Introduction: No Knit 4th Doctor Look-alike Scarf
This is a “look-alike” scarf for my fem 4th Doctor cosplay and I have made a few alterations to make it look more in character. Additionally, this is a no crochet, no knitting method so it does not have the large woven scarf look of the iconic classic Who character. However! :) It is not as heavy and is made of lighter material, which is a HUGE plus as I frequent conventions during the summer. I have adapted my pattern from doctorwhoscarf.com and converted the rows of yarn into inches so I could measure my fabric. This a great project for people just learning to use a sewing machine since there are no complicated stitches. If you need some help getting started using your sewing machine, check out this very helpful introduction: WikiHow to Use a Sewing Machine Though I would also recommend consulting your sewing machine owner’s manual. If you do not have one, do a web search for “owner’s manual” with the name and model number of your machine.
Step 1: Materials I Used
(4) scarves: red, brown, green, and yellow – $1.00 each
(3) pieces of fabric: purple, tan, and blue – $1.31 each (Heads up, not all fabric places let you get 1/4 of a yard. So if you’re doing this on the cheap make sure you’re not buying a full yard for each color)
(1) spool of brown thread – $2.79 (look for a color that will not clash with all the colors you are working with)
Step 2: Getting Started
My first stop (as with most of my cosplays) was the Goodwill. I typically have a very strict budget so I try to keep costs low without affecting the quality and overall concept of my design/idea. Often it is better and cheaper to buy a shirt, jacket, etc and scrap it for parts then it is to buy the exact fabric you need at a fabric store. For this build I also wanted the final scarf to somewhat resemble the woven look but not actually be woven or knitted. If you use actual knitted material the fabric will unwind and you may not be able to sew together (it’s possible, but VERY tricky). I was lucky enough to find four scarves of roughly the same material and aesthetics on the first trip out. One scarf even had multiples of the colors I needed, which meant extra savings! Score!!
The downside to shopping at the Goodwill means you’re not going to get an exact replica of the item you are creating. As Bob Ross said those are not “mistakes, just happy little accidents”. So let your project be unique! I’ve cosplayed long enough to know that as long as you get the “feel” of the character you are portraying then no one will notice (or care) if there are small differences. Here is a quick video on how to judge the best material while shopping at the thrift store.
Step 3: Fabric Store Hunt
If you want a more consistent/reliable material source than a thrift shop, check out your local fabric stores and come prepared with what you’re looking for. Some fabric stores can be a scary and overwhelming place...
Step 4: Tips & Tricks Video
Before jumping straight to it, make sure you check out my video for some helpful tips and tricks to keep in mind while working through the rest of the steps in this Instructable.
Step 5: Important!! Wash & Dry Fabrics
If you have not done so already make sure to wash and dry ALL your materials before making any cuts. This will ensure there will be no surprise shrinkage in your fabrics when you wash them for the first time after making your scarf. This is especially important if you are using different fabrics. Your very, very long scarf can turn into a very short one reeeeal quick.
If your fabric does shrink and you do not have enough to complete this project you can simply make adjustments to the size of each piece. Just make sure you keep the pattern of colors consistent.
Also, watch out for your K-9 unit. He likes to roll around in fresh laundry.
Step 6: Scarf Patterns
Here are my notes and alterations for the pattern I used. I also laid out my scarf and added clearer measurements and direction. I based mine off of the season 16 and 17 scarf pattern that I found on doctorwhoscarf.com. The link will take you directly to the PDF of the measurements I used.
Step 7: Staying Organized
Keep a printed copy of whichever pattern you want to follow beside you for quick reference. There’s nothing worse in the crafting realm than having to rip seams out repeatedly. It is best to work in sections, so only cut the fabric you need when you need it.
After cutting all the fabric you need for the particular section you are working on, organize the colors according to your pattern. This step isn’t necessary but it aids you in the sewing process.This way you can focus on a single task on your sewing machine rather having to go back and forth assembling the pattern and comparing to your notes.
Before running your first stitch, make sure you have tested your sewing machine by running a piece of fabric with the correct zigzag size you’ll be using. To choose different settings and adjust the size of the zigzag consult your sewing machine owner’s manual. Test multiple zigzag stitches for stretch. This will depend on the amount of give or stretch you want the seam to have when you pull at both ends. This will vary by fabric and preference so do multiple tests to before you begin.
Verify that the top of the fabric and the side which you are sewing has a 90 degree angle. If does not then use your ruler to cut straight lines down the sides to give you a squared corner. Repeat steps on next piece as you go along.
Place the fabric pieces on top of one another (keeping the squared corners and straightened sides aligned) and very gently pin together. Keep in mind which sides of the fabric you are using. The visible outward facing sides (I call it “the pretty side”) should be laid down face to face, so when the fabric is opened up (after sewing a stitch) the seam will not be seen.
We can now begin sewing! Place you fabric underneath the foot of the machine. Take care in lining up where the zigzag stitch will be laid and give the material enough room. When you bring the foot down take the pin that’s closest to the foot out and leave the remaining pins in. You want to remove each pin before it goes through the foot of the machine. Bring the pressure foot down and push down on the foot petal to begin moving the feed dog. To prevent your seam from unraveling you need to create a back-stitch. To do so: Allow the feed dog to move your fabric along and create about ½” stitch. Then, use the backward function on your machine for about a ¼”, stop and let go of button, then proceed normally. Some machines have automatic back-stitching buttons so ignore the steps on how to back-stitch if your sewing machine does it for you. Either way, practice this technique before doing it on your valuable fabric.
Once you have reached the end of the fabric back-stitch again. Lift up the pressure foot and make sure the needle is up in the highest position. If the needle is engaged the thread will not release your fabric. Adjust the hand wheel to lift the needle further if your fabric does not easily pull away from your machine.
Repeat these steps until you have completed the pattern.
Photo courtesy: Makeit-Loveit.com (because I have a weird back-stitch button)
Step 12: Final Steps
Fold the scarf in half lengthwise as you do one continuous stitch down the joining ends. Make sure the scarf is folded inside out. After you are done stitching the seam down the side grab one end of the scarf and pull it through the tube.
Your No Knit 4th Doctor Look-alike Scarf is now complete!! :)