Tutorial: Pantaloon Scarf for girls

pantaloonscarf_finished5Last week I made this gathered scarf for my daughter.  I call it the Pantaloon Scarf because all the gathers across the scarf remind me of the gathers and ruffles at the bottom of a pair of pantaloons.  (The runner-up name for the scarf was The Puffy Shirt Scarf, named after Jerry Seinfeld’s famous Puffy Shirt.) She has worn it every time she’s been out in the cold.  I think she likes it a little.  :) 

It’s made from two layers of knit which are joined together only at the contrast stripes.   There’s no need to hem the edges because t-shirt knit doesn’t fray.  Oh, and it’s awful soft, too. 

I’ve written up a short how-to in case you want to make one.  Keep in mind that this is sized for a little girl.  You could make a longer scarf for an adult, but you’d probably need to add more gathered stripes.

To make the scarf you’ll need:

–2 pieces of t-shirt knit 6″ x 38″ each.  (Obviously, you can make this longer or shorter depending on the length of scarf you want to make.  The 38″ length made a scarf that wrapped around my 6 year old daughter’s neck 1 1/2 times without tying, or once around her neck if tied.)

–Scraps of contrasting t-shirt knit, enough to make 16 3″ x 5/8″ strips.

–Temporary marking tool of your choice.  E.g., air-erasable marker, water-soluble marker, chalk.

Now, here’s how to sew it all together:

1.  Start by marking lines where you’ll create the gathers.  I started at 3″ in from each side, and then marked 3 more lines at 4″ intervals.  (3″, 7″, 11″, and 15″)  There’s a larger gap in the middle of the scarf pieces because that’s where your neck will hit. 

pantaloonscarf_1I marked both scarves at once by placing them on a rotary cutting mat, one above the other, and using an acrylic marker as a guide. 

The photo shows the long strips folded in half.  After I took this photo I flipped the folded scarves over and marked the other sides in the same way.

 2.  Baste across the scarf pieces 1/8″ inch from either side of each line you marked, and then pull the threads to gather to 3″ wide. 

Your basted and gathered scarf pieces will look like this:








3.   Now it’s time to layer the scarf pieces and stitch them together.  The two scarf pieces will be attached at each gathered line. 

At each gathered line, layer and align the following pieces in this order:

  1. Contrast strip, right side down
  2. Scarf piece 1, right side down
  3. Scarf piece 2, right side up
  4. Contrast strip, right side up

I used a straight pin to help hold all the layers together. 







4. Take your layered and pinned scarf to the sewing machine, and stitch through all 4 layers at each gathered line.  With so many layers and gathers, it’s hard to keep the stitching straight on both the top and the bottom so I just made several passes with wavy lines.  That way my wonky seams are on purpose. 

pantaloonscarf_5(Sorry the stitching is so difficult to see.  I should have used a thread with more contrast!)





Do that for all 8 gathered lines, and you’ve finished The Pantaloon Scarf!




  1. Kara says

    First off, I wanted to say how much I LOVE this blog. It is such a treat to check it everyday, so thank you! 😀 Secondly, I love the scarf! I want to make a big people version with black knit and lingerie elastic since we have no kiddies just yet. Very cute! Thanks for sharing, such inspiration! Also, the name is fitting–just perfect! :)

    • says

      Thank you for your kind compliments – both toward this blog and this project. Your grown-up version sounds divine! I love the idea of the lingerie elastic!!


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