tutorial: throws for the snowy season
We have those wavy old-glass windows in our old house, so authentic and so drafty. While we waver, year after year, on whether to replace them, we need lots of warm throws to cuddle under. So, in early December, this wool throw project by Brett Bara on DesignSponge caught my eye. It looked so excellently simple that I ran out and bought all kinds of wool fabric and some lush fringe-y trim remnants–a steal!– from Osgood’s. When I got home, I found that I had to modify the ultra-simple instructions just a little, since the fabrics I bought didn’t always have nice selvages, and those remnants were just a bit too short to cover the ends.
Still, this project is EASY. And boy do these babies make great gifts. Over the holidays, I stuffed the three throws shown above into my carry-on and had sumptuous offerings to give my Texas relatives…no extra baggage charges! (The fringe was chosen with them in mind, by the way — their houses are full of fancy trimmings like that. These throws are so easy to customize– another reason they make perfect gifts).
What you’ll need to make one throw:
- About 1.5 yards of cozy fabric, 60 inches wide — I used a tweedy wool coat fabric, a thinner camelhair wool, and some “ultraplush” furry fleece
- Enough trim to cover the two raw edges of your yardage
Along with your sewing machine, a good-size needle, thread, and some pins, that’s pretty much it!
1. Gently wash and air-dry the fabric (I hung it to dry on our stairway railing. It smelled like wet dog.) Lightly press it.
2. Decide whether you want to keep the selvages or not. On this tweedy blue throw, I ended up trimming them off and then overcasting all of the edges with a knit stitch, using the very cool overcast presser foot.
3. On the two short edges (or raw edges, if you’ve kept the selvages on), fold a 1/2 inch hem to the wrong side and press it.
Since I am particularly challenged by pressing straight lines, I like to use a 1/2″ template made from a strip of cereal-box cardboard. I just fold the fabric over it, iron, then slide the template further along the edge and repeat.
4. Fold in the edges another 1 inch, then press, making double fold hems–OR, if your fabric is very thick, you might want to skip the double-folded hems, since it might make it very hard to fit the fabric under your presser foot. I skipped the double hem for this blue throw, and just overcast the edges instead, as shown in step 2, to make it it a bit more finished.
6. Cut any baubles or tassels off the first inch or so of the trim, and fold the trim end under 1/2 inch. 7. Align the trim’s folded end along the hemmed edge of the throw, on the right side. Pin the trim in place. Don’t cut the far end of the trim just yet–you will do that after you sew it on most of the way.
8. Attach the trim with a straight stitch. I sewed two lines to attach the wide trim I was using, just above and below the twisted-rope motif running down the center. As you near the end of your stitching, snip the trim so it extends about an inch beyond the throw’s edge. Cut off any tassels from that last inch, then fold the end 1/2-inch under and finish attaching the trim.
Repeat to attach the trim to the other hemmed edge. FIN! You’re done!
Once again, a shout out to Brett Bara and her inspiring throw project. A few tips if you’re using heavy-ish wool and lush trim, like I did:
- Adjust your presser foot pressure as needed to fit thick stuff under the presser foot. I switched the pressure all the way to “0” for much of the trim attachment.
- Experiment with your overcasting foot–it’s a darn cool thing and you can do a zigzag or knit stitch to finish edges in a flash.
- Adding a free form monogram would be a nice touch. As would appliques.
And now I can make a throw for myself. I’m thinking it will be wool on front, silky flannel on the back…and when it’s done, my family and I won’t have to fight for throw cover, and I will be an even more dedicated couch potato than I am right now. And that’s quite dedicated.