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Good Gifts for Guys: Fleece Scarf with Zippered Pocket

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Old man winter came stomping in with a vengeance this year. We're sending warm thoughts to all our Sew4Home friends in the mid-west and along the east coast. Seems like it's the perfect time for a totally toasty project that's also a great Valentine's Day gift idea. Today's fleece scarf is super fast and easy thanks to edge-binding with Dritz® Fold-Over Elastic. We also added a lightweight zippered pocket on one end. Use it to hold essentials so you can keep those jacket or pants pockets free to stuff your hands. Brrrrrrrrrrrr!

The sleek and simple design of this scarf helps make it a good choice for the guys on your Valentines project list. We also selected a cool color palette with just a bit of colorful zing in the zipper for the pocket. However, we were all trying on the scarf and lovin' it, and designing other options in our heads.

There are so many wonderful fleece choices out there in bright colors, bold prints, even official sports team mascots. Check out the amazing fleece selection at Fabric.com. And with 10 fun colors of Fold-Over Elastic to choose from for the binding, you can whip up a little warmth for everyone!

This scarf has a slight curve to it, smaller in the middle and wider at the ends. It finishes at approximately 59" long x 9" at its widest point and 7" at its narrowest. There are patterns included for both the curved ends as well as the pocket.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

  • ½ yard of 60"+ wide fleece or similar for the main body of the scarf; we used a 60" wide anti-pill fleece in charcoal purchased locally
  • ⅜ yard of 55"+ wide medium-weight nylon for the pocket in a color to coordinate but slightly contrast with the fleece; we used a 58" wide sport nylon in black purchased locally
  • ¼ yard or scrap of lightweight fusible interfacing; we used Shir-Tailor® by Pellon
  • 4 yards (four cards) of ⅝" Dritz® Fold-Over Elastic to match the pocket nylon fabric; we used black
    NOTE: You could use another type of binding, but we chose the Dritz® FOE because it is lightweight and super stretchy to easily go around the curved corners of the scarf. 

  • ONE 7" all-purpose zipper in a color that will add a zing of brightness to the combo above; we used a 7" Coats zipper in Kiwi
  • 2-3" of waxed cord or thin ribbon in a coordinating color for the zipper pull; we used waxed cotton cord in Kiwi
  • All purpose thread to match fabric and binding
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Straight pins

Getting Started

  1. Download and print out both project patterns: Scarf Pocket and Scarf End Template.
    IMPORTANT: Each pattern is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF files at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on each page so you can confirm your final printout is to scale.
  2. Cut out each pattern along the outside solid line.
  3. As mentioned above, the scarf has a slight curve to it, smaller in the middle and wider at the ends. 
  4. Fold the fleece fabric in half, aligning all the raw edges.
  5. At the fold, measure to find the center point. Mark the center point with a pin. Measure 3½" to the right of the center point and 3½" to the left of the center point. Place pins at each left and right point. This creates the 7" narrow mid-point of the scarf. 
  6. From the center point at the fold, measure 29½" and place a pin. 
  7. Find the Scarf End Template. Place the bottom edge of the template at the 29½" point. Lightly pin the template in place.
  8. Make sure the template is centered along the same mid-line. Once all is centered, finish pinning the template in place.
  9. Back at the folded end, from each outer point (to the left and right of center), measure 3½" from the fold and place a pin. Cut straight up from the fold to the pin on each side. 
  10. Reposition your ruler to connect the end of your 3½" cut to the top corner of the template. This line will be a slight diagonal as shown in the drawing above. Cut along this line at each side.
  11. Finish the cut by carefully going around the curved template. 
  12. Using the Scarf Pocket Pattern, cut TWO pieces from the nylon and ONE piece from the lightweight interfacing. 

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Pocket

  1. Find the two pocket pieces and the one interfacing piece. 
  2. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the interfacing the wrong side of one pocket piece. Remember, the nylon is synthetic; set your iron accordingly. You could also use a pressing cloth. 
  3. Flip the interfaced pocket piece to the right side. Find the pocket pattern and place it over the top of the interfaced pocket piece, aligning all the edges just as when you cut out the pocket.
  4. Pin the pattern in place and align your ruler along the zipper cut line. 
  5. Slice along the line with a rotary cutter.

