Last year while sewing Munchkin costumes for a production of Wizard of Oz, I discovered the versatility of elastic thread. Ever since then I have been wanting to make ruffled scarves out of strips of t-shirts. Of course, since it was a project for myself, it always got pushed to the back burner. Our family was fortunate enough to have a very quiet holiday season that allowed quite a bit of down time for sewing, and I finally got around to this idea. I made two scarves in less than thirty minutes, and I think this will become my "go to present" for 2013.
Obviously, you begin with a t-shirt in a color or pattern that you like. I have been trying to incorporate more grey into my wardrobe, phasing out black as my default neutral, and am always a fan of polkadots.
Cut the shirt into strips. For my first scarf, I used strips that were around two inches wide from a relatively small t-shirt. The scarf ended up being a little on the short side and didn't ruffle the way I envisioned (luckily my oldest daughter liked it, so it wasn't a total waste). This shirt was also on the small side, and I knew I'd be compensating for some lost fabric due to the ruched seams towards the bottom, so I cut pretty skinny one inch strips.
After attaching the strips together to make one long strip, I sewed with the elastic thread right down the middle. Two things to remember when using elastic thread:
1) You only need to thread your bobbin with it, using regular thread through the top of your machine. I actually didn't know that at first and spent quite a bit of time trying to thread my machine and needle with elastic thread. It was one of those extremely frustrating sewing moments.
2) The thread will come off the bobbin more smoothly if you have wound it on by hand.
As you can see, this process twists the fabric some, which was unexpected for me, but I really like it. I look forward to experimenting with this technique more.