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How to sew a ruffled scarf {tutorial}

Mother’s Day has come around again. Our school has a Mother’s Day stall for fundraising, with gifts donated by parents. I like to make something to create a unique gift for someone’s Mum. Last year, I made a crochet skinny scarf. For some reason, scarves sound like a good idea to me, so I stuck with the same theme this year. This time I went the sewn option – a ruffled scarf:

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It’s made from a light, silky voile (leftover from my Sassy Librarian Blouse), and is doubled over so it’s pretty from all sides.

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It’s a quick sew, using half a yard of fabric, resulting in a fairly long scarf. You can always use less fabric for a shorter look. Any lighter-weight fabric would do the trick (and I used the same technique for my Peaches and Cream Barbie costume a while ago).

Here’s the tutorial for how to sew a ruffle scarf:


1/2 yard (45cm) of lightweight fabric (I used voile)
Matching thread
Scissors/Rotary Cutter
Sewing Machine
Overlocker/serger (optional)


1. Cut the 1/2 yard of fabric in half, from selvedge to selvedge, giving you two long strips quarter of a yard wide.

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2. With right sides together, sew the two pieces of fabric together along the short edge (giving you a really long strip of fabric).

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3. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise with right sides together. Starting from one folded edge, sew along the short edge, turn at the corner and sew along the long side until 2-3 inches before the centre seam. Repeat for the second side.

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4. Turn the fabric right side out through the gap at the centre seam.

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5. Move the fabric around so that the seam runs along the centre of the fabric (rather than at one edge) and press the fabric.

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The ends should naturally form a triangle that is double thickness. It’s a little bulky, but I think that helps weight the scarf down a little and keep it in position.

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6. Sewing a gathering stitch down the centre of the fabric, over the seam. I prefer to gather by setting my stitch length to the longest setting and putting my tension to maximum. This gives much more even gathers for me than pulling threads. Make sure you sew the gap for turning closed when you sew near the centre seam.

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7. My first attempt wasn’t quite gathered enough for my liking, so I did a second row of stitches.

And there you have a mass of ruffles, to make a cute scarf. Perfect to dress up my usual Mum uniform of T-shirt and jeans and keep my neck warm as the weather cools down.

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What’s your favourite type of scarf?


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