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Ombre Silk Scarves

April 12, 2012

A month or so ago I got an itch for a serger. I was never happy with the running skirt that I made on my straight-stitch machine, I want to make a collection of Renfrews, and I was curious about the seam finishing possibilities.

I researched online and then went into my local sewing machine store to see just how much a serger cost. Oh my. A serger was not in my budget. When I couldn’t shake the bug, I decided to look on Craigslist. I found a perfectly good serger for just outside my budget. I debated whether it was wise to buy a used seller. Twitter advised against it. But, I ultimately broke down and emailed the seller to ask if they were willing to negotiate. Within half a day, I was the proud owner of my very own BabyLock Eclipse LX (sparkly-skinned vampires not included). It came with all kinds of goodies that the former owner didn’t need anymore. Little Gingher snips. Needles. Bobbins. Thread. And, it was already set up to do a nice three-thread rolled hem. From what I could tell, the former owner had last (only?) used this serger to make a nice edge on napkins. It got me to thinking about the ombre silk I’d bought ages ago from FineFabrics.com that I wanted to turn into scarves. I’d tried hand rolling the hem, but I was never quite happy with the results, especially for the time it required. I’d also tried using my narrow hem foot, but I found it hard to control the edge of the fabric, even with lots of starch. The lightbulb went on. What about doing a rolled hem with the serger?

I bought some silver thread: two spools of regular serger thread and one spool of wooly serger thread. After reading the manual and doing a little bit of practice, I decided I actually liked the two-thread rolled hem. And, away I went.

I snipped the fabric every 12″ along the selvedge and then ripped it into strips so that each would be on grain and the same width across.  No parallelograms here. Because of the ombre coloring, the silver pops on the black half of the fabric and fades into the silver half.  I thought a silver edge on the black would be more elegant than a black edge on the silver, and I imagine either would have been just fine.

These scarves are meant as gifts for the friends who spent a weekend with me in Sonoma for my bachelorette party.  Two years ago.  They can’t yet be sent out because I also want to make clutches for each of them.  But, then they will be sent out.  Better late than never, right?

There are three colorways still available if you’re interested in making your own:  yellow, blue, and purple.  A quick and simple gift for anyone who likes scarves.  And, if you can figure out hand rolling, let me know!

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. April 12, 2012 8:06 am

    Yay, congratulations on the new serger! You’ll really like having it in your arsenal. I bought mine from a used seller on ebay (eek, Babylocks new are pretty overpriced imo)–and it had barely been used, so I was pretty happy for choosing that route. I really like the rolled hem a lot–I just did it on a lining and it looks really pretty. (And fast.)

    • April 12, 2012 8:59 am

      I’m very happy with my purchase. I got a great deal on what I imagine, like yours, was barely used. But, I’m now having to teach myself how to use it. I’m glad I have a good base in sewing with which to begin!

  2. April 12, 2012 8:53 am

    What a great idea for gifts! No fitting and one can never have too many scarves.
    Congrats on the serger. I just bought mine new and I love it.

  3. April 12, 2012 9:20 am

    That scarf is beautiful! I love the ombre effect! I finally broke down a bought a serger yesterday! I got a cheapo Brother that had gobs of good reviews on Amazon– seemed like a good starter.

  4. April 12, 2012 9:44 am

    love the scarf. sergers, or overlockers as we call them in the UK are fab! You are lucky to have got a babylock at a good price. i have an old 5-reel Bernina and a newer Janome, Both are frequently used.

  5. April 12, 2012 12:37 pm

    Great score! I’m the one who just talked Funnygrrl into her serger, and I’m so relieved she loves it, because MAN it was expensive. I admit to having ogled them on kijiji a time or five, but never quite had the guts to take the plunge. I guess, like any buying used, there is a risk, but if you get a good one, what a find! I can’t quite justify it myself because technically I *have* a serger… but its functionality is so limited it’s basically only good for seam finishing. :P

  6. April 12, 2012 3:26 pm

    I’ve got a Babylock and I love it. I use rolled hem quite a bit making scarves for Jess and I use Isacord thread on right needle, Wooly Nylon on the upper looper and isacord on the lower looper. Ps: use a cradle to thread the wooly nylon. Gives silk scarves a beautiful finish. You’ll be whipping up scarves for presents in no time. Congratulations scoring such a deal!!!!

  7. April 12, 2012 5:56 pm

    This is so beautiful! I’m sure those girls will be thrilled with their scarves, even if they are two years late. So glad to hear your used serger worked out for you! *starts eyeing CraigsList*

  8. April 13, 2012 7:54 pm

    Isn’t Craiglist just so amazing! I know everyone advises against it, but I have found all my apartments through Craiglists. I’m glad you finally caved and got a serger. The more sewing you can do, the better, right?

  9. April 13, 2012 8:32 pm

    Beautiful scarves, and yay serger! You’ll love it. I actually rarely use mine for sewing knits, but it’s wonderful for finishing seams on woven garments – and I love that rolled edge for hemming ruffles. Goodbye baby hems!

  10. April 19, 2012 8:03 am

    Congrats on a great steal!! I would love to upgrade to a BabyLock… my serger is cheap (a used gift) and finnicky to no end. Excuse me while I scour Craigslist…

  11. Maureen permalink
    April 1, 2013 10:41 am

    Great things are in store for you. Like a really quick gift such as placemats with coordinating napkins, or a receiving blanket! I saw a designer “scarf-vest” in a catalog that I cannot wait to try. Have fun!

  12. October 12, 2013 6:14 pm

    I bought my first sewing machine off of CL for $30 years ago, its a Vintage Kenmore flatbed with all metal parts, it sews amazingly well. Now I have a crappy Brother PR series (also bought from CL for $75) Singer Ultra lock Serger (pretty good and I bought it from a friend for $50) and just bought an expensive Brother Cover stitch machine and learning how to use it. Anyone know how to use the cover stitch machine?

    • October 13, 2013 12:23 pm

      Oh, how I wish I had a cover stitch machine. I hope it’s not too hard to learn how to use yours!

      • October 13, 2013 1:54 pm

        If definitely not intuitive, the Brother 2340CV. It doesn’t have a thread cutter so you have to push the thread back and hold the thread release buttons while pulling the threads. But the attachments that you have to buy separately make me drool.

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