I am so excited that all of you want to sew with me.
Only a little freaked out.
I am so scared that my unconventional way of sewing, combined with my random A.D.D. brain will make no sense whatsoever.

But I really hope that you will fall in love with sewing as we venture together.

First off, I encourage you to grab a friend to sew with you.
Especially if they already know how. They can be there to rescue you when your machine acts crazy or you get stuck.
How great would it be if you asked your mom, your aunt, your grandma to join along. They might not read blogs, but they can be a part of the fun as well. Plus, if you don't have a sewing machine or some of the supplies I bet they would be happy to share with you.

Secondly, I learned much of what I know by watching videos on YouTube.
You would be surprised how many choices come up just by searching
"threading a Singer sewing machine."
So if you don't have an instruction manual, or don't understand it, grab a cup of coffee and watch some videos. I am a visual learner and I need to see things done to be able to understand them. That is why I struggle so much with paper patterns. My brain shuts off about two minutes in to reading them. I plan on having very picture heavy posts so each step is illustrated to help.

Here is the schedule of events:

Week One:
Gathering supplies and making friends with your sewing machine.

Week Two:
Cutting fabric and assembling scarves.

Week Three:
Finishing scarves and adding trim.

Want to know what you need to start?

Here we go...
Rotary Cutter
Self healing mat
A new needle for your machine
(A new needle always is a great start to a new project.)
Seam ripper
(It's not pictured, but please buy one. If you know that you can safely rip out any mistakes, you won't be so sad when you make them. Because you will. It is inevitable.)
Meet the rotary cutter.
Your new best friend.
I don't know about you, but I am not the best at cutting straight, precise lines.
A rotary cutter, ruler and mat solves that problem.
They are a bit of an investment, but they are worth every penny.
If you use a 40% Joann's or Hobby Lobby coupon you'll be able to save quite a bit.
I recommend that you buy a mat that is no smaller than 17x23 inches and a ruler no shorter than 24 inches. You will struggle lining up your fabric on anything less than those sizes.

You might want some pins.
I don't normally sew with them, but they might make it a bit easier while you learn.

As for thread, I love Gutterman.
Don't know why. Just do.
You will only need one spool.
If you would like to get a coordinating color, feel free.
I am lazy and hate to change colors so I usually just stick with white.

Now to the good part.
Consider this your warning.
Once you start buying yummy, scrumptious fabric you won't be able to stop. It's bad. But a good bad.

You will need:
9 coordinating fat quarters
(a fat quarter is a 1/4 yard of fabric that measures 18x22 inches. Here is a helpful diagram to show you what they look like.)
Each scarf will have one piece from each of the nine fabrics. Get creative with color combos. Add in a print that is a bit unexpected. Putting together fabrics is my favorite part.

1 1/2 yds. fun trim.
I am using pom poms, but there are so many fun choices in the trim aisle.
Fringe, marabou, lace, feathers.... go crazy!
Now I know that you will ask...
where is this amazing fabric from?
Isn't it Paula Prass'
The line that is not even in stores yet?

Yes, yes and yes.

But I won a fat quarter bundle and she sent it to me. Herself! It was the first piece of mail that we got in our new home.
So what I am doing?
Making scarves with you, of course.
What else?
Randomly giving them away....
Wait and see my friends. Wait and see.

But although you can't get the fabric that I have, Stephanie from Material Gal has lovingly put together some gorgeous bundles specifically for this fun Scarf Along.
She will take the scariness out of combining fabrics and the hassle out of fabric shopping.
I promise that I could buy every single one.
Even the purple ones!
They are that delicious.
Plus, since she is RAD! She is giving all of you a super secret deal. Hop on over to her shop, pick a bundle and put JoysHope in the notes to seller box. She will refund you $2 from your purchase. But go quick. She is shipping the same day, but I want you to have your fabric in time for next weeks lesson.

So I have some homework for you this week.

Are you ready?

Get out your sewing machine. Get out the instruction manual.
Thread it.
The go to your dresser.
Get out that pair of pajama pants that you and I both know that you have no business still wearing. Those leftover from college, when you thought it was okay to wear them to class. It wasn't okay, by the way. The time has come. Sacrifices must be made.

Cut them up into squares. Use them for practice. Turn knobs. Stitch stitches. Sew pieces together. Rip them apart. The more you sew the more you will learn your machine and the more comfortable you will feel. Figure out how to backstitch. This will be huge next week. Don't be afraid to mess it up. It is only ugly pajamas. If you get stuck or frustrated, check your manual or YouTube.

So how do you feel?
Still scared?
That's okay.
You will make it through.
You are already 1/3 on your way to making 8 stunning, happy, handmade scarves.
Can you believe it?

