I saw this idea in Threads Magazine (Issue 119, June/July 2005) a few years ago – it was shown on the cover in much the same colours as I have used here. I was attending a family wedding and had worn the same dress a year earlier at another wedding (that time with a pink shawl and a big hat!) and thought I could alter the appearance by changing the accessories. It was only my sisters at both weddings so it didn’t matter that I was wearing the same thing (he he).
Pinks and Purples
I’ll post a photo of that wedding also – my niece married her soldier in Cambridge – so you can see the difference (not much I know, but I like the dress!). Actually, the pink shawl in the first photo is lovely too, I bought it in Scotland and it’s silk and packs away to nothing but…… it catches on everything! My handbag had a few little diamantés on it and the shawl stuck to those constantly and caused numerous snags. With the breezy conditions it got caught on every passing button too – what a pain!
It really can take only 3 hours to make this shawl – assuming you’ve got a PhD in mathematics! I read and re-read, folded and re-folded but still couldn’t get the hang of how to fold the fabric to cut it into bias strips. Once I’d involved my husband in the process, it was easy!
The strips are cut on the bias, as I mentioned, and then overlocked (serged) together whilst stretching the fabric slightly. This gives that lovely wavy edge you can see.
What to do with the ends?
After I’d stitched a lot of lengths of fabric together I noticed it was getting very long at one side – maybe I should have been staggering the start points? I’m not sure. Anyhow, I did start to pay more attention then and the final shawl ended up with one long point on one side and a forked bit on the other! I wasn’t sure what to do about this but after playing around with it I found it looked nice (and stayed in place) if I knotted the ‘forked’ end and threaded the ‘point’ through it. What is it they say? Necessity is the mother of invention!
These other photos show the shawl in different views and differing light – it changes colours depending on the surroundings!
So many people asked me at that wedding where I got this from and I would jokingly reply “Oh this, I made it!” and would be always met with – “no really, where did you get it?”. I could have sold it a dozen times over. I guess I could go into production but then, it wouldn’t be unique and also, I would probably hate it by the time I’d finished!
BTW, my sisters and I are very close in age, Jacqui is the eldest, then Gillian, then Susan and then me, Mum had the four of us under 5 years of age at one time!
What a lovely day
We had such fun that day, the wedding was in the Lake District and for once, the weather was perfect! We sat outside until after midnight just talking and laughing together – the shawl (actually, I’ve just found out that Threads call it a scarf, not a shawl!) was actually just the correct warmth!
I have mentioned in other posts about the WI competitions I have entered in the past. One year, an entry called for “A fabric item using shades of green, blue plus one other colour of your choice” so I made another of these shawls.
The strange thing was, I was in the marquee during judging (although you mustn’t tell a judge that any item is yours so that it’s all fair) and I saw all the other entries for this category being taken to the table for judging and all the time my shawl was lying on said table. It hadn’t been judged and therefore hadn’t been taken back to the show tables! It stayed there until the end for some reason, I was getting worried that the judge may have decided it wasn’t ‘according to schedule’.
Well, finally it was looked at by the craft judge who then called over a couple of other judges to have a discussion about it – can you imagine how hard it is to stay away from a conversation going on about something you’ve made?
It got first prize after all that – the judge said she’d known that it was the winner from the very start but the issue was……she couldn’t give it 20/20 as she wanted to! (I think it got 19.5). After spreading it out on the table she found a length of the seam – about 1.5″ long – which the overlocker had not caught so, quite rightly, it couldn’t get full marks as it had a hole in it! I swear I’d gone over every seam checking for this!
Anyway, she loved it and, when I admitted (after judging was over) that it was mine, she apologised for finding the hole. I had my pink one in the car with me and she loved that one too!
As you can see, I used organza in a couple of shades of green, a couple of blue and then a hairy purple for the ‘one other colour’ and I finished the ends of every seam with some beadwork. It’s not as long as my pink version, nor as wide, but I do like it a lot. Haven’t had chance to wear it anywhere yet though…maybe for my anniversary next month.
I’ve been asked about the yardage for the scarf – the following was taken from a discussion about it some time ago, hope it helps:
The scarf takes 2 3/4 yards of 45″ fabric—that produces a parallelogram that is about 64″ long.
A three color scarf — 4 x 3″ wide strips of each color requires 1 3/4 of each, a total of 5 1/4 yards! The reason: when you fold up one side of the fabric and cut it at the true bias, you lose 45″ across the length of fabric and you need 12″ of length to get 4 x 3″ pieces—so you need a total of 57″ ( i.e. 45 + 12) or 1.6 yards.
That’s why, in the original article, the writers dyed the organza strips rather than using almost twice as much yardage.
If you can find 55 inch fabric, you can make a scarf/shawl that is 78″ long–you will need about 3 yards. If you used 3 colors, you would need 1.85 yards of each color.
Courtesy of : Marijo Rymer, Professional Association of Custom Clothiers