October 27, 2013
Today's entry in our scarf series has a flair for the dramatic -- so much so that you can use it to fill in any costume gaps in the last few days before Halloween. I'm making a boa out of scraps -- yep, it's another stash buster! This project is ultra simple, though it can be a bit time consuming because it involves lots of cutting. On the upside, the cutting is basic, so you can do it while watching TV.
To start with, you need to cut strips. Lots and lots of strips. Mine range from about 1-1.5 inches wide, and 8-12 inches long. For fabrics, I used chiffon, satin, lace, mesh, assorted knits and ribbon. Anything works; you just want a mix of textures and weights. I cut my wovens on the bias to minimize fray, but if you want a fuzzy, frayed effect, you can cut with the grain, too. And I wasn't especially careful with cutting straight lines. I used a rotary cutter at first, but found I was faster with my shears, so stuck with those after a while. In total, I cut right around 300 strips.
Once I had a healthy pile of strips, I started feeding them into my sewing machine. I set two to four strips at a time across the machine, overlapping a little and trying to keep the center of the strips more or less in line with the needle.
Then I would stitch slowly as a pushed the strips up inder the presser foot, mashing them together as I went so they gather together. Every inch or so, I would backstitch and then keep moving forward. This just gives the whole thing a little extra stability.
Working with 300 strips, I ended up with a boa about 2 yards long, all full of fluffy goodness. You can trim and shape it at this point if you like. Just clip any of the pieces that stick out more than you like.
This technique can be used to create costumey boas, or eye-catching scarves. Remember to use as many soft fabrics as possible in your scraps to prevent itchy neck syndrome.
Here is the same shot with different light values so you can see all the texture that you get from using all those different scraps.
With a little creativity, this project can serve for a variety of things -- golden tones for a lion's mane, rainbow colors for a unicorn or pony, all hot pink or animal prints for a diva accessory, or pastels to go with a royal gown. You can even make a smaller version to use as trim on sweatshirts and sweaters. Have fun and use those scraps!
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