Yes - Chenille Scarf From Pieced Rayon Strips
Customer Question: Can I use rayon remnant strips to make a chenille scarf?
The answer is a resounding Yes.
I have to say that I have often thought that sewing leftover rayon strips together to create the fabric for a chenille scarf has been on my mind. I never found the time to make this version of the chenille scarf. When a customer asked if this was possible I realized it was time to answer this question.
I'm going to step through the process I followed to create our pieced chenille scarf. For additional steps watch our YouTube Video Let's Make a Chenille Scarf with SewBatik. This video also contains the measurements, etc. for the chenille scarf.
This is a test. I found old rayon samples that we never put into production. I selected three fabrics that would look good together, but had high contrast in color.
I want to see the color change in the finished scarf. If we use all the same shades of rayon we won't be able to see our test. I believe any rayon shades pulled together will be amazing.
TWO: Sew the Fabric
The sample fabric measures 20" by full width of fabric. Our batik rayon is 45" wide. I tore each of the three fabrics into two (2) 10" wide strips.
I sewed the long edges together in a simple rotation (image above) with a 1/4" - 3/8" seam. The stitch width that I used is tight (2.0).
THREE: Trim Seams
FOUR: Fold Fabric and Cut Strips
I folded the fabric just like we would if we were using one piece of batik rayon. Create the 45 degree bias angle and cut the fabric into the strips using the strip width outlined in the chenille pattern.
FIVE: Stack the Strips Into 7 Layers, Sew, Chenille
Stacking Layers Matter: Once you've positioned the center (longest) layer on your work surface, start stacking the first of three layers on the center layer. Make sure the seams are facing up. If the seams are not facing up the chenille cutter will not move smoothly through the channels. It will be very difficult and aggravating to finish this project.
SIX: Trim Excess Fabric, Wash, Dry
The scarf is now ready to cleanup, wash and dry.
First, use a ruler as your guide to cut away the excess uneven fabric from the long sides of the scarf. Leave about 1/8" on each edge.
Trim the excess fabric from the two short ends - cutting at an angle. You can do anything you wish here, but I like a nice angle. Using a scissors, cut in from the short edge about 3" to create fun tassels. Again, this is your preference.
Give your scarf a good shake over your garbage can. Wash your scarf in the sink, wring it out with an old towel and put them both in the dryer. The scarf is thick and will take a while to dry. The dryer is needed to give the scarf that furry soft chenille look.
Now, look at this scarf. See the seams between the yellow and red fabric? These will be completely unnoticeable after the scarf is dry. With one exception.
The seam is visible because of the color change between the yellow and red fabric. Look at the image below of the finished scarf. What you can't see easily on the picture is a little bit of fraying along the seam line. This needs to be trimmed a bit. The seam line frays because it is the only edge on the fabric that is straight (not bias). Any straight portion of the rayon will fray more than that cut on the bias. This is why these scarves MUST be cut on the bias. The threads will fall out if it is sewn on straight of grain.
What I will change on the next pieced chenille scarf I make:
The center layer is perfect. As long as the seams are pressed all in the same direction (right or left, NOT open).
The first layer on both sides must have the open seam facing up (away from the center layer).
The second layer doesn't matter. The chenille cutter only cuts through this layer it never touches it.
The third and top layer should have the seam opening inside or face down. This will keep the fraying along the straight grain inside the scarf.
How fun was this to sew and learn! I hope you enjoy using up all your scraps of rayon by sewing them together to create your own pieced chenille scarf.
Purchase our Batik Rayon Remnant Packs to create two pieced chenille scarves for yourself or as gifts.
If you'd rather get started with a Chenille Scarf pattern + 1 1/2 of Batik Rayon - purchase our Chenille Scarf Kit.
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