Thrift Store Refashion: Fall Infinity Scarf!

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It’s August, school is back in session, and the smell of newly sharpened pencils is lingering in the air.

This will soon be followed by a crisp, cool breeze and crimson, orange, and yellow leaves falling and crunching under our feet.

When it comes to prints, there is little else that says “Fall” like a good plaid.

Scarves are a great way to accessorize – so why not take a thrift store plaid shirt and turn it into an easy infinity scarf?

I picked up this shirt at the thrift store for around three dollars – it was fun and retro but it needed some mending. I really loved the plaid print, so I decided I’d refashion it into a scarf.

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The good news is that thrift stores tend to have an abundance of plaid shirts, and you could use any plaid or any pattern that you like, including a men’s shirt – to make a scarf like this one.

First, you need to go out thrift shopping and pick up a shirt with a fabric that you like. Better yet, take a shirt from your closet that you don’t wear anymore and refashion it to make yourself an easy accessory.

Do you want to know how I did it?

Let me start by saying that this project took me about two hours. It should not have taken anywhere NEAR that long. It was one of those times when it seemed like everything that could possibly go wrong DID go wrong.

My new (to me) fancy digital sewing machine that my grandmother passed down to me had a problem with the dog feed so it would only sew in one spot without moving. I finally gave up on it and pulled out my old machine, but when I tried to sew with it the foot pedal wouldn’t work. It turns out there is some kind of short in the electrical cord to the pedal so it will only work if the pedal is turned upside down!

So, if you’re having a day where things go your way, it should only take you about a half hour or less to complete this project (aside from shopping time).

To begin, you take your shirt, lay it out flat on a table or the floor, and cut out the front two panels and the back panel into big rectangles. You’ll end up with three pieces, slightly different in size.

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long-fold

Mine were about 14” x 17” but this will vary slightly based on your shirt, and that is a-okay. It’s not an exact science.

Trim your rectangles down so they are all the same width, then sew the short sides together with a simple straight stitch so you end up with one long piece of fabric.

If your fabric has a right side and a wrong side, be sure to put the right sides together (facing each other) before sewing.

After you have your long strip, fold it long ways (AKA hot dog style) with the right sides together and sew down the long edge, so that you have a big tube of fabric.

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Turn the tube right-side-out so all of your raw ends are on the inside.

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On one end of the tube, fold the raw end in about ½ inch and iron the fold down so that you have a nice edge. An alternative to this is to have one of the hemmed ends of the shirt be at the end of the scarf piece, so you already have a finished edge.

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Tuck the unfinished edge of your fabric tube into the finished or folded edge, overlapping them by about ¾ inch. Then sew straight down the overlapped area, closing the scarf neatly.

That’s it – you’re done!

Now you’re all set for Fall with your new plaid infinity scarf, made for under $5!

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Have you refashioned a thrift store find? I’d love to hear about it!

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Lovely comments

  1. I got to the part about the sewing machine problems and had to stop and tell you… I’ve had both those problems recently!

    The “feed freezing in one spot” seems to be linked to a loosely wound bobbin. That’s fixable by looping the thread one more time before I wind the bobbin.

    As for the foot pedal not working, I finally took it in and got it fixed for $20. It’s so nice to know it’s going to work all the time now.

    • Thanks, Wanda – I will try that on the bobbin – I’m still learning this machine so that very well could be it! If I can’t figure that out, then I will definitely have to have the foot pedal fixed on “old faithful.”

  2. Okay, now that I’ve read it all the way through…

    I’m still just venturing into the world of sewing and haven’t done a whole lot more than make blankets and bags. Could you sew some elastic into the long seam to give it a little bit of gathering on the one side? Not even along the entire length, but here and there to give it more texture?

    I don’t actually wear scarves, but I’m always looking for birthday/Christmas gift ideas for the more fashionable folks that I know. :-)

    • I’m honestly not sure on the elastic – in theory it seems like it would work, but would give the scarf a shirred effect on one side. I’ll have to try that sometime and see how it works out – or let me know if you do!

  3. How genius are you? I would have never thought to do something this cute with a shirt like this! Love it!

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