Introduction: Faux Fur Mobius Infinity Scarf With Hidden Pocket
One of my coworkers has a faux fur scarf that I admire every time she wears it, and when this Warm and Fuzzy contest popped up I thought "what a perfect excuse to make one!"
There are other faux fur infinity scarf tutorials out there, but what makes this one different is that it is also a mobius, and it has a secret pocket for things like your phone or keys. (Neither of these ideas are unique, but I did combine them with some tips scattered through.)
- 1/2 yard 56"-60"-wide faux fur fabric - you want this to have a fair amount of drape; a stiff fabric will not have the same kind of feel and will stand up more around you neck. (But it will work! It's your project, make it the way you want to.)
- fabric for the pocket - minimum size per pocket is 14" x 8", can be woven or knit
- zipper - approximately 7", can be regular or invisible, to blend with the color of the fur
- measuring tape or acrylic ruler and/or straight edge - this is a way to measure and mark a line
- marking tool - I use a chalk wheel liner but you could use tailor's chalk, a white pencil, sidewalk chalk with a good point/edge, or even a silver permanent marker depending on the color of your faux fur--as long as you can see the marking on the back and it doesn't show through to the front you're good to go
- sewing machine
- thread to match your fabric
- masking tape or vacuum to clean up all the fuzzy bits that will be everywhere from the faux fur
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Step 1: Lay Out and Cut Your Faux Fur Fabric
You will want to have your fuzz-taming tool(s) ready for cutting the faux fur.
Fold your fabric right-sides together, matching the selvage (non-cut/factory-finished) edges, which will make it approximately 18" x 30", assuming you purchased a half-yard of fabric. If you bought more than that, you'll need to cut a half-yard piece from your yardage.
Fold it in half again so that it's 18" x 15". I folded mine that way so that it was easier to handle and so that I could measure and mark with my 24" acrylic ruler, but use whatever works for you.
In most cases the way the fabric was cut at the fabric store is not going to be a fantastic cut, so you'll probably want to trim it so that it has straight edges. A successful scarf width is anything between 15" and 18" so there is some wiggle room if you need to cut off a bit to make the edges straight.
I bought a little over a yard (there was 1 1/3 yards on the bolt, so how could I pass that up???) and needed to trim mine to width, but either way the cutting process is the same--you'll need to true up both edges.
Once I'd folded my yardage in half and in half again longwise (parallel to the selvages), using my chalk wheel liner I marked a line parallel to the folded edges so that the narrowest part of the fabric was about 1/2" away from the cut line. Using scissors, cut through all four layers along the marked line.
Gently flip back the fabric from your cut line and use your fuzz-taming tool at this point. Trust me. Keep ahead of the fuzz.
Now you'll mark and trim the other cut side in the same way.
Don't forget to use the fuzz-taming tool again. Avoid letting the fuzz hit critical mass because then you'll be tempted to do something crazy like run your hand along the table, gathering up the fuzz. Don't do it. Try to keep up with it instead. At this point, while standing over a trash can or bag, gently pinch the cut edges, removing bits of trimmed fur and letting it fall into the trash can. This is your best strategy for avoiding having fake fur everywhere. I'm still not sure how it got all over my phone screen, my pants, the chair, the carpet, the table, in my teeth.... (I wish I was kidding about that.)
Step 2: Lay Out and Cut Your Pocket Fabric
Now you'll cut your pocket fabric.
You want two squares that are approximately 8" square--there's some wiggle room here. The goal is to have the pocket be slightly wider than your zipper-teeth section to make sewing it in easier, and deep enough to hold a phone or sunglasses. You don't want it to be deeper than the width of the finished scarf because the excess fabric that bunches in the pocket will make it harder to fish things out. Also, you don't want to make the pocket so large that you really have to fish around in there.
The way I cut my pocket fabric was to cut a rectangle that as 8" wide by 13.5" long, then I cut it in half and marked the wrong sides with a chalk X. If you're using a fabric where the right and wrong sides are more obvious you don't have to mark the wrong sides.
Step 3: Zipper, Side 1, Part 1
This looks more complicated than it is, I promise. Also, this is not the "normal" way to install a zipper in clothing--it's the way you'd install a zipper in a bag. Because of the nature of the faux fur there's a lot more wiggle room/room for fudging things.
First, measure approximately 11 3/4" from the short end of the faux fur fabric and place a pin to mark that measurement. (Photo 1). Mark a line where the pin is on the wrong side using your chalk, then remove the pin. (Confession: for the second and following cowls, once things were cut I stopped actually measuring anything and just eyeballed where I wanted the zipper to go.)
After making the second one of these I realized that there's no need to mark the other side. Since this is so narrow, just folding it in half and lining up the second side will be plenty.
Measure 7" further down from the marks and place a second set of marks. This is where the opening for the zipper will be.
Pin the zipper to the faux fur between the marks, with the right side of the zipper facing the right side of the fur. (Photo 3). Please note that because I used an invisible zipper it looks like mine is places with the wrong side of the zipper facing the right side of the fabric, but the zipper pull will indicate the right side in this case.
Once the zipper is pinned in place, lay one side of the pocket on top of the fur/zipper sandwich, with the right side of the pocket facing the right side of the fur, as shown in photo 4. Pin all three layers in place.
I pinned the fur and zipper together, then added the pocket and removed the zipper/fur pins once all three layers were held with pins because I was having a hard time controlling all three layers.
