Remember a while back when I jumped on the infinity scarf bandwagon (see the how-to post here)? Now that it’s warm out, I’m realizing there’s even more to love about them because it’s so easy to make a lightweight infinity scarf. When we’re lucky enough not to be stuck in a global heatwave, warm weather can mean cool evenings. Not cool enough for a wool scarf, of course, so that’s where, once again, the magical lightweight infinity scarf saves the day. They’re so easy to make, and such a fun accessory, it’s hard not to make one for every outfit. Would that really be so bad?
Using knitted fabric, also called jersey knit, you just cut a strip and join the short ends. That’s it. Ok, there is a little finesse to it that I learned through making mine, but you don’t even need to seam the edges because they don’t unravel. I’m not sure why that is because we’ve all seen the cartoon of the knitted sweater unraveling as the wearer walks away, unaware that their nemesis holds a single thread in their hand (or often, paw). Perhaps because the scale of the stitches is so much smaller? Whatever the reason, we can use it to make a lightweight infinity scarf.
First, soak your fabric in cold water with some mild detergent to let the fibers relax. Then, rinse it well and hang it up to dry.
Once dry, take your strip of fabric and drape it around your neck the way you want to wear it when it’s done (one loop, two loops, etc.). Hold the ends together and adjust the length so it drapes the way you like. Mark how much fabric needs to be cut off (if any), lay the fabric out flat, and cut off the extra:
You may notice that the edges of the fabric curl. This is normal for knitted fabrics. It does make it a little tricky to sew, though, so just trim the curl off of the other short side. It will stay flat long enough for you to sew them together:
Putting it together:
I experimented with several different methods of joining the two short ends and found that gathering them together with a running stitch was both simple and professional-looking.
To do this, fold the fabric in half with the right side of the fabric facing in and the short sides together. Hold the short sides together as you go along (no need for pins) and use a running stitch to join them. Make sure that you have doubled the thread and make a few stitches at the beginning to secure it well:
Tip: if one short side is a little longer than the other, just stretch it as you sew to even them out (that’s why we didn’t pin the pieces together).
As you sew, gather the fabric along the stitches:
Once you have stitched the short sides together, pull the thread gently and make sure the fabric is gathered all the way:
Then make a few stitches at the end to secure the thread and tie it off. You now have an infinity scarf! …but there’s one more step.
For a really professional finish:
The gathers need to be attached in a circle. This will keep them on the inside of the scarf and give a nice pleat on the outside. Flip the scarf around so you are looking at the inside of the gathers:
Draw the sides together to make a complete circle of gathers and tack (sew) them together. Use a new length of doubled-thread so that these stitches are independent of the running stitches:
I realized at this point that I picked just about the most difficult fabric to demonstrate this project (oops!). I just couldn’t resist the pattern.
You should now have a circle of gathers, with the gathered edge on the wrong side of the fabric. This is the wrong-side view. The bottom, right corner is where the circle is stitched together:
That’s it: your lightweight infinity scarf is done.
Try it on and admire your handiwork:
Can you believe it? So fast and easy! I really want to make many more, but have so far managed to limit myself to three. The red one is rayon, like the blue, and quite elastic. You can see that the edges curl a lot:
The grey one is a cotton/polyester blend with less curl. That’s because polyester is a less-bendy fabric (think no-iron shirts). I made this one a little longer, too, since it’s less stretchy:
You can see that the grey fabric also has a little sheen on the ‘right’ side that gives it a tiny bit of contrast with the ‘wrong’ side when it’s twisted around as a scarf. Have a good time playing around with different knit fabrics for your lightweight infinity scarf. Any knit fabric will work, even upcycled ones.
What you will need:
- Jersey knit (knit) fabric, at least 40″ long for two loops x 12″-18″ wide. I used 18″ wide fabric for the blue scarf and 12″ wide fabric for the red and the grey scarves
- Needle and thread to match your fabric
- Fabric tape measure (optional)
If you have any leftover fabric:
Try making other things, like headbands, using the same technique:
Tips and tricks:
- Make sure that the fabric you choose is two-sided (pattern on both sides) since both the front and the back will be visible.
- It’s easy to use upcycled knit fabric too. Just cut strips of the same width from the fabric at least 12″-18″ wide. Attach each piece together with the gathered running stitch technique until you have the length you want. Instead of having only one join, your upcycled scarf will have several. This will give it a unique and fun look.
- If you’re not sure about the length, make your scarf longer at first. If you decide to change the length later, it’s simple to remove the stitches, shorten the scarf, and re-join the ends.
- I made the blue scarf 18″ wide and a little shorter so it sits closer on my neck. This also makes the scarf warmer than the other two, which are only 12″ wide.
Have fun accessorizing for warmer weather with your lightweight infinity scarf, or scarves (who are we kidding?), and feel free to leave a comment, ask a question, or share your photos.