scarf skirt

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This one yard scarf panel whips up quickly to a great skirt.  I love scarves, but seldom actually wear one; they are in the way and hard to keep in place.  Since scarves have great patterns and with the swingy fabric- what could be better for a skirt?  This wasn’t actually a scarf, but a scarf panel in Jo-Ann’s red tag fabric.

You don’t have to use a scarf for this, any swingy fabric would do.  I would only recommend a cotton challis or something in rayon or even acetate.  A polyester would be annoyingly static-y this time of year.  If you live somewhere that you don’t have a lot of dry heat, it might be fine.

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1 yard of fabric, 54″ wide (or wider)

Scrap of coordinating lightweight fabric

1/2″ elastic

This panel was rectangular.  It was cut in half, one half for the front, one for the back.

scarf skirt 2I started by evenly trimming off the selvages,  I left about 1/8″ beyond the edge of the print.  I didn’t want any white to show when I hemmed it up, but I wanted to save as much of the print as possible.  If you’re using a real scarf, don’t trim it at all.

Then I located the exact center of the panel, easy to identify on the pattern.

Skirts need to be longer in the back than in the front so they hang evenly at the bottom.  For most figures a 1″ difference is right.  When making an elastic waist skirt, I usually cut the front and back the same, then cut a 1″ dip across the front waist line.2014-01-13 10.00.18

Optional: Since I didn’t want to lose any more of the pattern than necessary, when I cut the panel in half, I figured in this difference that is needed in the front and back panels of the finished skirt.

I began cutting in from the edges at the exact center of the panel.  About 1/4 of the way in I gradually directed my cutting line till it was 1/2″ away from the center line and continued till the center of the pattern.  I started from the other side and did the same thing, following where the other cut line intersected the print in the middle of the scarf print.  In this manner no fabric was wasted and the scarf was divided for the front and back of the skirt.  See the purple line in the little diagram above.2014-01-13 09.59.08

Anyway, the important thing is, the front needs to dip lower than the back, so it will hang evenly when you put it on. You can just cut the scarf in half and trim a 1″ scoop off the top of one of the side panels, like a big smile across the top.  See the purple line in the above diagram.

For the waist piece, measure around your hips and divide that number in half. Cut two strips of fabric 2″ by half of your hip measurement.  I’m not adding extra for a seam allowance here on purpose; I want a slightly tight fit as this skirt pulls up over your hips.

scarf skirt 1

Lay out your waist piece and pleat your fabric so it matches the width of your waist piece like the diagram.  This doesn’t have to be exact!  Just make it fit the width of your waist piece. Do this for your front and back panels and pin the pleats.  Pin and sew the waist piece in place, right sides together.  Edge finish all edges- this type of fabric frayes easily!

Sew the front and back pieces together, right sides together.  Hem the bottom, unless you’re using a scarf with a hem already.

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Measure a length of elastic for your waist.  Mark the middle of the elastic piece with a pencil.  Sew with a zig zag stitch, or surge the elastic to the inside of the waist piece.  Start at one side seam and streach the elastic as you sew so that your pencil mark in the middle of the elastic lines up with the other side seam.

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Fold the elastic to the inside and stitch it down, encasing the elastic.  As you sew across the center back, add in a piece of folded ribbon for a “tag” so you can easily identify the back of the skirt.  Press!

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