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Yes, I know I have too many! But, but, really it’s a good thing. Scarves are the greatest thing since they are the ultimate accessory. A simple blouse or sweater and unique scarf becomes a new outfit thus you need less clothes! This super unique method excites me as I don’t have to knit and can upcycle! Let me show you how to make your own Sewn Crazy Wool Scarf Art.

The Materials:

Who does not love using up scraps and leftovers?! Crafters usually have wool and yarn and secret stashes of fabric. Shhhhh, don’t tell anyone. This method uses any fabric or yarn that can be sewn over. I suggest though that you choose material that is soft and pliable so that the end result is nice to wear and drape.

Soft organzas are great as they are also transparent. The blue ‘ribbon’ is actually a seam binding which is thinner than ribbon. Soft and fuzzy yarns add some luxury…

The ‘Magic’ Water Soluble Stabilizer:

To be able to create this you will need a special material that ‘holds’ your fibres until they are sewn. This magic is a water soluble stabilizer! It is there when you need it and not when you don’t… A few companies make it, but it is usually transparent; available in sheets and rolls of varying widths. Fabric and notion shops also carry it.

This roll came in 10″ width. It looks like plastic but it is not. Do not get it wet… yet.

The options for design are really endless, only limited by your imagination. I like airy, gossamer-like scarves so I opted for strips of organza in this one.

The Layout:

Decide on the length of your scarf; another personal preference. As with a lot of things; bigger is usually better. This one is 72″ long. I have had success joining pieces when needed by ironing with a clean paper on top.

Lay out the bottom layer of the stabilizer on a clean table surface. Arrange your layers/design on top keeping in mind that you may want a 2-sided image.

Swirl the yarn, make squiggles… there is no right or wrong. Leaving some area that is empty will make it more ‘airy’ & lacy. Texture is one of the great elements of design, so use different yarns. I was using up leftovers so I believe most were acrylic or polyester. (But you could use anything as long as you treat it properly afterward)

It is a lesson in abstract art… do you see the flowers?! Be creative!

Making the Sandwich:

Once you are happy with the design you will need to add the top layer. The purpose of the stabilizer is hold it all in place until it is locked down. Carefully layer on the top stabilizer.

To help it stay I found that ironing it with a sheet of clean paper (important) made the 2 layers adhere to each other. That helped keep all the ‘crazy wool’ in place.

Depending on your amount of ‘filling’ you may not be able to have it stick to itself. If not, you can also pin through the layers like fabric to keep it in place.

Since this is a very loose and creative design it is quite forgiving. Don’t be too stressed about it staying put. Roll up the length to make handling it under the machine easier. (as does having a large sewing table)

The Sewing:

This sewing method is very free form. To allow your hands to guide the ‘sandwich’ adjust the presser foot pressure to be minimal. You may want to lower the feed-dogs as well depending on your thickness. I used this large clear foot that allowed more visible view; but you could use another foot.

The stitch is set to straight and the length can be quite short. Your hands will move the scarf around in random circles at a speed to create somewhat even stitches. The choice of thread should match the yarn so it will be pretty inconspicuous.

It’s quite fun to just swirl away, back and forth, round and round. Look for large areas for lack of stitching to make sure you have some stability. If you desire you could also use a very controlled grid pattern.

Un-stabilize:

Once you are happy that it will hold together it’s time to dissolve the stabilizer. This is very quick and easy in some warm water…

and like magic it’s gone. Give it a good rinse. Squeeze gently and then blot the water by rolling in a towel. Let dry and iron with the proper setting. If any wool etc is used be careful not to shock it to make it felt. Be gentle and use slightly warm water.

Such a lovely random lace pattern! Make some flowers or any design. This method can also be applied to larger areas to use as panels for clothing or other accessories.

 

barbmaker

I'm an artist & I make things... all kinds of things.

This Post Has 7 Comments
  1. There are no pictures of your process on the site. It would be really nice to see some of the things you’re describing.
    All I see are ads.

    1. That’s odd; I have 16 pictures of all the detailed process. The ads do give me some way to do all this time consuming making and providing tutorials. Most just sell eBooks… Perhaps you are not waiting until they load?

  2. I am also a scarf addict and I LOVE this technique. Do you have a preference for a brand of water soluable backing? I have never used this material before so I’m not sure how to select some for a project?

    1. I always figure that I want to make a lot! So I try to get a good price. And I’m a collector… I bought this one and It is a bit narrow but you can doubleup the width if you want. It feels similar to a plastic wrap in thickness. I bought a small roll to do my first testing.

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