Be sure to grab the Scarf Along button to decorate your sidebar.
(Thanks Shealynn!)
Let the world know you are brave and crafty!

Joys Hope

Practice, practice, practice!


  1. I am a 16 year old reader of your blog who already happens to be friends with the sewing machine! I was so excited by your Scarf Along that I sewed myself a whole scarf already today :) I will probably make some more using your method, however.

  2. I'm so excited about this! I'm going to go dust off my machine now and then as soon as the kids are in bed figure out how to thread it.

  3. I'm a mom/self taught sewer since I was about 9, but I still want in on this scarf-a-thon...ps... I could just shoot you for linking to that juicy fabric selection. Now I HAVE to buy some. I have no choice... she put owl prints in... *sigh*

  4. So. Flippin. Scared. Can you please come up and hold my hand?

  5. I am so excited to start with the scarf along! I blogged about it here:

    Can't wait to get started!

  6. Hi Julie!!

    I've been following your blog for a little while now, I am a friend of Drew's and she talks about how sweet you are often. :) I just heard about these tutorials from her today, and wanted to make sure I said Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. I have a very love/hate relationship with my sewing machine, your stuff is always so cute and amazing... so I'm excited for what you have to share, and learn from you :)

    PS... I just know from reading your specific comment about, "Being too lazy to switch colors," that these are going to be fun! I'm the exact same way!! :)

    Oh, and another thing your girls and your family are adorable!! I love seeing the photos that Drew takes of you guys. And… congrats on the new house!!

    Thanks again for sharing with all of us! :)


  7. I'm not going to lie. Just reading this is making me sweat a little. I'm scared...

  8. Okay, I decided to sew along. :) I order beautiful fabric from MaterialGal and am super excited. I sew a ton so I don't need to get to know my sewing machine, but I am super excited to meet new sewers as I am always trying to trick my friends into joining me. : ) Thanks for the opportunity Julie!

  9. Hi Julie!
    I've been quietly reading too... I'm so excited to make a scarf with you! I checked my reader a million times today waiting for your post and my sewing machine is all ready. I was going to ask for the rotary cutter for Christmas, but I guess I'll have to get it now! (Oh darn!) Thanks for the motivation!

  10. I'm in. :) Have to go pick some fabric (I say have to when everyone knows I WANT to!).

  11. This sounds like so much fun! I am brand new to this but I really want to try!

  12. okay, just ordered me 9 fat quarters of Moda...can't wait!

  13. Stoked. Scared. Anxious. I've had some fat quarters waiting for me to get the courage to put them to use! Here goes nothing...I'm in!

  14. OKay girl! Just bought my bundle from material girl! Going shoppin tomorrow! EEEEKK!

  15. I am so stinkin excited! I love that you are getting people to sew. You just make me happy!

  16. I am new to this whole blogging thing. How do I get your button onto my sidebar?
    Thanks! And I can't wait to make some beautiful scarfs!

  17. P.S. Then one and only time that I sewed was in my seventh grade home ec class. Which wasnt but 9 years ago :) I am super excited to use my new sewing machine. I originally got it to use on my scrapbooking. Then I decided I really want to make a beautiful quilt. My husband thought I should start small first lol.

    p.s.s. I stumbled onto your blog and was captivated by your something handmade everyday thing. Now that I am out of school I have so much time I dont know what to do with and have really gotten into creating things, I am hoping I can add sewing along side :)

    Thank you for your help!!!

  18. OK - I am so excited. When I bought my machine (on a whim) I also bought a book to teach me. Yet so far I have only made a few things. My friends and "tween" nieces will LOVE these scarves.
    I have just two questions...Should all nine fat quarter coordinate with each other?
    Second - I have SO much fabric it's embarrassing. Is it ok to just cut 9 different pieces to the size of a fat quarter. This could be a great "scrap buster" for me.

  19. So excited!
    Want to post cute button so bad.
    But don't want my friends to know or see what they'll get for christmas.

  20. I am so jazzed! I put the button on my sidebar, and in today's post, and I ordered my fabric- what a smokin deal on designer fat qt's!

    I'm just so stinkin' excited to learn how to sew something new without having to struggle with a paper pattern! Woo-Woo!!

    Thanks for doing this!

  21. I am IN!!!

    Ps--have you already answered this? How many scarfs will this make?

    I can't wait!

  22. I'm ready. I will have all my materials by tomorrow - how exciting is this!!!

  23. Love it - I'm in.
    My machine is ready to go.
    Say the word!


  24. Sigh. I don't have a mat or a rotary cutter. They are both on my Christmas wishlist though. I wil have to make do with a yard stick, a pair of Fiskars sewing sisscors and my dining room table that is covered with a vinyl pumpkin print table cloth i got on sale at K Mart. Cuz we're classy like that.

