Welcome to the wonderful world of fleece scarf making! Before we can begin, I must tell you two secrets about making this scarf,
One: You do not have to use fleece. I imagine you could use any type of fabric, rope, wire, or pasta (assuming the noodles are long enough), but I do find that fleece is very comfortable and warm. It's also easy to find and work with, and it is pleasingly soft with a comfortable amount of rigidity.
Two: Since it isn't fleece that makes this scarf special, I should let you know that it is tubes, and weaving! I would have called this a tube scarf, but it turns out tube scarves already exist, and they aren't scarves woven out of tubes.
Step 1: Getting Started
All you need to make this scarf is your fabric, scissors, thread, and a sewing needle. I chose blue, white, orange, and black fleece, and decided to go with 5 tubes. I would recommend not going wider than 5 tubes; my scarf is just about as big as my neck can fit.
Step 2: Sizing Your Tubes
There are a few (at least two) ways to sew tubes. I decided to
1. Cut a rectangle of fabric
2. Sew up the long edge of the fabric
3. Flip it inside out
I experimented with different widths of fabric to see how they look, and to try flipping them. At full length (as in, not the test piece), it wasn't particularly hard, but not particularly easy, to flip a tube made from a 4 inch wide piece of fabric. I was unable to flip the 2 inch wide piece of test fabric (though, I did use staples instead of thread).
I suggest you experiment with different size tubes!
Step 3: Cutting the Fabric
I used leftover fabric from a previous project, and the lengths varied quite a bit. A couple of inches difference is fine, but more than that looks odd. The shortest piece of fabric I had was about 3 ft. 9 in., and the final scarf is 3 ft. 6 in.
If you want wear your scarf with sort of scarf knot in it I would aim for at least 4 ft. 6 in. as the final length, but more wouldn't hurt. The scarf is so thick that it seems short by comparison, and remember that any knot will also be extra thick.
To cut a single strip, I folded the fabric and cut down the edge. I cut all of my strips to a 4 inch width, but if you plan to use a sewing machine leave excess as necessary.
Then, the strip can be used as a template for the rest of the fabric. Doing this, I was able to cut out 3 pieces at the same time.
A note about fleece: fleece stretches more in one direction than the other. I cut mine so the scarf would stretch along its length. This way, I can wrap it really tight.
Step 4: Sewing Your Tubes
Another note about fleece: certain types of fleece have different textures on the front and back, remember that the inside when you're sewing, will be the outside when you're done!
To make a tube, fold your fabric in half lengthwise, and sew the long edge shut. I was able to sew two of my tubes with a sewing machine, but I managed to jam it so bad that I gave up and did the other three by hand.
To flip the tube inside out, fold one end over itself, and then begin pulling fabric from the inside. Occasionally smooth out any wrinkles, as the fabric will bunch up.
Step 5: Preparing to Weave
Before weaving the tubes together, I found it necessary to affix the ends of the tubes (one end of each tube).
I lined them up, then passed a thread through them and tied it off. This is only temporary.
Step 6: Weaving
If you have 5 tubes, follow the steps below! If not, there are plenty of resources out there.
I will refer to the tubes as seen in the picture, with the start of the weave at the left, and the tubes resting horizontally.
1. Take the bottom tube, and pass it Over the tube above it, and Under the next tube.
2. Take the top tube and pass it Over the tube below it, and Under the next tube (which is now the first tube you touched).
3. Now, the top and bottom tubes will be different. Repeat.
Isn't that cool? You only ever move the outside tubes!
Step 7: Tying Up Loose Ends
Cut the thread that was holding together one end of the scarf, and arrange the tube-ends as you see fit. Then, sew together the ends that touch each other.
I sewed from inside the tube, which is to say I put the needle in from the hole in the tube, but this gets difficult if you want the loop joining them to be more than an inch or so into the tube. In that case I sewed through the surface of the tube, as seen in the fourth picture. However, I found that it was more difficult to tighten the loops this way.
When you're done with this end of the scarf, do the same at the other end.
Step 8: Cleaning It Up
The end of the scarf where things aren't lined up looks a little odd.
First, the blue tube ends very abruptly. If it were longer, it would go under the black tube it's pointing at, so I nudged it under there and sewed it in place. Now it's nicely terminated.
One of the black tubes at this end has a bit of oddly textured fabric at the end from the original bolt it was on, so I cut that off. I also cut the orange and white tubes shorter so they would blend more nicely at the end.
If you do cut tubes, make sure you don't cut the thread in a way that the seam can come undone!
Step 9: Congratulations! You Now Have a Scarf
Runner Up in the
Sew Warm Challenge