Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Don't Try This at Home!

I love Threads magazine. For one, it is a gift from my Aunt Rita (until July this year, when I will renew the subscription myself). Also, it has amazing ideas in it for sewing creatively. I read each issue faithfully from cover to cover and enjoy browsing past issues over and over again. Not that I sew very much. I'm just a wannabe whose skills are very much in the beginner category.

Which was why I thought surely this Endless Tube Scarf, listed as a
Quick to Make item would surely be within the scope of even my limited skills. All you do is sew a much of rectangles of fabric together to make a long rectangle, then sew the length of the long rectangle. Finally, you pull the ends of the tube back on itself and join them in the middle. This creates a tube through which you can pull the different segments of scarf so that different fabric combinations show.

The author encouraged one to use lush, luxurious fabrics and even to combine different types to get a variety of interesting effects. I made this scarf over 3 times before I decided to give it a miss.

The first time I thought I'd just been careless in the construction that one could see the stitching in places. When I took it all apart I measured and pinned it very carefully. The second time I realised that mixing fabrics of different weights made portions of the scarf hang funny rather than draping in the way one would wish. The third time I was careful to use all fabric rectangles of approximately the same weight and draping qualities, but I still was disappointed in the result.

What I learned was that the lovely fluid cloth is the
dickens to work with -- it slides all over the place. Also, that one wants a bit of ruffle or tassels or even a slanted edge to the bottom of a long scarf and the construction of this tube doesn't allow for that. So, it doesn't meet my criteria for being quick to make at all, at least not quick to make and make well. If anyone who reads this has made this scarf successfully, I'd love to hear any advice about how to do better.

Sadly, in my enthusiasm for making Christmas and other presents, I bought a ton of small bits of fabric from Jo-Ann Fabrics in Oklahoma City. The girl who cut through the cartload of my selections asked what I was going to make. I described this scarf from
Threads magazine and said I thought in addition to gifts it would be nice to sell on Etsy. She said a lot of their customers had had the same idea. Last I checked, though, there weren't any for sale there.

I wonder if they had the same sort of problems I did? So what else am I going to do with all these crushed velvet, silk crepe and brocade bits? Ideas?


Anonymous said...

You could try a quilt for your bed.


Anonymous said...

The quilt sounds a good idea for the unused material but your failed attempts at the scarf remind me of your post on keeping warm. You could fill them with stuffing & they would work at treat for keeping out the drafts from under doors. You could tell everyone that is what you were really planning to do with them. As we have had a couple of nice cooler 30 deg days but are heading for more of the 40's keeping warm seems an odd topic at the moment.
"cousin" Sharon, Australia