Gathered Merino Jersey Scarf, a Tutorial.

Full and cozy, made from Merino wool jersey.

Just in time for holiday gift giving, both of my sisters have birthdays. I am working on some quick gifts that are cozy and warm and wearable, as one of the afore mentioned sisters has just left sunny LA for a life in Eugene, OR where she stands to be much much colder this winter.

Some of the lovely ever-changing colors of merino jersey.

I have had the hots for the Merino wool jersey at Bolt for quite some time, and after a little wander through the isles of favorite boutiques, I have seen some cozy jersey scarves made more stylish with some elastic thread gathers and sweet little rolled hems. None of them seemed super warm though, more of the fall or spring scarf. So to winter up the jersey scarf trend, I decided try it with merino instead of cotton.

Her is how I did it:

some of my thread options. I decided to go with Fuchsia Maxi-Lock Stretch in the end, which is not pictured here.
  • I used a precut remnant from the bin at Bolt, chosen not for it’s precut nature, but for its color, which will look stunning on my blue-eyed sister. It was 1 1/4 yard, and I believe 60″ wide. Generously sized, and long enough to get nice and cozy.
  • You do not need a serger for this, but I found mine very helpful, as I used the flat-lock stitch as well as a rolled hem.
  • Thread-wise, you will need elastic thread, one spool (something to coordinate with your fabric as best as possible, I used navy), as well as some matching thread for your center seam.
  • Thread for your rolled hem, preferably a stretch thread like Maxi-Lock Stretch.
rotary cutters and long rulers are perfect for cutting squares, especially wiggly knit fabrics which can be extra squirrely with scissors.

Square up your fabric and trim the edges very neatly, use a rotary cutter to achieve the smoothest cut on jersey. I just folded my fabric in half, then in half the lengthwise way and had two long pieces about 20″ wide.

Using lots of pins can really help when working with shifty knit fabrics, even with short straight seams.

First pinning, join two of the short ends, right sides together with a flat-lock seam on your serger. This is a wonderful seam that will hardly show when finished and leave a nice flat join for the two pieces.

flat-lock seam as sewn
flat-lock seam from one side
flat-lock seam from the other side

If you don’t have access to a serger, to a zig-zag, overlapping the layers and trim the overlap back to the threads. Or do a french seam, and stitch the finished edge of the seam down securely.

Finish your edges. Rolled hems are lovely in either contrast or coordinating thread. I choose fuchsia, but I may reconsider and go over it with gray, just not sure how I feel about the fuchsia in the end. You don’t have to finish your edges at all, as jersey doesn’t fray, but it does add a professional touch.

For the elastic thread, wind your bobbin by hand. Yes, by hand. Sit there and wrap the elastic thread around the bobbin till its full. Do not stretch it while you wind. It takes about 2 minutes, and you will need more than one bobbin’s worth of thread, so do them both now.

Mark the center of your fabric with a ruler and chalk marker or hera marker and sew down the center with the right side of the jersey up.

Put coordinating thread in your needle and the elastic thread in your bobbin.

Sew down the first marked line. It should easily ruche up the fabric and create a nice gathered affect. You can adjust the stitch length slightly longer if you need to.

Seam guides make sewing with elastic thread faster, there is very little marking needed for perfectly straight seams

Using a seam guide that attaches to the back of your presser foot, set the preferred width for the next rows, I choose 2.5 inches, but let your fabric width be the guide. Stitch remaining rows.

Leave long tails of thread and elastic thread, when you are finished, pull your needle thread to the back and knot the two together to secure the elastic. Trim.

Now go make another one for your sister, you will likely decide to keep this one for yourself.

If you need a serger, rotary-cutting equipment, or stretch thread, all are available for use or purchase at Modern Domestic. We are happy to make these things available for use during Open Sewing.

One Response to “Gathered Merino Jersey Scarf, a Tutorial.”

  1. karen

    *sigh* amazing. I totally have the hots for that jersey, too.

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