds some color and texture to the scarf - plus it's fun to use stitches that I wouldn't normally use!
Now your airy spring scarf is complete! You can wear it tossed around your neck or you can style it with the ends tucked in like a circle scarf.
I hope you have a lot of fun wearing it when the spring weather arrives!