Summer Scarf, originally uploaded by the workroom.

I wasn’t sure about the summer scarf for the longest time. Mostly, I think I was intimidated by just figuring out to tie them so that they look good. Some girls make it looks so easy.

The best thing about the scarf is that it is the easiest thing to make. I’ve been enjoying checking out all the colourful cotton plaid yarn-dyed fabrics at Designer Fabric Outlet lately. I look for a soft and light-weight fabric that has a fringe along the selvedge. I adore fabrics with pretty selvedge detailing. This orange plaid is made in France and super soft. I’ll often buy a yard, which is enough to make two scarves. One for me and one to give to a friend. It’s best to use a fabric that is at least 54″ wide, so that you get a nice long scarf. Square off the edge of your fabric, along the cross-wise grain (from selvedge to selvedge) and then cut the width of your scarf from your squared edge out. I’ve used both 12″ and 18″ widths, depending on the weight of the fabric and how much volume I want. To finish off the raw edges, I do a rolled hem on my serger with a contrasting or matching embroidery thread. Serge the two long sides and you’re done. It’s pretty much instant gratification with maximum results.

I’ve been using the serger rolled hem on everything. My other favourite quick project is to make cotton cloth napkins. I’ve stopped using paper napkins altogether, which feels good. Dinner-sized napkins are usually about 18″ square and luncheon-sized napkins are about 15″ square. Cut out your squares of fabric and serge all sides. Add some embroidered detailing or a lino-block print and these make an awesome gift.

TIP: I use fray check on the ends to keep the serged thread from unravelling.

Doing a rolled hem is different on all sergers, but there are some excellent tips here.


  1. Concha – You can also get a rolled hem foot for your sewing machine. It’s not quite the same effect, but you still get the rolled hem look.

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