Upcycled Victorian-esque Ruffle Scarf (In Less Than an Hour, and Less Than 5 Dollars!)




Introduction: Upcycled Victorian-esque Ruffle Scarf (In Less Than an Hour, and Less Than 5 Dollars!)

About: I aim to fill my quarter-life crisis with glitter and shiny things.

Have you ever thought to yourself,
"Well Self, here we are again in the midst of winter, with nothing around our necks but a cold chill and the cruel memory of a summer that once was"?
Of course you have! 

To remedy that problem, I hereby present the Victorian-ish Ruffle Scarf.

No more will your neck be cold!
No more will you have too-small turtlenecks sitting forlorn in your closet!
No more will you outfit be lacking the addition of ruffles!

But I can't guarantee that you will stop talking to yourself.

Step 1: Assemble Your Materials!

Go to your nearest thrift store, mother's closet or dumpster behind Macy's and find yourself a nice warm, but unwanted sweater. 

A good sweater for this project:
 A. Has some stretch to it
 B. Is not too itchy 
 C. Should cost you less than 5 dollars (bonus points if you get it for free)
 C. Is a color that you would like to wear around your neck!

You will also need a pair of scissors and a sewing machine.

Step 2: Cut It Out!

Cut a straight line from armpit to armpit, and separate the body from the arms and neck. 
Cut off the bottom hem.

Now you will have a circular rectangle thing.
Cut off the seam at one side, giving you one big rectangle.

Finally, cut this big rectangle in half lengthwise (hot-dog style), so you end up with two long thinner rectangles.

Step 3: Puttin' the Pieces Back Together.

Now, pin together the two thin rectangles with right sides facing. 
Lug out your sewing machine and sew the pieces together, first with a straight stitch, then with a zig-zag stitch. 

Hooray, now you have one looooooong rectangle.

Step 4: "Lettuce" Commence the Sewing.

Set your sewing machine to a zig-zag stitch and sew around the entire perimeter of the scarf, stretching the fabric as you sew.
What this means is you grasp the side of the fabric you have yet to sew (the fabric going into the sewing machine) and pull it towards you. This should give you a nice 'lettuce' edge.

If you are having trouble with this and you need a little more visual stimulus, check out a video example of this technique from Threadbanger:


It is around the 6 minute mark.

Step 5: Pleat-tonic Relationships.

Lay the scarf out and fold it over itself, until you get little pleat-life ruffle things (for lack of a better word).
Pin them in place.
You can do this however you like, mine are about 1-1.5 inches wide. 

If you have the patience, you can arrange the pleats to hide the seams of the sweater.
When you fold the pleats, center the seam on the inside of the "S" the fabric makes.
If you do this right, you won't be able to notice the seams after you sew it!

Step 6: Finish Things Off.

Finally, sew a zig-zag stitch straight down the middle of the scarf.
Take out the pins, fluff out your scarf and promenade around town!
They are all so jealous. 


-You could pin together pieces of different sweaters to make a longer, multi-colored scarf.
-Play around with the colors of your thread for some interesting scarf-thread contrasting action!
-You could use elastic thread to sew the line down the middle of your scarf to make it more stretchy.
-Find a way to accomplish this scarf on a serger, but I don't have one (sad face) so I can't tell you how. 
-Make one for your mom! Make one for your dog! Make one for your snowman!

Thanks for reading my first instructable! Hope you liked it!

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    Finally got around to make this scarf. About two years ago I got a free fleece sweater with an order I did at a well known French cosmetics company. Nice colour, soft fabric but lousy fit. So it lived in my closed for nearly two years. Now it has come to life as a scarf! Thank you so much for the tutorial. I wrote about it on my weblog and included a link to this page.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I gave it a shot, and I think it came out pretty nice, though the stitching was too fine to make it very ruffly. (I'm also not too skilled with a sewing machine.) This was a fine reddish merino wool scarf I found at Goodwill for about $4, I think. I used a blue thread for contrast. The photo isn't great, but hopefully you get the idea.


    11 years ago on Step 6

    i absolutely love this and plan on making some... thinking i could upcycle some t-shirts the same way! if they have a bit of lycra/spandex in them i think it will work!
    thanks so much for sharing!


    11 years ago on Step 6

    Just joined and looked through the sewing - absolutely have to make a few scarves as my friends will want them. thanks so much. you are brilliant!


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Adorable. I really like it. Now to find a sweater I can sacrifice!


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea- practical, cute, cheap and environmentally sound... and humorous as well :)


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Great instructable! The ruffles look great and now, thanks to you, I know how to make them!


    This is super cute. I've seen them made with crochet, but I like this idea much better.


    12 years ago on Introduction

     I've seen these and never knew how they were done - thank you for sharing!


    This was a great read and a great idea for recycling sweaters!

    I have 3 that are no longer wearable due to stretching or shrinking or, in one case a weird combination of the two - short arms and bagged tummy area.


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Nicely done! I don't think my el-basico sewing machine does zig-zag! Otherwise I would make one of these...