This time we are going to make a circle scarf with a hidden pocket*; great for when you don’t want to bring a handbag. The pocket is large enough to fit e.g. mobile phone, money, keys, cards or other personal essentials.

To make a scarf, you need a larger piece of fabric, ideally 1.5m (59″) long (ish). It should be at least 21″ wide (half the typical width of fabric), so for each 1.5m yardage you have, you can get two scarves; one for you and one for a friend. 

For a truly unique scarf, you could sew together smaller pieces of fabrics to make the required size, or take two long quarters to get a two-tone scarf. For my scarves, I have used pieces as short as 1.35m and and as long as 1.75m; widths have varied from 20″ to 28″.

If you have some Liberty Tana Lawn waiting for the right project, this may be a good time to use it. Other good fabrics are thinner cotton fabrics, shirting fabrics, or for a warmer option, soft brushed cotton. Typically, the thicker the fabrics you use, the longer the piece you need. The blue marble effect fabric I am using in this tutorial is some left over extra wide quilt backing (on 108″ width), which meant my length is only 137cm (54″) / width 21″, as I wanted to make two scarves. 

Materials

  • 1.5m fabric (recommended length)
  • Pocket fabric – two pieces, each 7″x8″
  • 7″ zip

Useful tools

  • Pins
  • Sewing machine and thread

Making the scarf

  • Iron all fabrics and cut to size.
  • Take your large piece, put it right side up on a table.
  • Take the zip and place it right side down approx 7″ from one of the edges along one of the long sides.
Zip placed along the LONG side of the fabric

Add one of the pocket pieces with the 8″ side on top of the zip, right side down.

Sew in place, as close to the zip as possible.

  • Use a a zipper pressure foot if you have one, otherwise use your usual pressure foot but move the needle as far to the side as you can.
  • If the zipper pulley is in the way, stop sewing, lift the needle and move the zipper pulley out of the way, then start sewing 1/2″ before where you stopped to ensure the seam is secure.
  • My seam is a bit wobbly, but it doesn’t really matter as it’ll be well hidden when the scarf is being twisted and used.

Fold the pocket piece upwards, out of the way of the zip. Then fold up the other long side to meet the zip. I have used three clips to keep the bottom long edge in place on top of the zip and to show you how I turn the whole thing around before pinning.

Look at the order of the clips in the photo above; red, orange and green. In the photo below you’ll see that I have turned it around, to allow me to add the second pocket piece – placed loosely on top of the clips in the photo.

Next, pin all in place (remove the marker clips).

With everything layered up and pinned, sew the zip in place as before, making sure you don’t catch any stray fabrics. Again, use the zip pressure foot if you have one.

Next, align the long sides of the scarf, right sides facing, ensuring the pocket pieces are matching, and pin in place.

A few suggestions for this step;

  • Sew with 1/2″ seam allowance to ensure that you cross the seam for the zip at 90 degrees (otherwise the ends of the zip may be visible from the right side)
  • Push all seam allowances and zip parts UP towards the pocket pieces.
  • Make sure you are LEAVING A GAP at the bottom of the pocket (the width of your hand is a good size).
  • If your zip has any metal parts, make sure you don’t sew through them!

Sew along the long side, around the pocket (but leave the bottom part of the pocket open!).

Check that the pocket and zip looks good from the right side. Unpick and re-make if needed. 

Next, make sure that the zip is open!

Smooth the scarf, so it’s still a long tube with the pocket piece sticking out. Take one end of the tube and push it inside the rest of the tube, so the raw edges meet; still right sides facing.Take care not to twist the fabric (unless you would like it twisted).

The two raw edges are meeting on the left in the photos

Pin and sew the full circle.

If you forgot to leave the bottom of the pocket un-sewn, you may like to unpick it now; alternatively just cut off the seam. You’ll get a slightly shallower pocket, but you don’t need to use your unpicker…. Also, if you forgot to open the zip previously, you’l have some fun opening it through the fabric; it is possible, although a bit fiddly!

Next, stick you hand in through the bottom of the pocket and turn the whole thing around, so the right side comes on the outside. Wiggle it a bit and it should come through.

Fold in the seam allowance and pin the bottom of the pocket shut. Top stitch very close to the edge (or hand sew it if you prefer).

Fold in seam allowance and pin
Top stitch the opening closed, close to the edge

Give it a quick press.

A rare selfie to show the scarf

Fluff it up a bit and it’s ready to wear.

My other stash busting ideas

* The purists may not consider it an infinity scarf, unless it has a twist in it; hence I’m calling it a circle scarf.

Responses