Almost Christmas!! I had to smile when I looked back at this blog post from 5 years ago when I was NYC-based. Save this one for the future day when we can all travel safely again! Or, order materials online right now…the silk dupioni is easy to order from Butterfly Fabrics: https://butterflyfabricsnyc.com/products/silk-dupioni-fabric (you can order swatches!) and the faux pashmina from Amazon (a few more dollars than the street vendors I loved): https://www.amazon.com/Achillea-Large-Silky-Pashmina-Colors/dp/B01LXAY36A
This scarf requires 2 key ingredients: scraps of silk dupioni (courtesy of the fabric district) and the ultimate New Yorker’s bargain – the $5 faux pashminas found at every street vendor’s stand in midtown.
If you’re visiting the city, make sure to pick up a handful of these “pashminas ” for yourself. I cannot live without a few in my carry-on bag while traveling, and sometimes have fun trying to find the match to the Pantone “Color of the Year” :)…
But I digress! First, design your silk patchwork…you can do traditional quilt squares, improvisational piecing, or a mix of both. The silk will fray with great abandon, so keep a small bowl or jar nearby to save those threads (see my December 2nd post to see why). I use a traditional quarter-inch foot…a walking foot would be a great idea too for these fabrics.
Next, carefully lay your patchwork silk scarf top down -right-side down – on your pashmina (which you have laid out on a flat surface). Pin at frequent intervals around the border of your silk scarf top…both fabrics are VERY slippery and loosely-woven.
Taking your time, stitch down 3 sides completely, as well as part of the 4th side. You will need to leave an opening through which to “inside-out” the piece! Secure the stitches on either side of the opening with a few extras.
You’ll notice from the photo above that I stitch first, then trim the pashmina…if you trim to fit the silk first, the soft fabric might unravel. It is easier to pin, stitch and trim…each pashmina is large enough to make at least 2 scarves.
Carefully reach in and reverse the piece so that the seams are inside. Press with enthusiasm! Then, you can stitch all around the scarf near the edge…folding in the edges of the opening and stitching closed. The amount of quilting is up to you…I had fun with a bit of hand-quilting in the first one pictured, stitched a path connecting the bits of grey and violet down the length of the black silk scarf I made for my sweetie. It would also be quite lovely with dense quilting in a decorative thread.
Result: a soft, warm, vivid piece of wearable fiber art :).