Hooded Scarf

Hooded Scarf

Minnesota radio DJs seem to love reminding us, after shoveling about three feet of snow and de-icing our cars each day, that it's not technically winter yet. Winter doesn't start until December 21, so really what we're experiencing is a really, really, brisk fall day. Well, as anyone who lives in an arctic-like region knows, on those "brisk fall days" you can't have enough scarves, hats, or mittens. Sometimes you end up with multiples of all of them just to keep yourself alive from your car to your door.

So, instead of packing a scarf, a hat, and a pair of mittens, wouldn't it be nice if you could have them all in one? You can! With a little ingenuity, and a touch of embroidery, you can whip up a fuzzy, warm, hooded scarf complete with cozy pockets!

So, to make your hooded pocket scarf, you'll need:

  • About two yards of warm fabric (for the outside, I'm using a soft wool blend)
  • About two yards of furry, soft fabric (I'm using black fleece)
  • Printed pattern pieces for the hood
  • Scissors and lots of pins
  • A ruler or measuring tape
  • Some cutaway stabilizer
  • An awesome embroidery design to punk up your scarf

Let's start with the pattern. The hood will come as a two-part pattern which you'll need to print and tape together. We're providing just the hood part of the scarf as a pattern because the rest of the scarf is basically a long rectangle; the length is up to you. You can make a scarf just long enough to dig your hands into the pockets, or one long enough to wrap around multiple times.

Once you have the pattern printed and taped, you'll want to take a long piece of your outside fabric and fold it on itself, so when you cut out a shape you'll get two pieces. Position the hood at the top of your fabric, so you have plenty of length to add to your scarf. Pin this pattern in place.

You can now start cutting out your fabric. You can see the hood tapers back in at the bottom; that width will be the continued width of your scarf, but the length is up to you. Cut it out as one continuous piece.

Once you've cut the outside fabric, fold your lining fabric in half and repeat the process until you have four pieces cut, two of the lining and two of the outside.

To make our pockets extra cozy and warm for our cold little fingers, let's line them with the warmer fleece fabric. Take your two pieces of outside fabric, measure up 7 1/2 inches from the bottom, and cut it off. These pieces will become the front of our pockets.

Really, anywhere on this scarf is ripe for embroidery but I thought the pocket would be a great place to add a little steampunk touch. I took one of my pocket pieces, hooped it up with some stabilizer, and embroidered my little steamy heart onto it. Maybe it will remind my poor heart to keep pumping in the freezing cold...

So, to put our pockets back on, you'll need the wool piece you cut off, plus two matching pieces of the furry fleece the same size as the wool rectangle. These two pieces will become both the back of the pocket and the end of the scarf inside the pocket. You'll want to cut these two pieces for both pockets.

So, let's start with adding the length back onto our scarf. Take one of your rectangles of fleece and lay it right sides together on top of the scarf, pinning the bottom edges together, like shown. Sew a seam along this edge and then fold it right sides out again. Your scarf should be back to its original length, but now with a fuzzy end.


Now for the pocket piece itself. The outside of our pocket will be our wool (like the embroidered piece) and the inside will be the other fleece rectangle we cut. Place the two pieces right sides together (with the embroidery facing in). Sew a seam along the top edge, and fold it right side out again, now with the wrong sides together. Pin that top edge in place.


Sew a seam along the top edge. This will become the finished top of the pocket. Place this top pocket piece back onto your scarf, with the fleece sides touching. The top of the pocket and the start of the fleece on the scarf should line up, so the fleece is only visible inside the pocket.

Repeat this process on the other side of the scarf.

Once you have your pockets, pin your pocket pieces in place near the middle, so they stay lined up with the fleece edge but the pins don't go anywhere near your seam line.

Once the pockets are pinned in place, take the large lining piece you cut, and lay it on top, right sides together. Pin all these layers together, taking extra care pinning around the pockets, as the layers can get pretty thick down there and easily shift. Do this for both pieces -- you should have two halves of a hooded scarf, pinned and ready to sew.

When you sew your seam on each scarf piece, you're going to want to leave a large gap so you can turn it right side out again. I recommend starting your seam at the top of the hood, going around the curve, down the scarf, and back up the other side, stopping at the bottom of where the hood would start. I gave myself a generous seam allowance to make sure I caught all the thick soft fabric with all the seams.

Turn each piece right side out, taking special care to push out the corners of the pockets, and push out the curve on the hood. This is what my pockets looks like turned right side out again. As you can see, the pockets lined up nicely with the fleece lining, so it all appears to be wool from the outside.

Now we're going to put our two pieces together to make a hood. Place your two halves right sides together, so the fleece is facing out. Carefully pin all around the hood, stopping just at the back, near the base of your neck and where the curve comes back in to the scarf piece. Sew a tight and careful seam along this edge, stopping where your last pin is. You don't want to stitch too far or you'll sew your scarves together, so it's good to have a pin to mark the end point of your seam.

Turn your hood right side out again. Now all that remains is to finish that open edge at the front of your hood, and make everything nice and neat. Carefully fold the raw edge in along the open front of your hood, taking extra care at the top of the hood, where the two halves meet. I used lots of pins to prevent shifting.

Starting at the back point of your hood, along one side of a scarf, sew down the length of one end, around a pocket, across the front (where it will sew the front of your hood closed), back around the other pocket, and ending at the other side of the back of your hood.

If you're using bulky warm fabrics like I am, take extra care around thick areas, like the pockets. There are a lot of layers going on here, so don't rush your sewing machine through it.

Fin! All the seams are finished and nice and neat, all the edges are folded and lined. You have a warm lined hood to keep the chill of your head, a long scarf you can wrap around your shoulders to keep the chill off, and even wonderfully soft lined pockets at the bottom to keep your hands warm! Plus it's got some awesome personal embroidery that really make this winter wear your own. Stitch some seasonal flair, or just your own favorites, whatever helps you cheer up on chilly days. Now, on days when you can't find all your hats, gloves, and scarves, this one handmade goody will do triple duty to keep you warm and stylin'.


Want some more fun scarf tutes to keep you stylish and warm through the cold weather? The interwebs, as usual, are full of ideas. Lex turned an old cashmere sweater into a ruffly and fashionable scarf, and will show you how to make your own. CraftStylish has instructions for making a trendy infinity scarf. And Chancery8 on Instructables shows how to make a truly ingenious combination of a hat, scarf, fingerless gloves, and mitten pocket into a single bizarre and cozy garment. Next big thing, we’re telling you.

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