do your pins: to the infinity power

It’s pretty mind-blowing that this is the second post on this young blog that has something to do with neckwear. OK, maybe not mind-blowing. But it is surprising, considering that I’ve only possessed one scarf in my lifetime, purchased during my stint living in Utah, and even that only got worn a few times. I’m hot-natured and have lived most of my life in a hot-and-getting-hotter climate, but even more so, I simply don’t like anything fitted around my neck. Never have worn turtlenecks (not even mock), high necklines bug me, and I tend to button up only as high as necessary for propriety’s sake. :)

infinity cowl scarfness

That’s precisely why cowls/infinity scarves/whatever-you-wanna-call-them are perfect for me — and are even better when I choose the fabric from which they’re made. So now, I present a few of the distinguished advantages of the wise old cowl:

wear it loose or snug!

use a wide variety of fabric weights & content!

makes a perfect gift!

sews up oh-so-quickly!

great accessory!

excellent scrap-buster!

Actually, I’m going to go a step further than just scrap-bustability. For someone like me who is SO prone to stashing, I often see a fabric I fall in love with — then, being uncertain about what I’ll do with it, I buy three yards justincase. Being faced with this exact scenario recently, my friend Miss Lulu reminded me that I could just get half a yard and enjoy it as a cowl. So I did, and here’s the result…

red bamboo sweater knit infinity scarf

This red one is a bamboo sweater knit from The Common Thread in Austin. It is scrumptiously soft and having it around my neck feels incredible! The one in the top picture is made from a silk velvet burnout that was a glorious splurge from TexStyles, also in Austin. [I love all my local fabric stores!! We’re getting more all the time too, which is awesome. When you’re in the area, I also highly recommend Fabricker and Stitched Fabric Boutique — my stash contains gems from both of these places that you’ll see here at some point!]

Anyway, regarding technique. I’ve been making these from this video tutorial, which I highly recommend, even for a very first sewing project. If your fabric is 54″ to 60″ wide, you can make it from 1/2 to 2/3 of a yard, depending on the desired width. But if it’s 45″, especially if it’s woven, you’ll need about a yard and a half — but you’ll be able to make 2 cowls with this amount and avoid last-minute gift shopping for some lucky friend at a later time…

you can double it up too, though i usually don't :)

Recently, my mom and Aunt Carol came over for a day of sewing fun, and among our makes that day were a few of these cowls. The black and white floral that my aunt (on the left) is wearing is a cotton voile, purchased a while back from Fabric Mart. The other one, on my mom, is a cotton jersey still in stock from Mood.

beautiful neckwear for gorgeous ladies!

I’ve even got a cowl on the knitting needles, but that’s a whole ‘nother post. Have you tried this method of cowl construction? Do you have one that you like better?

Comments 5

  • Susan…all of those scarves are beautiful. Yes they do make a perfect gift…I made some for Christmas presents. The ones I made were infinity like yours, only I used 3 strips of contrasting fabric and made them ‘spiral’ before sewng the ends together. I followed Linda’s directions at http://dragonthreadsopenbook.blogspot.com/2011/03/koos-mobius-spiral-scarf.html They are fun to make!!!
    Just so you know, I DID NOT follow the 1st part of her directions…mine were more simplified, but turned out very pretty. First I cut three 2 1/2 yard long strips of contrasting fabric. (I used knit fabric) I sewed the 3 strips together. Then I followed her directions from step five through the end. It looks a lot harder than it actually is. I’m going to make some cowel length the same way. At this point I’m not sure how long to cut the strips. Of course they come out shorter because of the spiral. I hope you try one of hers…I think you would like making them.

    Hi Judi! Thank you so much for letting me know about this tutorial; I hadn’t seen it before and will definitely try it! My wheels had already started to turn about using some different fabrics within the same scarf, so I’m very glad to know about this technique. I appreciate you letting me know the changes you made, as well! ~Susan

  • Ok…first up…how alike do you ladies look! It’s so lovely!
    Secondly…I’ve never been a fan of these scarves…until. I LOVE that velvet fabric. I think I would sleep in it! Gorgeous.

    Thanks Evie, it feels every bit as wonderful as it looks! :)

  • I love your velvety scarf!

    Thanks Gail — it’s definitely my favorite one too!

  • Sounds like a fun day! Good for you letting your Mom have a little of that grafittied jersey, I know how much you love it. I think we need to do a meetup where we just make these from our scraps.

    Good idea! We could even incorporate a swapping element to infuse cowls into our wardrobe from fabric we don’t already have!

  • I love cowls. They dress you up in a jiffy. Your velvety one is so nice.

    It’s awesome that Austin’s fabric scene is growing. My dream was to open a fabric shop there…Sigh. One day :) Maybe.

    We have room for another one for sure! :)

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