Do you love scarves?  Or maybe you have a sister or friend who loves scarves?  I LOVE a good blanket scarf....and my closet shows it!  The cool thing about scarves is that they are super simple to make, particularly blanket scarves.  Literally you cut out a square of fabric....and that's just about it.  Let's review in detail...

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Start with a woven fabric...

I got this awesome woven "plaiditudes" fabric from Joann Fabrics at a steal, for $3.99/yard!  It is a pretty brown flannel with shades of brown and gray and a hint of blue.  I'm a big fan of various shades of brown, so this fits in with my closet well.

If you would like to create fringe on the edges of your scarf, it is best to use a woven fabric like this.  Shirting material and woven flannels are good choices.  If fringe does not make or break your day, you could pretty much use any fabric you would like.  BUT you would then have to finish the edges with a type of hem.

Plaid woven fabric for scarf

Start by cutting a perfect square...

Like I said, this is a SUPER easy beginner project!  We start off with a square of fabric, meaning the length and width measurements need to be the same.  Since this fabric is 45 inches wide, we need to cut a length of 45 inches to make a true "square".  This means that you will need 1 1/4 yard of cut length per scarf.

Since I got this fabric for a steal, this scarf cost me $5 to make.  So of course I bought several yards...remember, I have a serious fabric addiction and I am aware!

Let's review how to cut a largish piece of fabric, that doesn't quite fit on your self-healing cutting mat.

Cutting fabric for blanket scarf

My cutting mat is 24 by 36 inches, the largest that I have seen available for home use.  So when I need to cut something to a length of greater than 36 inches, it takes a little extra work and maneuvering to make that happen.

First square up the cut edge of your fabric.  If you need a review on this, see the post How to Use a Rotary Cutter to Square Fabric.

Next, line up your square cut edge to the end of your cutting mat and measure as far as your mat allows.  I can measure up to 35 inches.  Mark this point on your fabric, using pins placed vertically.

We need a cut length of 45 inches, so time for some basic math.

Since 35 inches have been measured and marked with pins, we need to determine how many more inches we need.

45"(need) - 35"(measured) = 10'(still needed)

Carefully slide your fabric to the right on your cutting mat, staying along a horizontal line.  Alight the pins you placed, with a vertical line and number.  You need 10 additional inches of length from the initial markings we made with the pins.

Cutting fabric for blanket scarf

Check your square...

Make your cut with your rotary cutter and ruler, and you should have a perfect square of fabric.

You can verify this by laying the piece out flat and folding it across the bias.  The corners and straight edges align perfectly.  See pictures below.

Square of Fabric for scarf

Selvage vs. Cut Edges

Selvage vs. Cut Edge
Selvage in relation to fabric grain and cut edge
Cut edge vs Selvage edge of fabric
Cut edge along vertical edge, selvage along horizontal edge

You will notice that we have 2 different edges on our square piece of fabric, 2 selvage edges and 2 cut edges.  Since this is a woven fabric, the unfinished edges will fray or unravel with wear.

The selvage edge is shown along the top horizontal edge in the photo to the left.  The selvage edge already has a short fringe and is finished, meaning it will not fray.  Since I am ok with the amount of fray on the edge of this already, I am choosing to leave the selvage intact.  If you prefer a longer fray or fringe, you would merely cut off the selvage edges and perform the steps described below to finish the cut edge on all 4 sides (instead of just the 2 cut edges as described here).

The cut edge is shown along the vertical edge and is the edge that you cut with your rotary cutter or scissors. This edge is NOT finished and will fray.

I finish the cut edge so that it does not continually shed threads and fray....that would drive me bonkers!


Prepare to create your fringe...

How much fringe do you want on the edge of your scarf?  I am a fan of a short fringe....stethoscopes, name badges, food, kids, dogs...Get it?

Measure the fringe already found on the selvage edge, which is 1/4 inch.  We then measure and mark a line 1/4 inch away from the raw cut edge of fabric.  A line of straight stitches will be sewn along this line.  EASY for the win!

The photo to the right shows me measuring and marking a 1/4" seam allowance onto the fabric with my white marking pencil.  It is hard to see, but it's there! Marking darker fabrics can be a little bit tricky.  And by all means, you do not have to mark this if don't feel the need.

Marking cut edge for straight stitch
Marking 1/4" seam allowance on the cut edge
Sewing a straight stitch along marked line
Sewing a straight stitch along marked line, resulting in 1/4" seam allowance.

Sew a straight stitch along that marked line.  If you chose not to mark, then sew a straight stitch creating a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  The seam allowance will become your fringe!

The picture to the left shows the sewing of a straight stitch with a 1/4 inch presser foot.  There is a little guide on the right edge of the presser foot marking the 1/4 inch mark.  This foot is helpful when you want a consistent seam allowance.  Not necessary, but helpful.



Now you have a straight stitch running 1/4 inch away from the cut edge of your fabric.

Repeat along the other cut edge.

Straight stitch 1/4 inch from cut edge
Straight stitch 1/4 inch from cut edge

Pull baby pull! Create the fringe...

Creating fringe along finished cut edge
Pulling threads to create fringe along finished edge

Once your stitched lines are in place, we can create the fringe along those, now "finished", cut edges.

Grab a few of those loose threads along the edge and gently pull.  They will only be pulled to the point of your straight stitch....and that's why you finish the edges this way!

You create the fringe by pulling the threads as far as the stitching (in this case 1/4") and then it won't unravel any further!

Creating fringe along cut edge
Using a pin to help create fringe along cut edge
Trimming fringe of scarf
Trimming threads to create 1/4" fringe

Use care & take your time...

This is a gratifying least for me!  The first few threads will be easy.  You pull until they stop and then you find a new thread to pull!  Once a thread stops, do not forcefully pull it any further or you could risk pulling the thread from the weave and creating a "run" in your beautiful woven fabric!

Once the thread stops pulling, stop and cut it off at the 1/4 inch point.  This creates a nice even, finished, fringed edge along your 2 "cut" edges which matches the fringe already found on the selvage edges!

Nice work...

The options are endless...experiment & have fun!

Blanket Scarf
Finished & Styled Blanket Scarf

As you can imagine, these can be customized to your hearts content!  Long fringe, short fringe.  Larger square, smaller square.  No fringe with a pom pom or lace trim.  Snaps on the corners for easy/secure wrapping.  You get the picture...

I am making one for my SIL who is expecting our first nephew (YAY!!!), with plastic KAM snaps located near the corners so it can double as a nursing cover!

The trick to creating these, in my humble opinion, is to create a "controlled" fringe.  By that, I mean a nice amount of fringe based on your taste, that does not continually shed threads while you live your life!

Who are you making one for?  I'd love to see it when you're done...

Be safe & stay well,

Jen J