Step 4: Zipper, Side 1, Part 2 - the Sewing
Sewing with faux fur can be challenging for a number of reasons:
- little fuzz bits get everywhere, as I mentioned earlier
- you can't see where you've sewn, at least on the right side
- it tends to move around a bit when you've got right-sides together, since there's usually a bit of a directional nap
- because it's typically on a knit base, if you pull on it, the edges will curl a big
Don't let those challenges stop you! It's so worth it.
So, back to the sewing.
In the photos I used a wide zig-zag, but in later versions I decided to just use a very narrow zig-zag and shoot for approximately 1/4" in from the edge. Note that I said approximately--this is not the time for precise sewing. As long as the edges are all caught, and not just the fur fibers, you'll be fine with a little bit of imprecision.
With your sandwich ready to go (fur, zipper, pocket as in the first photo), sew the three layers together. Confession: I didn't worry too much about sewing to the very end of the zipper ends; I started stitching about 3/8" above the start of the zipper, and stopped a tiny bit after the end of the zipper. The zipper head is more bulky than the rest of it and sewing around it can be tricky. You can unzip the zipper a bit, start sewing, close the zipper up again, and complete the seam to not have wonky-ness. Or, because it's fake fur, just go for it.
Once you've attached the fur and pocket to the zipper, it's time to move to the other side.
Step 5: Zipper, Side 2
Position the sewn parts as in the first photo, with the seam at the top and the pocket facing you.
Flip the pocket fabric up, exposing the back side of the zipper (picture 2), and then flip all of that to the back side of the fur and pin it together so that the zipper is sticking up (picture 3) and the pocket is held out of the way with pins (picture 4).
Bring the opposite side of the tube up to line up so that the long edges are together and use pins to mark where the zipper and pocket will go on the opposite side of the already-sewn part (picture 5).
Lining up the unsewn side of the zipper between the pins (picture 6), put the right side of the fur against the right side of the zipper (picture 7), then the right side of the pocket fabric just like with the first side of the zipper (picture 8).
Sew as in the first side of the zipper. Unpin the pocket and make sure that the zipper is (mostly) centered and that there aren't any holes where the fur didn't catch in the seam.
Step 6: Sewing the Sides of the Pocket
At this point, reach in and unzip the zipper 3/4 of the way. Do it now. Trust me.
Line up the sides of the pocket and sew each side, catching the fabric of the zipper and sewing as far as you can toward the zipper teeth without sewing across them.
Step 7: Sewing the Long Edge
This gets really hard to see in the fur, so do your best for this part.
Start with sewing from the pocket to the end of the tube, along the shorter section. Line up the long edges of the tube and pin every few inches, matching the cut edges. You can go ahead and do this for the whole length if you want, but I work with one side and then the other to minimize losing pins.
The trickiest part is getting the ends of the zipper encased in fabric so that there aren't holes.
To do this, you'll fold the fabrics toward the pocket, including as much of the zipper fabric as you can. The goal is to join the two seams on the sides of the zipper with the seam of the long edge, so that there aren't any gaps between the end of the zipper and the seam. This is easier said than done, but the fur is your friend in this case because the zipper is going to kind of get visually eaten in the fur and won't be obvious.
So, line up the edges and attempt to start your seam where the side of the pocket seam meets the zipper. I tried to capture this in the fourth and sixth pictures but between the black fabrics and the fur, it's not easy to see either for taking photos or while you're working with it. This is one of those things that will make sense once you're in the situation.
Be sure you're backstitching at the start of the seam to lock the stitches. Don't be afraid to stitch this part more than once--there's no shame in sewing it a little deeper the second time, and trust me--no one will be able to see if it's taken multiple tries to get everything sewn closed.
Sew to the end of the cut edges, backstitching when you get to the selvage.
Repeat these steps for the other part of the long edges. This will result in a long tube.
Be sure that your zipper is at least 3/4 unzipped before this next step.
Step 8: Sewing the Short End
Once the seam joining the long edges is finished, it's time to put the twist into the tube.
Normally when sewing a tube you'd match up the seam, but to make this a Mobius we're going to twist one edge halfway around.
We're not being exact about this process so you can fold the tube in half so that the seam is to one side. Then pinch or put a pin to mark the halfway point from the seam, and rotate the inner part of the folded tube so that the seams are opposite each other.
Line up the edges, pin them in place, and sew with a 1/4" to 1/2" seam allowance.
Step 9: "Birthing" the Cowl, or Turning Things Right Side Out and Finishing
Once you've got the ends sewn, you might be wondering how you're going to turn it the right side out. This is why we haven't sewn the bottom of the pocket yet and why I reminded you so many times to make sure the zipper is unzipped. (I forgot this step once and had to kind of manipulate the fabric so I could grab the zipper pull with the fabric between my fingers and grab the pull, open the zipper about two inches, then reach in through the pocket and unzip the rest of the way. I do not recommend doing it this way.)
Reach down into the pocket and grab one of the layers of the fur and pull it through the pocket opening.
When the cowl is turned right side out, the last step is to finish the pocket.
Because I used a knit fabric I could get away with not finishing that seam; if the fabric for the pocket is woven, you'll want to zigzag the bottom and sew a seam. For a knit fabric, you can just sew the seam.
Since this is the inside of pocket I just flattened out the pocket and sewed across the bottom.
Tuck the pocket into the scarf and enjoy your new zippered-pocket Mobius infinity faux fur cowl! It's up to you whether or not you want to make more of them, but be prepared that people will ask you to make one for them, especially if you show them it's got a pocket.
Step 10: Wear and Enjoy!
Enjoy your warm cowl!
To wash it, follow the instructions on the fabric bolt, or hand wash and hang to dry. You can fluff the fur a bit with your hands after it dries.
Runner Up in the
Warm and Fuzzy Challenge