    I absolutely refuse to cut up a favorite pair of PJ pants though. Are you INSANE? I don't sacrifice a well-loved pair of PJ pants for anything! Girl, those are my fancy work clothes I wear everyday to the office. You know, the one in my bedroom. So back off.

    I'll cut up some random piece of eBay inventory that I've been unable to sell. I'm eye balling a certain Talbots leaf print skirt right now, as a matter of fact.

  25. I am so excited! Now I just need some cute fabric.

  26. just got my fabric!! cant wait to make some scarves :)

  27. This is going to be so much fun! I'm self-taught on my sewing machine and I love it, but I do have the same problem you mentioned with paper patterns...they are so aggravating! I don't seem to 'get' what they want me to do. I usually just end up making my own patterns and figuring it out on my own.

    What type of fabric do you recommend for this project? Does it matter?

  28. grabbed the button, ordered the fabric. i'm ready! let's do this.

  29. I added your Scarf Along button to my blog! I'm hoping my 11 yr old will do this w/me! She has her own Bernina she got for her bday almost 2 yrs ago now!


  30. What great timing! I was going to just watch excitedly as everyone else joined in, because we don't have good fabric anywhere in my home town or nearby.....but I saw a new Quilting Shoppe yesterday, that has recently opened not far from me. And I LOVE scarves....and I so love your clear explanations. Just the way I need them. So; I'm on board now too. :-)

  31. My daughter had your blog on her blog which I follow everyday. My dauther-in-love wants me to teach her to sew. She bought a sewing machine when she graduated from High School. Her grandmother taught her some, but it has been stored in her Mom's closet until now when she moved into her beautiful house. What a fun way to learn to sew. We are going to be excited to follow your blog as I teach her to sew!!! Thank you

  32. I'm so excited about this! I'm going to teach my daughter-in-love my son's wife to sew using your blog. My daughter who follows your blog shared this with me!

  33. I want to join in! I can't wait!! I'm going to find my fabric now.

  34. I cannot wait!! My sewing machine used to be my BFF, but we have gone through some hard times.

    I can't wait to get to know it agian!!

  35. I'm going to try this...it makes me nervous, but I'm going to try!

    A long time ago, I saw a tutorial on how to make a rag garland. Now I am ready to make it and can't find the post. Was that you? I thought I saw it in all your crafty goodness!!

  36. Julie-
    Seriously am not sure I can wait another week for you to post ... I have painters here at my house and am stuck with them for the next 2 weeks. Save me from boredom and having to clean out closets the whole time! {LOL} Please post sooner than next week or I just might go nutty!!!! :)

  37. Love this Julie!
    I'm a pretty experienced sewer, but I'm still SEW-excited to play along. Should I be? No ... I have TONS on my sewing plate, but I'm going to justify this as Christmas gifts :).
    I just picked up a fun set from Material Girl (of which I'm pretty sure I had most of the fabrics in my stash, but not FQ's and I didn't want to cut into my half yards ... or I just wanted an excuse to buy more fabric :)).

    See you next week for more fun!

  38. I'm soooo excited!!! I am pretty familiar w/ sewing and quilting but trim scares me!! Thank you so much for leading us!

  39. Ok.. I'm excited. Currently making "nice" with my sewing machine that hasn't seen the light of day for about 7 years.

  40. I see no BOTTLE OF WINE on that shopping list. That was an over sight, correct?????

  41. what a fun idea!!! I want to play along. I'm already great friends with my machine, and I can't wait to find my fabrics!

    I'll blog about all this tomorrow! In the meantime, I must post pictures from Sundays Saints-Panthers game. Priorities, right?

  42. Can't wait! I did the quilt along you posted about in May (okay so I did it five months after you did~ but I did it!)
    This would be perfect for the girls to help with too...easy and great gift for their little friends in the neighborhood!
    Great excuse to go to the fabulous fabric store downtown everyone has been raving about too!

  43. I'm in, and a little nervous. I will need to get acquainted with my (hand me down from my fabulous seamtress mil)machine quickly. Bought supplies today, fabric tomorrow. So, so excited. Thank you in advance for making me proud! :)

  44. Okay....I now have my mom's sewing machine at my house.
    My Joann's coupon is in my purse.
    I am getting supplies tomorrow.

  45. Count me in. This sounds like fun!


  46. I'm taking the plunge! I've purchased a gorgeous bundle from Stephanie and can't wait to get it. I'm not a sewer, but I always hope to be!

    Diving in!

  47. I haven't gotten my fabric yet...am I too late to join? It is on the way but I am going to be a little behind. I am also a beginning seamstress, will I be able to do this?

  48. Thanks for hosting this! These will make perfect little christmas gifts!!

  49. You are CRAZY!!! How do you have time for all of this??? Amazing.