FREE TUTORIAL: Mother’s Day bias-trimmed circle scarf

Bias-trimmed circle scarf TUTORIAL  Behind the Hedgerow

I’m so excited to share my first ever tutorial on Behind the Hedgerow.  This idea has been rolling around my head for awhile and I hope you feel inspired to whip one up for your mother (or yourself, your daughter, a friend, your sister, etc).  For all you British readers out there – perhaps you could make one and tuck it away until next year!

Bias-trimmed circle scarf TUTORIAL  Behind the Hedgerow

Recently I got hooked on making circle scarves – a quick, easy and very satisfying project that can be completed in under an hour.  My own mother will be getting one – which she’ll only find out about when she reads this (mom, which one do you like best?!) and will now be arriving to her late because this whole tutorial process has taken waaaay more time than I imagined.  (But she’s that great kind of mom who will totally understand!).

Just a quick note about the instructions.  I want this tutorial to be easy and accessible to sewists of all levels.   I’ve put all the vital information in bold so the more advanced sewists can just whizz through it.  The writing in normal text gives a bit more information and explanation about what we’re doing and why.  I hope this all makes sense!  Any and all feedback is welcome.


  • Lawn or other light-weight cotton.  One piece measuring 180cm X 46cm.  This will make a scarf that goes over your head three times and will be quite snug.  Adjust accordingly if you want something tighter or looser. **Scroll to the bottom for notes on making a child version**
  • Double-fold bias binding – 190cm.  If you increase the length of the fabric make sure you increase length of bias as well (bias should be 10cm longer than fabric).
  • Coordinating thread, pins, scissors, sewing machine, etc – all the usual sewing suspects.

Bias-trimmed circle scarf TUTORIAL  Behind the Hedgerow


Cut your piece of fabric to 180cm x 46cm.

Cutting your fabric accurately is the most important part of this project.  Please spend the time to get your fabric squared-up and cut correctly.  This will make your job of pinning and sewing so much easier later on.

If you don’t have/don’t want to buy a piece of fabric 180cm long then you can always cut two pieces 91cm X 46cm and join them together with a 1cm seam allowance before you start.

Construction of scarf

  • Fold fabric in half along the short edge, right-sides together (RST), and pin in place.  Make sure the fabric lies nice and flat along the rest of the length of the rectangle.
circle scarf - fold and pin short ends

Shown here is right-sides together (even though it doesn’t look like it!). Also, you can see my cutting wasn’t all that even on the first one – learn from my mistakes and try to get those edges nice and even.

  • Stitch with a 1cm seam allowance.  Press seam open.

circle scarf - stitching short ends together

  • You’ll now have a great big circle of fabric.  Next, fold in half, wrong-sides together (WST), along the long circle edge, matching up the seam and raw edges.  This is where your accurate cutting will be a great help.  Assuming you’re not perfect, pin first at the seam you just sewed and then again at the opposite side of the circle.  Because we’re using light-weight and, in some cases, slippery fabric, it’s a good idea to pin like this so you can ease in any extra fabric.

circle scarf - pins on either side of circle

Once those pins are in place then pin all the way around, matching the raw edges and making sure your rectangle lies nice and flat.  

circle scarf - pins all the way around

Some of the pins are hard to see, but here I have the whole open side of my scarf pinned ready for basting together.

  • Sew a basting stitch at about 0.6 cm (1/4 in) seam allowance all the way around.
  • Trim seam allowance to about 0.3 cm (1/8 in).  This will ensure that your basting stitches won’t be visible after sewing on the bias binding.

circle scarf - trim seam allowance

It’s already starting to look like a scarf, right!?

circle scarf - scarf without bias

Scarf before adding bias

Now we just need to add the bias binding.

Adding bias binding

  • Gently open the bias binding along the centre fold.

circle scarf - open bias along centre fold

  • Starting anywhere (except for on the seam attaching the two short lengths), pin the first fold of the bias onto the edge of the fabric, RST, matching up raw edges.  There should be a 5cm overlap where the two ends of the bias binding meet.

circle scarf - end of bias overlap

When you get all the way around it will look something like this (you’ll notice that I don’t have exactly 5cm on either side – as long as they over lap a bit you’ll be ok!).

circle scarf - bias pinned all way around

  • Now we need to finish the bias ends so that we don’t have any overlap in the finished scarf.  What we’re going to do is stich a line so it ends up looking like this:

circle scarf - finishing bias ends

  • To do this, fold your scarf in half along the short edge at the point where the two ends of the bias meet and pin the bias in place, matching up the four folds.

circle scarf - joining bias ends

  • Now, stich across both layers of bias, parallel and just above the fold in the fabric.  Be careful not to catch any of the fabric in your stitching.

circle scarf - stitching bias ends

circle scarf - detail of joined bias ends

  • Now, unfold scarf so bias ends can lie flat.  Trim excess fabric and pin in place.

