Scrap Busting Hair Tie (Two Ways)

Every year I say I am going to get my fabric scrap collection under control, and every year I utterly fail at doing so. Generally it goes something like this:

December is fast approaching. My scrap pile is literally piling up in a corner of my sewing room. I head to Pinterest and see a plethora of pins I have pinned myself on different projects to utilize those scraps. I get a surge of inspiration and declare "THIS WILL BE THE YEAR!" I head into my sewing space and I tidy up my scraps. Maybe I'll separate them out by weight or substrate. Maybe I'll finally let go of the random bits that are too small to make anything by themselves, but too large to toss. Maybe I'll make a scrappy quilt with those! Should I save them or stuff them in my next pouf...?

Does this process sound at all familiar? Generally, I'll have a burst of inspiration, tackle a small portion of my scraps, and then by February, I am back to collecting again until the end of the year.

 

I want to break that cycle, and this year I believe I truly can do it! (Famous last words, amirite?)

 

To break my own cycle, I plan to bring at least one scrap busting project to the blog each month. That doesn't sound unreasonable, right? It actually sounds totally doable! I already have a list written in my handy notebook and it'll be fun to steadily check off each project as the months roll on by. And maybe, just maybe, by this time next year, I will have cleared out the majority of my scraps! Anything that I haven't cleared by then will absolutely get stuffed into a pouf of some sort.

Are you ready for this month's scrap busting project?

Let's get started!

I am going to show you how to create a scrap busting hair scarf / tie two ways. Each project is really fun and works well in its own way! The biggest difference between them is the amount of fabric used. One is a proper scarf size and requires a solid chunk of fabric (or a few similarly weighted fabric sewn together), while the other is more of a faux hair scarf, but requires less fabric overall. 

For both projects you will need the following supplies:

  • Scrap fabric
  • Matching Thread
  • Sewing Machine
  • Iron + Ironing Board
  • Fabric marking tools
  • Fabric scissors
  • Ruler or Measuring tape
  • Chopstick {For Faux Tie Only}

Hair Scarf # 1 : The Full Tie / Scarf

This particular scarf has many advantages. Because it is made using a larger amount of fabric, the styling options are practically endless! Not only can you wear this kind of scarf numerous ways on your head, you can also wear it around your neck, or as an additional accessory fashioned to your purse, handbag, or even wrist!

I had so much fun styling these ties! The silk red one worked brilliantly around my neck and in my hair and the larger floral one offered loads of variety because of it's size! I only captured a small handful of the ways I could style these two.

The only downside to this type of scarf is that you will need a larger piece of fabric, or possibly multiple pieces of fabric of similar weight pieced together.

To create the full scarf, you will need a piece of fabric that is at least 22" x 22" (56 x 56 cm) square. You can make your hair scarf as large as you would like, but any smaller than the dimensions above and you run the risk of it not being large enough to wrap around your head securely!

Once you have located a piece of scrap fabric with the correct dimensions (or created your own!), give it a quick press to make sure it will lay nice and flat.

Note: This type of scarf works best with thinner materials as you can wrap it multiple times without it getting too bulky. I like to use scrap rayon challis, cotton voile, or even lightweight jersey!

Next, with your ruler and marking tools, mark out the size square you want your scarf to be. Don't forget to add in your hem allowance to that measurement.

For my scarf, I pieced together two pieces of fabric using a french seam. I figured a french seam would look the neatest and be the least bulky for this type of scarf.

Cut out your newly marked square. And since we are trying to get rid of scraps with these projects, be sure to throw your tiny scraps into a bag to either be donated to a fabric collecting facility (A blog post with various places to donate fabric scraps is forthcoming!) or to be used to stuff your next pillow project!

To keep this project nice and simple, this scarf is going to have a double turned hem. If you want to get fancy with your scarf, feel free to finish your hem with a mitered corner, invisible hem, or even embroidered edge!

Working with one edge at a time, press your scarf's edge to the wrong side of the fabric 1/4" (0,5 cm).

Press that same edge 1/4" (0,5 cm) again. Pin in place.

Now sew along the inner folded edge, making sure to backstitch at the start and end of your hem.

Repeat with the last three edges of your scarf.

Et Voila! You now have a completed full hair scarf - Yay!! And you are one step closer to having a scrap free sewing space, so double win :)

PS - If you ever find that your full scarf no longer fits with your wardrobe, you can always convert your scarf into a cute napkin for your kitchen or bathroom or even use it as alternative gift wrap!

Hair Scarf # 2 : The Faux Tie

The faux hair tie is perfect if you want the look and feel of some of the styles that a full hair tie offers, without using a massive amount of fabric! And there are only a handful of styles that the faux scarf cannot provide, but still plenty left to play around with and have loads of fun!

For this scarf, you will need a strip of fabric that is at least 40" x 8" (101,5 cm x 20,5 cm). You can of course make your strip longer or narrower depending on your personal preferences (or fabric restraints!), but I recommend not making it any shorter or you run the risk of it not being long enough to wrap around your head securely!

Because we are utilizing scraps, you might find that none of your scrap fabrics are long enough to constitute creating an entire hair tie. Have no fear! You can always sew together a bunch of scraps to create one long strip of fabric! I know I tend to have many little scraps after a project, so this method works well at utilizing all the bits and bobs left over from a project!

If you are piecing scraps together to get one large length of fabric, be sure to press all of your seams open. This will ensure that they are not irritating or bulky! Don't worry about finishing the seams as they will all be hidden.

Once you have your fabric all cut out, fold it in half  lengthwise (aka hotdog style), with right sides together. Pin the long, raw sides together.

Before we sew, we have the option to add a tapered edge to our hair tie. This is 100% for aesthetics, so you can skip this part of you wish to keep this project as low-waste as possible. But if you wish to add a little point to your hair scarf, grab a ruler and place it at roughly a 45 degree angle.

Then, using your marking tools, draw a line.

Once you've got your line drawn and your sides pinned, it's time to sew your hair tie together! Be sure to leave a nice sized opening near the center of your hair tie so that you are able to eventually turn it right side out.

I used a 1/2" (1,5 cm) seam allowance for my tie.

Before turning your hair tie right side out, clip all the little the corners That way, you get a really nice pointed edge once it is all turned out. Just make sure you don't accidentally clip through your line of stitching!

You can now turn out your hair tie using your preferred method! I know that a lot of sewists like to use a chopstick or another long, thin object to turn their straps and things out (like a straw). I wound up using my hands since the fabric wasn't too small to maneuver.

Once your entire hair tie is facing right side out, poke out those corners with whatever you have available! That could mean using a point turner, a chopstick, or even a tiny screw driver head.

Give the whole thing a nice press.

Finally, sew up the little opening you left to turn your hair tie right side out. Since it is in the center of the tie, you can get away with sewing this opening closed with your sewing machine. It will likely be covered by your hair or wrapped around a few times so that you don't see the stitches.

Or, if you'd rather not risk it / want a cleaner finish to your tie, you can whip stitch it closed using a hand sewing needle and some matching thread!

Et Voila! You now have a completed faux hair scarf - Yay!! And you are one step closer to having a scrap free sewing space, so double win :)

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