Tuesday, August 30, 2011

20 inches of duck canvas scarf...

"Modern canvas is usually made of cotton or linen, although historically it was made from hemp. It differs from other heavy cotton fabrics, such as denim, in being plain weave rather than twill weave. Canvas comes in two basic types: plain and duck. The threads in duck canvas are more tightly woven. The term duck comes from the Dutch word for cloth, doek." [source]
It all began with my friend Keren from sew la vie!  She has been sewing with knits lately so I wanted to pass on a cute ruffled jersey scarf that I had bookmarked a while back.  This was the scarf I was thinking of:
This pretty scarf is from the
lovely blog, Make it and Love it.
You can find the tute here.
But, I sent this equally lovely scarf by mistake:
This pretty scarf is from the
lovely blog, Ruffles and Stuff.
You can find the tute here.
After I found out my goof-up of sending dear Keren the wrong tutorial, we both agreed that this flannel scarf was very cool and interesting.  The only thing deterring us from making this lovely scarf was that it calls for a piece of soft flannel 10 inches by 14.5 feet.  Yes, 14 feet long!  Obviously one would have to piece together a few strips to achieve that length.  Neither of us had that much flannel on hand.  Bummer.

But that got me thinking.  What about using a single layer of denim?  I have yards and yards of denim!  Would it be too heavy?  Would it be too stiff?  Would it irritate one's neck?  More thinking.  What if the edges were frayed to a soft and fluffy border?   I had to find out.  I couldn't sleep until I knew!

So I tip-toed into my craft room and was about to drag out my pile of denim when my eye spied the duck!  I had a little remnant of wine colored duck canvas I paid $2.50 for at JoAnn's.  That would be worthy of my little experiment.  If it failed, I'd only be out a couple bucks and a good night's sleep.

Well, you can see by this tute that I enjoyed some success.  Please don't judge me by my silly photo montage.  I tried my best to stay out of this photo shoot.  But my dear children were uncooperative, leaving me to fend for myself.  I could not simply hang this scarf on the fence like I do when I shoot bags.  You have to see it "on" to fully appreciate it.   So, I had to feel like an idiot for 10 minutes in my back yard. 

I can assure you that this scarf is very comfortable to wear and really fun to "play" with.  I picked it up several times today just to try out all the different ways you can arrange it around your neck. 

Hello, I'm the dork in duck!  There I was in 90 degree heat in my Barbie pink lipstick trying to wrestle with a camera on a tripod in my back yard.  I will tell you, it was no fun.  Even worse is how embarrassing it is for me to be the "model".

Are you still with me?  Good!  Now here comes the tutorial portion of this post.  Yay!

I started with a 20 inch remnant of duck canvas.  Like most utility fabrics, it was 60 inches wide.  I cut it into four strips that were 5 inches wide by 60 inches long.  That used up every bit of my remnant.

After I cut the strips, I had to go to my high tech lab and construct a pleating gadget.  I created this ingenious invention by cutting a 1.5 inch wide strip of card board. 
I used it to measure out and press every pleat. 

You can see from these pictures, that these pleats are not quite a simple accordion fold.  I think they would be called box pleats.  The Pleat Cheat 2000 was infinitely helpful in the pleating process.
I pleated and pressed each strip separately.  Then, I attached them by over lapping the ends of strips.  The end pleats of one strip tucking over and around the end pleats of the next strip.  I did not sew them together.  Then, I pinned it up nice and neat.  I ended up just shy of 80 inches of scarf.

I made 3 rows of straight stitches right down center of the scarf.  To aid the fraying of the edges, I snipped the edges of both sides.  Then I threw it in the washing machine with some towels.

I had a stomach dropping feeling when I pulled the scarf from the dryer.  As you can see from picture one, the fraying turned out great, but the scarf needed some work.  With just a bit of fiddling I got it to look like picture two.  With a little bit of steam iron, I have the finished product shown in picture three.

I hope you enjoyed this little crafty journey with me.  Thanks so much for taking the time to read all this.  I know, I ramble on sometimes!  I'm long-winded by nature, and I'm trying hard to reign it in for this blog.  Honestly, I am.  :-)

While you're here, I hope you'll vote for your favorite tote from our Solids-Only Tote Challenge.  We have 18 entries to choose from, made by bloggers from all over the world.  You can find the poll HERE.

Happy Crafting and big hugs from Montana,

this is my craftgawker photo, fyi

A big thank you to Ginger for featuring this project:


  1. The scarf is OH SO CUTE and you are too! Thanks for sharing your sewing adventure with us.

  2. I can vouch for your not getting any sleep for want of a scarf - well, e-mail wise at least! I love your photo shoot - you look great! My favorite photo is the one on the bottom left where you are hugging the scarf. Also you deserve a "fearless seamstress award" or something of the sort - you were brave to try something you had no idea was going to work... I love the color and the soft fringes!

  3. Very cute and I love the color! It looks particularly nice with her red hair!

  4. Awww, thanks for the nice comments! I wore the scarf today and got a ton of compliments. I've been "playing" with it a lot since I did the photo shoot and I've come up with a few more ways of wearing/arranging it that I like even better. @Keren, I kind of like that photo as well. The bottom right though, not so much. ;-)

  5. Great job!! It turned out amazing! I am so impressed I don't think I would have even attempted it! You look so cute in all your photos!

  6. Very impressive esp. the fringes. Time to do some warmer for the upcoming winter. Thanks for your comments and hope you'll try nuno felt. It's FUN.

  7. Thanks for linking up to www.thestuffofsuccess.com - I love this scarf and will add it to my "to do list". I am also your newest follower.

  8. I was so excited for you when I saw this on craft gossip today! Way to go! I am lovin the fringe, gives it a great rustic feel. Us country girls do that well :)

  9. Thank you Becky! Craft Gossip is my fave craft site so this is quite a thrill for me!

  10. Featuring YOU over on my blog today. Love this! :) Come check it out & grab a button if you'd like. Thanks so much for sharing this at last week's {wow me} wednesday.



  11. LOVE!! This scarf screams autumn! Love it. Thanks for taking the time to do a tutorial as well!

    Id LOVE for you to link this up to my new DIY fashion linky party called DIY Diva Thursdays! We party until Monday, so you have plenty of time to link up! I hope to see you there :)


  12. Fantastic scarf! What a delish colour. :) I love that you included that stomach dropping moment - for novices like me who may give it a go, it will be reassuring that our work is redeemable. :)


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