Thursday, October 31, 2013

Project: Eskimo Retro

Brighten your colder weather wardrobe with color and style.  Fleece is a delightfully versatile and varied fabric, and it’s easy to work with, wear, and wash.

This extra-warm scarf and mitten set leave plenty of ways to add embellishments that suit your personal style — or that of the lucky person you’re sewing for. 

Photo © Kevin Kennefick

Eskimo Retro
Decorative ribbons and a faux fur trim add personality and flair to this stylish scarf and mitten set. The easy-to-make scarf is double-thickness for extra warmth, and the mittens are custom cut. If fur isn’t your style, there are plenty of cuff options: crocheted edging, bias binding, or anything else you can dream up.

Time: 1 Hour

Stuff You Need
(for both scarf and mittens)
  • 1 yard of 58"–60" medium-weight fleece
  • 1⅛ yard of 1" embroidered ribbon
  • 1⅝" yard of ⅜" grosgrain ribbon
  • ⅝ yard of faux fur trim 
  • ½ yard of ½" elastic
  • Matching or contrasting polyester thread
What You’ll Do
  • Cut out, stitch, and embellish your scarf 
  • Draw a mitten pattern
  • Cut out and embellish the mittens
  • Stitch the elastic and sides
  • Our finished scarf size: 7" x 50" 
  • Our finished mitten size: 7" x 12"
Make the Scarf
  1. Cut it out. Using a rotary cutter, straight edge, and cutting mat (see page 19), cut a 15" x 51" rectangle. If you decide to make a wider scarf, check that you have enough fabric and ribbon for embellishment.

  2. Stitch it. Fold the scarf with right sides together, lengthwise. Stitch the raw edges together using a ½" seam allowance. Leave a 3"-wide opening for turning. Clip the corners and turn the scarf right sides out. Hand-sew the opening closed.

  3. Embellish it. Choose one side of the scarf to embellish with ribbons. Cut the 1" wide ribbon into two 8" pieces and cut the narrow ribbon into four 8" pieces. Position them as shown about 4" away from the ends of the scarf, with the narrow ribbon overlapping the wide ribbon by about  ⅛". Turn under the raw ends of each ribbon piece and pin or baste them in place. Stitch through all layers along both sides of each narrow ribbon.
Note: If the ribbons are sliding around too much, baste the wide ribbon in place first, then pin and stitch the narrow ones.

Make the Mittens
  1. Draw the pattern. Place your hand on a piece of paper, with your fingers slightly apart. Using a pencil, trace a mitten shape around your hand, allowing about ½" of space between the pencil line and your fingers. Draw a cutting line ½" away from the traced line. Draw a line at the wrist bone, to mark the where the elastic will go. Draw the length of the mitten as desired (ours extends about 3" past the wrist bone) and add ½" for seam allowance.

  2. Cut the fleece. On a cutting surface, fold a section of fleece with right sides together. Make sure that the direction of greatest stretch runs horizontally. Use the pattern to cut out a total of four mitten pieces: two for the right hand and two for the left. With chalk or a fabric marker, mark the elastic placement line on the wrong side of each mitten piece.

  3. Stitch one side. With right sides together, stitch the outer edge of two mittens pieces as shown using a ½" seam allowance. End about 4" to 5" above the elastic placement line. Repeat for the second mitten, then open both mittens flat and finger-press the seam allowances open.

  4. Embellish. Cut both the wide ribbon and the narrow ribbon into two pieces. For each mitten: Pin the wide ribbon ½" away from the hem and pin the narrow ribbon above it, overlapping by about ⅛". Stitch along the length of the ribbons. Cut the faux fur trim into two pieces and place its seam edge beneath the mitten edge. Stitch through all layers (ribbon, fleece, and fur edge) twice with seams about ¼" apart.

  5. Stitch the elastic. On the wrong side of each mitten, measure the width of the elastic placement line. Subtract one inch and cut two pieces of elastic to this length. Pin each end of the elastic to a mitten seam allowance and hold the elastic taut while you zigzag it in place.

  6. Finish the side seams. Fold each mitten in half, with right sides together. Stitch through all layers around each mitten’s edges. Clip the seam allowances of all curves and turn the mittens right sides out. (See Sewing a Curved Line, below.)
Sewing a Curved Line 
The majority of seams in this book are straight seams — a piece of cake. One exception is the mittens, which have inward (concave) and outward (convex) curves. Whenever you sew a curved edge it helps to clip or notch the seam allowance of the curved piece before turning the right sides out. Otherwise, the seam will pull or bunch up when you turn it. Generally notches are cut into outward curves, and inward curves are clipped. The idea is to cut up to — but not through — the seam stitching. How many clips or notches you need, and how far apart to cut them, is for you to decide. Do whatever works for the shape you are sewing.

In woven fabrics, even milder curves like those in a waistband, crotch, or armhole need clipping. Stretchy fleece, however, can usually accommodate such curves — yet one more shortcut advantage to using this fabric!

Excerpted from Sew What! Fleece © 2007 by Carol Jessop and Chaila Sekora. All rights reserved.

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