Thursday, December 20, 2007

Fiber and Air Free Pattern

I am not making any holiday presents this year. But, in case you want to make any last minute presents, I am posting instructions for a quick gift made of recycled bits of fabric, ribbon, yarns, thread and air. Mostly air.

I posted instructions a long time ago, on my sister's blog. See the
picture of Iris in this scarf.

General Tips:

I generally followed the directions given in the Sew News Threads of Distinction article. I also searched the web and read that some people had trouble removing the stabilizer completely or removing the residue from the basting spray. I decided to use plain old Solvy instead of the thicker Ultra Solvy. Sure enough, it dissolved fairly easily when swished around in a sink full of warm water and a little shampoo.

Further cruising seemed to indicate that the basting spray does not dissolve easily in water so I used it very lightly. I used the very minimal amount of spray that was still tacky enough to hold the fibers in place as I worked. Other people's blogs indicate that the brand of basting spray matters. I stayed away from the brand that people had trouble with and used the June Tailor basting spray as recommended by the Threads of Distinction article.

The ToD instructions say to spray both layers of Solvy. But, if you spray both layers of Solvy, then how do you put the top layer of Solvy on without getting a wrinkled mess? I enlisted the help of a friend and we still had trouble laying it on straight and wrinkle-free. For the second scarf, I sprayed only the bottom layer of Solvy with basting glue. I rolled the top layer of Solvy up and then carefully unrolled it over the fibers and bottom layer, starting at one scarf end and finishing at the other.

Machine stitching the grid can be rather tedious. If your sewing machine chews up metallic threads in the needle, try putting it in the bobbin instead. Rather than buying multi-colored embroidery thread, you can use up bits of leftover colors of sewing thread in multiple colors. Different colors of thread in the bobbin and needle produce an interesting twisted color effect.


  1. Solvy
    1. For a 9” wide scarf, buy enough yardage for the desired length of the scarf.
    2. For an 18” wide stole, buy double the length of the stole.
  2. Ribbon yarn
    1. 5 times the length of the scarf
    2. 8-10 times the length of the stole
  3. Bits of lightweight fabrics
  4. Small amounts of different yarns
    1. Try some fluffy eyelash and/or recycled silk yarn
  5. Sewing and embroidery thread in coordinating colors.


  1. Cut a piece of 19" wide Sulky Solvy to the length of your scarf.
  2. Cut it in half lengthwise to two 9.5" wide pieces.
  3. Roll one piece up and set it aside.
  4. Lay the other piece out on newspaper and spray enough June Tailor basting spray to make it tacky enough to hold your fibers down.
  5. Move the newspaper out of the way (so your fibers don't stick to the newspaper).
  6. Weight the tacky Solvy down with sewing weights at the corners to keep it taut.
  7. Lay ribbon or ribbon yarn around the perimeter of your scarf.
  8. Lay a few pieces of ribbon lengthwise to give it a bit more structure.
  9. Lay your other yarns, fibers, and fabric bits down in any way that appeals to you.
  10. Admire your work. Fill in sparse areas because you want the density of the scarf to be roughly even and balanced.
  11. Carefully unroll the remaining piece of Solvy over your fiber collage.
  12. Pin as necessary to keep the sandwich together.
  13. Sew with a medium straight stitch (~2.8 mm) around the perimeter of your piece.
  14. Sew a mesh (both lengthwise and crosswise) about ½ to ¾” apart.
  15. Admire your work. If there are areas where the grid is spaced too far apart, fill in the area with more stitching.
  16. Swish the piece in a sink full of warm water and a few drops of shampoo until the Solvy is completely dissolved. Rinse.
  17. Roll the piece up in a towel to blot the water out, and then air-dry.
  18. Admire your work.
Enjoy, and please use this pattern only for noncommercial use, etc. And send photos of your completed work.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the directions! I found some on DYI but had some difficulty figuring out the sewing method. I really like what you ahe and I especially love the direction to "Admire your work"!!! Thanks.1


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