What is there not to like about a silk scarf? Do silk scarves ever go out of style? Perhaps the DIY silk scarf is even better, because you have the joy of knowing you made it yourself.
After receiving a piece of silk leftover from making saris, I knew I wanted to do something special with it, but I just didn’t have the urge to cut into it. I’ve written about my personal feelings about buying new silk here, when I made the upcycled off-shoulder top. While silk is definitely a more eco-friendly light-weight fabric option than say polyester designed to look like silk (because silk actually decomposes) the silk industry is run on the backs of silkworms. After learning about the politics of silk, I’m much more reluctant to buy it new, if I buy it at all, and I definitely value the beauty of unaltered silk.
So I decided to turn this piece into a silk scarf, so I could enjoy the print as well as the luxurious feel of it without ruining it. Also excited to show off these stitched up Dawn Jeans by Megan Nielsen. After working on denim nonstop, exclusively for Solstice, I decided to make a pair of pants from someone else’s pattern. Oh my goodness was that a nice break!
Sewing with lightweight fabric is hard when you don’t know what you’re doing, but I’m going to show you a simple technique for hemming that you can apply to make your own silk scarf, or hem whatever you’d like. I’ve used this technique on everything from blouses to dresses, to wedding dresses.
DIY SILK SCARF
- Large silk piece in either a rectangle or square shape. Or poly-silk. You could honestly upcycle a curtain to make this scarf, and I won’t judge you.
- Sewing machine with a size 10 needle
- Set your sewing machine to about a 4 stitch length and a 3 stitch width. I find the larger the stitch, the better for sewing lightweight fabrics. Fold the edge of your lightweight fabric over by 1/2 inch to 1 inch. You can pin if you want to, but I find it unnecessary. Sew along the very edge of your fold until the edge. Go slowly for a nice straight line.
2. Trim the excess fabric away along the stitches. You can see in mine that I’m trimming right up along the edge. Just don’t cut the stitches!
3. Fold your little hem over once more and sew along the edge. You’ve now encased the original seams and made a smooth finish. Iron if necessary.
4. Repeat on all four exposed sides, and wear your scarf with glee!