This post is also available in: Italian
Are you an expert refashioner or just starting to get interesting in it? If you’re interested in hearing my thoughts about refashioning, how I got started and some of my past messups, take a look at my interview as part of the Greeny Crafter series at Green Issues by Agy!
A year or so ago I pinned this cool crochet cowl which transforms into a shrug. Cool, right? Except a year or so ago I had absolutely zero idea how to crochet, but I figured that I could make it by refashioning a scarf. I meant to make it for myself, but I wasn’t particularly inspired by any of my scarves that I was willing to cut up. But when chance brought a too-short scarf for my daughter into my life, I knew just what to do with it!
My daughter’s school had a charity fundraiser last Christmas (which is why I made these Hopi Eye woven Christmas tree ornaments with her class) and my daughter won this scarf from a random grab bag.
It was yellow, Sofia’s favorite color and nicely knitted, however it was a) too short to be worn well and b) knit mostly in stockinette stitch, meaning that the edges all curved in, making it too chunky to be comfortable. But it was the perfect length to fit behind Sofia’s neck and under each arm, meeting on her back.
But those edges just kept curling in, ruining the effect. So I decided to use a piece of fuzzy polyester fabric left over from my refashioned animal hat and scarf sets as a backing to the scarf before turning it into a shrug. Do you want to give this project a try, too? If you have a regular scarf that doesn’t turn in at the edges, there’s no need to back it, but doing so does make it extra warm and cozy, not to mention reversible. Here’s how to do it!
1. Place the scarf on top of the fabric backing, right sides together. Pin them together. I had to use a lot of pins because of the scarf’s curling edges. Mark the beginning and end of the space you need to leave open in the center of one long side with double pins.
2. Sew around the whole scarf (except for where the opening will be) as close as possible to the edge of the scarf. Then trim any bits of backing fabric close to the edges.
3. Turn the scarf right sides out through the opening.
4. Close up the opening by hand using a ladder stitch. The fuzzy polyester hides the stitches really well.
5. Here’s the backed scarf. Now let’s join the ends.
6. Sew the ends of the scarf together by hand with a ladder stitch. If you want the shrug to be reversible, make sure to stick the needle where the two different fabrics meet (see photo above) and to help pull them together with only one of the fabrics showing on each side.
7. Now try the shrug on your model. I’d considered making this with snaps to keep the top and bottom together, but I wasn’t happy with the look, so I decided to just forgo the cowl function and just sew it together into a shrug. Join the top and bottom parts with safety pins starting in the center and going as far out as you want. Just make sure that the model can get it on and off on her own while it’s pinned together. Then join the two parts where the safety pins are with yet another ladder stitch.
And you’re done! If you were careful, you have a nicely reversible shrug!
By adding the non-stretchy polyester layer, the scarf was no longer stretchy, but it still fits nicely and is comfortable.
Comfortable enough to jump and play in! This is a great little garment to put on when you’re feeling a little chilly in the house. Or you could even make a cute summer version to cover your shoulders in the evening.
So pop this snug little shrug and a hat on, and you’re ready to roll!
Question of the day: What’s your favorite between-season garment?
We always do a lot of layering in the spring and we’re hardly ever wearing exactly the same thing before school, after school or before bed. I like wearing light cotton cardigans over my top and leggings under skirts and dresses which I can take off when it feels too warm for them.