Upcycling: PJ Pants to Infinity Scarf

Thanks to my friend Renee, I’ve gotten back into sewing this past year. I’ve developed an obsession with upcycling things. We started our business, ThreadbareNL, with the concept of upcycling in mind. But this post isn’t about that, it’s about scarves!

I love scarves. I’ve had my eye on a plaid infinity scarf on Amazon that cost $30. However, I have made some resolutions and one of them is to not but any new clothing in 2020. I was on Pinterest and I saw a pin that showed a similar plaid scarf made from PJ pants. I have PJ pants I don’t wear anymore because I ripped the butt and I didn’t repair them. The link to the tutorial was dead, but I was able to figure it out. Here’s the first one I made.

I was so excited to try it, I didn’t bother taking photos of the process. I know, right?

I had a second pair though, so I did take photos for this one, and I’m going to explain the very simple process of making a scarf from some PJs.

First thing you do is cut the legs off the pants and then cut up both sides of the legs so you have 4 pieces of fabric, like this:

Supervising felines optional but recommended.

They should be the same width. I cut them so that I still have the top of the pants for shorts. Bonus!

Next, you take the pieces that you cut off the legs and you make a bow tie for your cats. OK, that part is optional but it just shows you how I jump around on projects 😉

The real next step is to sew the short ends of the strips together. You can decide which side of the fabric you want facing outside at this point, or your fabric may be the same on both sides and it doesn’t matter. If it does, sew them right (outside) sides together, like this:

If you have the hem on there, you can make sure the hem is at least on one end. That will come into play later.

Keep sewing them together until you have on long strip of fabric. While you are doing this, you can decide whether you want to use 3 or 4 of the strips, if they are really long. My pants were super long, and I used 4 strips for the first scarf, and I was able to warp it around my neck 3 three times. For this one, I decided to only use 3. (Disclaimer: By decided I mean I sewed the first 2 pieces incorrectly and had to rip the seams, and then I ended up forgetting to sew the 4th one. Ha!)

Once your 3 or 4 pieces are sewn together and looking like this:

You are going to put the right sides together lengthwise and sew all the way down one side, so you have a long tube.

At this point, I was panicking because it looked like a giant scrunchie, and I swear I have nightmares about having to turn scrunchies after sewing them. I turned it but putting it on my arm like this, holding one end and pulling it through. I hope that makes sense because I don’t know how else to describe it.

You’re almost done!

You should have a tube like this:

Next, You take both ends of the tube and if you don’t have a hem, turn the edge into the inside so the ragged edges aren’t showing. If you used a hem on the edge, just slide one end inside the other end. Then you can either sew it together on your sewing machine or by hand, whichever you are comfortable with. The fabric for my first scarf was too thick for my machine, but the second was ok.

Now you’ve got a super cute infinity scarf!

These were PJs I got on sale for $3 years ago. So instead of paying $30 for one scarf, I paid $6 for 2 scarves, 2 pairs of PJ shorts and 2 bow ties for the cats.

I hope this was easy to understand. If there are questions, just ask. If you try this, leave some photos in the comments. I’ll be posting more about my upcycling projects in 2020!

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