    NOTE: You can use regular scissors for this step; a rotary cutter and ruler is simply faster and creates a cleaner edge.
  6. Fold back each cut edge ¼". Finger press in place. You want to avoid applying heat to directly on the nylon. If finger pressing does not work for you, set your iron on a low temp and use a pressing cloth to press the ¼" folds in place. 
  7. Find the 7" zipper. Place the narrow and wide pocket pieces on either side of the zipper and pin in place. The top of the zipper tape should be flush with the top of the pocket pieces; the bottom of the zipper will extend approximately 1" beyond the bottom of the pocket pieces. The folded edge of each piece should be approximately ⅛" from the zipper teeth. As mentioned above, the zipper acts as a zing of color for the scarf, so you want to reveal a generous portion of the zipper tape. 
  8. Attach a Zipper foot. Thread the machine with thread to match the pocket fabric in the top and bobbin. 
  9. Edgestitch each piece in place along each side of the zipper, staying as close as possible to the folded edge of the fabric. As with most zipper installation, depending on the width of your zipper foot, you may need to stop, with your needle in the down position, lift up the presser foot and unzip the zipper to move the zipper pull out of the way of the foot. When the pull is clear, drop the foot and continue stitching to the end. 
  10. Unzip the zipper about half way. 
  11. Find the remaining pocket piece. Place it right sides together with the zippered pocket piece. Pin around all sides.
  12. Switch back to a standard presser foot. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch around all sides. Go slowly around the corners to maintain a even curve.
  13. Trim the corners back to ¼" and clip the curves. Trim away the excess zipper. 
    NOTE: For more on cornering techniques, take a look at tutorial: Are You Stitching And Clipping Corners Correctly?
  14. Turn the pocket right side out through the zipper opening. Gently round out all the corners with a long blunt tool, such as a chopstick or knitting needle. Using a pressing cloth and low heat, lightly press flat. 
  15. Find the cut fleece.
  16. Place the Scarf End Template back into position and use it to find and mark the position for the pocket on one end. 
  17. Pin the pocket in place. 
  18. Re-thread the machine with thread to match the fleece in the top and bobbin. This allows the stitching on the back to be virtually invisible and add a slight accent to the pocket front. Lengthen the stitch slightly.
  19. Edgestitch around the entire pocket. 

Binding

  1. Find the four cards of Fold-Over Elastic (FOE). Stitch them together end to end to create one long length. 
  2. Starting in the middle of one side, and with approximately 1½" free at the head, wrap the elastic around the raw edge of the fleece. With the stretch of the FOE and the slight stretch to the fleece, we found it was easier to NOT pin the elastic in place. The FOE has a bit of grip to its texture, so it actually stays in place quite nicely and you don't have to fight the bunching you can get with pins. 
  3. Gently pull on the FOE as you wrap and stitch in one step.
  4. We found a Quarter Inch Seam foot to be very helpful for this application. The foot has a flange that you can run along the outer fold of the FOE to keep your seam straight. 
  5. Stitch all the way around the scarf in this manner. When you return to your starting point, stop approximately 1½" from the end of the FOE. Remove the scarf from under the needle.
  6. Bring the two loose ends of FOE right sides together and pin. Lay the FOE back down to make sure the binding will lay flat against the fleece when this tiny seam is stitched. Adjust the pin ends as needed, then trim away the excess elastic. Stitch the ends together. Trim back the seam allowance if need be - again to insure the the binding lays flat. 
  7. Place the binding back down, wrapping it around the edge. Finish the seam, being very careful to line up this new short seam with the existing seam. 

    NOTE: We are summarizing the joining steps above because everyone has their favorite way to complete their binding. If you are brand new to the technique, take a look at our tutorial: A Complete Step-by-Step For Binding Quilts & Throws. We show detailed instructions for this seaming method of  joining as well as the standard overlap method.
  8. Thread the waxed cord or thin ribbon though the end of the zipper pull and secure in place. We simply looped it through and secured it like a gift tag. 

Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild

Section: 

Comments (9)

annellis35 said:
annellis35's picture

II took a girls scarf and made an iPod pocket with a Velcro seal flap a couple years ago. This idea rocks.

Loretta Moffit said:
Loretta Moffit's picture

Like the pattern. Thinking about putting a pocket on each end.

Sue J said:
Sue J's picture

Why would you recommend 1/2 yard of fleece when you only need 9"? Did I misread the pattern somehow?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Sue J - the widest part of the scarf is 9" - you read that correctly. So, yes, you could get away wtih 1/4 yard, but that leaves no room for error, and we always like to give people the opportunity for error.  You are certainly welcome to work with less, such as 1/3. We also like to round up as many online fabric outlets only offer 1/2 yard increments. 

annellis35 said:
annellis35's picture

I would also recommend more than required. And who wouldn't love some good scraps for another project?

Nancy D. said:
Nancy D.'s picture

I love this idea and cannot wait to start one.  What do you think of turning the pocket up instead of having the zipper at the side.  I forgot to close the zipper on my Wristlet a few times and heve been lucky to see it before things fell out.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Nancy D - the pocket won't fit right just turned horizontally - so not saying you couldn't do it, just that you'd need to adjust the pattern. You could leave the pocket pattern as is and make a cut horizontally across the top instead of vertically as drawn on the pattern. Again, you'd need to calculate the measurement for the cut line and you'd end up with a smaller opening, so more zipper would be trimmed away. We preferred the vertical because the scarf itself is so vertical - and because of the larger opening. 

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