How to Sew a Long Fabric Scarf

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There's no need to go out shopping to find the perfect long scarf. If you have basic sewing skills, you can make your own. These scarves make a great wardrobe accessory. Drape it below the neckline for a detached cowl neck look or drape it as a scarf to have an elongating accessory.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Seam ripper
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Fabric marker


  • 3 yard gauze, homespun or loosely woven fabric
  • Thread


  1. Cut the Fabric

    Cut the length of 45-inch-wide fabric in half, and then trim the ends of the fabric strip to make them perfectly straight. Mark 3 1/2 inches up from the ends on each side and end to achieve a single knot end. Mark 4 1/2 inches up from the ends on each side and end to achieve a double knot end.


    Be sure all cuts are made following the grain of the fabric.

    Knotted Ends Options
    Debbie Colgrove
  2. Hem the Sides

    Starting at the mark, turn under the side edges, leaving the ends of the sides un-hemmed. Do not hem or sew the fringe area. A machine-rolled hem, a hand-sewn rolled hem, or a baby hem can be used to hem the sides of the scarf​.

    • Hand-rolled hem: Sew a line of stitching 1/8-inch from the edge. Turn under on the line of stitching. Turn under again to enclose the raw edge. Use a slip stitch to hand sew the hem in place.
    • Machine-rolled hem: Refer to your sewing machine manual to learn how to use your rolled hem foot.
    • Baby hem: Sew a line of stitching 1/4-inch from the edge of the scarf. Turn under on the row of stitches. Turn under again to enclose the raw edge. Top stitch along the inner fold to hold the hem down, sewing as close to the folded edge as possible. Note that this hem may be too stiff unless your fabric is very soft and loosely woven.
    Hem the Sides
    Debbie Colgrove
  3. Start the End Fringe

    Using the blunt side of your seam ripper, start removing the width-threads from the end of the scarf, leaving the lengthwise grain threads intact. Continue until you reach the set mark or the hem stops you from pulling the width threads out of the fabric.

    Start the End Fringe
    Debbie Colgrove
  4. Knot the Fringe

    Knotting the fringe can be tricky, so you may want to practice on a scrap before your scarf so that you can master the feel of creating the knots. One trick is to place a toothpick in the knot, preventing it from tightening until you have the knot in the location you want it. The amount of fringe can vary as well as how you create your knots and the number of rows of knots. There are two methods to knot the fringe.

    • Single Knotted Fringe: Using a 1-inch section, knot approximately halfway on the fringe. Repeat every inch until you reach the end.
    • Double Knotted Fringe: Using a 1-inch section, knot the fringe close to the body of the fabric. Repeat every inch until you reach the end. Divide each section in half to create a new 1-inch section. Knot 1 inch below the first knot. Repeat until the entire fringe is knotted.
    Knotting the Fringe
    Debbie Colgrove