circle scarf - bias ends sewen and trimmed

  • You now have one continuous piece of bias to attach to your scarf.  This requires two lines of stitching.  First, stitch all the way around along the first fold (the one closest to the raw edge).  I usually sew a teeny tiny bit closer to the raw edge from the fold – this will make sure that your stitching is covered on the other side.

circle scarf - first line bias stitching

  • Next, fold your bias up and over, enclosing the raw edge.  Pin in place and stitch with the open side on top, making sure to cover your basting and first line of bias stitching AND catch the other side of the bias as you sew.  It will be slightly bulkier where the two ends of the bias join – just go slowly here.  Backstitch a few stitches when you complete the circle in order to secure the stitches.

circle scarf - pinning bias for second stitching

circle scarf - second bias stitching
And that’s it!  You’re done!  You have a light, lovely, scarf – perfect for Spring and Mother’s Day! If there are an imperfections – don’t worry!  Try the scarf on, move around a bit and I bet you’ll never notice them!  circle scarf - completed tutorial scarf

What started out as this:

circle scarf - fabricshas turned into this:

Bias-trimmed circle scarf TUTORIAL  Behind the HedgerowHere I added a contrasting thread color.

Bias-trimmed circle scarf TUTORIAL  Behind the Hedgerow

And here is what it looks like on (I would have loved to have my own mother model this – she’s way cuter than me – but, alas, the small obstacle of the Atlantic Ocean was standing in our way!).

Bias-trimmed circle scarf TUTORIAL  Behind the HedgerowYou can also easily make these for children (matching mother-daughter anyone?!  Blah!).  To do this, follow the exact instructions but cut your fabric 134cm x 30cm and your bias 144cm long.  This will easily fit a girl (or fish!?) of 5 years old.

Bias-trimmed circle scarf TUTORIAL  Behind the Hedgerow

For this one I made my own bias binding. This is a great way to give your scarf an even more personal touch.

Whew, I think that’s it.  Was it clear?  Do you feel inspired to make one?  If you do, please let me know how it turns out, if you need any help with understanding the instructions, or if you’d just like to show off what you’ve done!

 Bias-trimmed circle scarf TUTORIAL  Behind the Hedgerow
Bias-trimmed circle scarf TUTORIAL  Behind the Hedgerow
As always, thanks for reading!
***Linking up to Skip to my Lou Made by You Monday***
***Linking up to Make it Wear it Thursday***
Laura x

56 thoughts on “FREE TUTORIAL: Mother’s Day bias-trimmed circle scarf

  1. oon

    I made my mom some, yesterday. Not all circle scarfs, but still. Thinking about mother’s day, yes.
    I especially love the one with the red dots. It looks great on you.

  2. Lisa

    Ooooh these are cute ( so is the picture of small girl/fish – can never get my girl to pose without a silly face either) and it’s a great tutorial.

  3. Adirondack Inspired

    Laura, I LOVE this!!! Pinning it right now… I love that contrasting stitching on the bias tape, too, small detail but I love those kind. I haven’t made my own bias tape before, but that needs to change. Fantastic tutorial….more thoughts to come your way later 🙂

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  6. Lebec Egirl Sews

    Very cute! Love that you also did some for children. What was the length of fabric for the children’s scarf?

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  9. Meghan

    Great idea! I love that you included measurements for a child size scarf! I have wanted to make one for my daughter but was not sure what size fabric to use….thank you for saving me the trouble of guess work! I see a few of these in my future 😉

  10. Agata

    I love Your scarves! I love wearing scarves even more! Do you mind if I make some similar on my own? They’ve absolutely stolen my heart 😀

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  13. muuchocolor

    LOVE at first sight! I loved the combinations between the fabric and the bias. I live in Mexico and I don’t think I’ve ever seen some bias like that. I think I’ll just have to buy funky fabric to make some haha!
    Awesome (and super easy to make) scarfs!

  14. lucinda

    This is so beautiful! Too bad I’m finding this after Mother’s Day, but there’s always next year (or perhaps one for myself first:). Thanks for taking the time to make this tutorial – you did a great job!

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  17. tess

    these are gorgeous! I was wondering where you got the red spotty fabric from? It looks really lovely 🙂

  18. Lorna

    Oh, lovely – thank you very much! They’ll make fantastic, quick Christmas presents. So glad I found this – I’d planned to make scarves anyway, but wouldn’t have thought of adding the binding.Great idea, thanks again. Now I just need to find some time to make them…

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  20. Junita

    Delighted to have stumbled across your beautiful page this morning. House work can wait cause your blog is just tooo interesting :). I am so going to try this scarf. Have a quick question for you please. Could i use couple of old scarves to make it? This is me asking without checking out the measurements of a regular scarf. Would appreciate your advice. Thank you.

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  23. Sarah

    Hi I especially love the blue fabric you have used in your demonstration for the scarves. Do you know which fabric it is? Many thanks


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