How to Make a Cozy Spiral Scarf

comments (14) January 22nd, 2014     

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MaryRay Mary Ray, contributor
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This versatile spiral scarf can be worn in numerous ways.
Tie it loosely around your neck.
Wrap it around to make a cozy collar.
This versatile spiral scarf can be worn in numerous ways.

This versatile spiral scarf can be worn in numerous ways.

Photo: Mary Ray

This spiral scarf is reminiscent of the jabots seen in vintage blouses. I love the technique because it's so easy yet kind of mysterious. At first glance, it's hard to figure out how to achieve that cascading effect without stretching and shaping the material. But all you need is a circle of fabric with a hole in the middle-just like a donut. When you open the ring and straighten it out, you get those flouncy ripples. I used fleece to make this cozy scarf, but you could choose any soft fabric. The fleece requires very little finishing, however, so it's quick and easy to work with and very cozy to wear. I added the yarn embellishment-which I couched on by machine-to dress up my scarf a bit.

You can use this technique to add a ruffle to the neckline of a blouse or the hemline of a skirt as well. Simply adjust the circumference and depth of the circle. Keep in mind, the larger the circumference of the inner circle, the fewer "ripples" you'll have. So, to get more flounce, cut several circles-as I did for my scarf-and seam them together.

  Tie it loosely around your neck.
  Wrap it around to make a cozy collar.
  Start with a circle.
  Open and straighten the circle to form a flounce.

To make a spiral fleece scarf:

1. First, make a paper pattern by folding a sheet of paper into quarters. Draw the outer and inner quarter circles on the paper and cut.

  Fold some paper in quarters to simplify patternmaking.
  Use a compass or a ruler to make the outer circle.
  Draw an inner circle.

2. Use the paper pattern to cut the desired number of fabric circles. (I used to four to make this scarf.) Note: If you're seaming the flounce to a hem or neckline, be sure to add a seam allowance to the inner circle. And add a narrow hem allowance to the outer circle.

3. Seam the circles together. Since I used fleece, I butted the edges and zigzagged the sections together, creating a flat, smooth seam.

  Connect the fleece circles by butting the edges together and zigzagging.
  This makes a smooth, flat seam.

4. Shape the open ends by trimming to form a point.

  Trim the ends to form a point.
  Here's the finished spiral.

5. Lay the yarn on top of the fabric and zigzag stitch in place. A cording foot makes this step so much easier because there is a groove on the bottom of the foot that allows the yarn to pass under smoothly. A cording foot usually has a hole on the top to guide the yarn as well, but the yarn I used had thick and thin sections and was too irregular to slide easily through the hole. I couched yarn to the outer edges of the scarf as well and formed some loops to add interest.

  Use a cording foot to couch on some yarn or decorative thread.
  A cording foot has a groove on the bottom to accommodate the bulky yarn.
posted in: fabric, yarn, scarf

Comments (14)

Thommi writes: I never would have thought that it would be so simple to make. Thank you for sharing your great tutorial :)
Posted: 9:37 pm on January 25th
lasmt writes: I'm late to this posting of how to do a curly fleece scarf. But oh my you did a lovely job of it. For those who didn't notice the pattern has the inches marked on it. I'm trying to figure out a way to make the same style with a few more curls say three down a side so 6 at the front when wrapped around you. And maybe a little longer. Great help and leads to great ideas. Way to go Doggie101 you are not too young to sew at 11 let alone create. I'm off to look into my fleece stash now.
Posted: 6:47 pm on March 11th
MsLaur writes: Hi Stuever,
I made two different sizes of this with great results. Both had the 1 1/2-inch center radius, but I varied the outside radius from 5 inches to 5 1/2 inches. Be sure to measure from the point of the pattern before cutting the pattern out. I also tried marrying two scarves together, one side black fleece and the other side brown fleece. It looks great together and it's not too bulky to double the thickness.

Posted: 4:25 pm on September 23rd
stuever writes: Very clever--it's gorgeous. What was the diameter of the big circle? And the little circle you cut out of it?

Posted: 9:20 pm on September 11th
sewgramiesew writes: can this be made with other fabrics? polyester or silk
Posted: 9:19 am on May 28th
Doggie101 writes: This is a beautiful scarf. I made one myself and I'm only 11.
Posted: 12:27 pm on March 2nd
Saphyra_Runa writes: Love this! I dived into my pile of fleece and made one up to go with a top for work today. This will help keep me cozy warm since the air conditioning is on all year round at my place of employment. Thanks!
Posted: 2:39 pm on February 26th
KMOM14 writes: I love the way it drapes. This is definitely going on my to-craft list.
Posted: 1:43 pm on February 17th
alpinelife writes: Simple. Stunning. Perfect!
Posted: 2:17 am on February 17th
Poppy7 writes: Okay, mybad! I skipped the last few frames where you explain what "couching" is. Glad this wasn't graded. Thanks again!
Posted: 8:58 am on February 16th
CreativeBusyHands writes: Love it! I will need to try this project for sure. I loved the line art on it. Thanks so much for sharing.
Posted: 8:09 pm on February 15th
Raechal writes: I have been thinking of making spiral scarves for my daughter plus copying a ready to wear blouse with a jabot. I was fairly sure it was done with a circle. Thanks for the confirmation and instructions. Your work is truly beautiful and gives me many ideas. You are an inspiration to many.
Posted: 4:16 pm on February 14th
Poppy7 writes: Oh, I LOVE this~! I wish I knew how you did the machine embroidery. I don't know what you mean when you say "couched" it on your machine.

But this is truly lovely and I might make one for my daughter, who has so much more style than I ever did! She wears scarves around her neck and manages to look so natural.
Posted: 12:39 am on February 14th
Tina_Hilton writes: Mary, You've done it again! The scarf is beautiful and the step by step is most helpful. I'm thinking what mine will look like...


Posted: 8:02 am on February 13th
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