Mother’s Day Liberty Scarves

We recently got in a new shipment of Liberty of London Seasonal Tana Lawn prints and we are absolutely loving them. The exquisitely detailed prints, the beautiful color palates, and the fabric's soft, silken hand make us want to sew with each one more than the next. Tana Lawn is always one of our favorite fabrics but Libery have really outdone themselves this time.

What better way to celebrate these great new prints than to make a project for Mother's Day? Afterall, there is no one more deserving (and appreciative!) of handmade gifts than our moms! We decided to make a crisp Spring scarf that combined two gorgeous Tana Lawn Prints and brought them together with a bright burst of color around the edge. The edging is actually made from torn strips of solid fabric which really adds something unique and unexpected to the mix.

These prints look fabulous next to one another. Unexpectadly, prints with very different feels and colors, like the pretty "Pink Princess Emerald" floral and the more graphic "Soft Rueben Kelly"  in the version above can end up looking wonderful together. It's a fun creative exercise trying to figure out which print "goes" with which. This project is fun and simple to sew and makes such a lovely scarf. It's really such fun to tear the fabrics and  to see how the prints and the bright edging all come together.


To make one scarf:

  • a 1/2-yard each of two differnent  Liberty of London Seasonal Tana Lawn prints I used Blue Pricess Emerald and Pink Kasia for the blue and pink version, and Pink Princess Emerald and Soft Rueben Kelly for the pink, green and brown version.
  • a 1/4 yard of Kona Cotton in a color to contrast with your Tana Lawn fabric, I used "Coral"
  • 100% cotton thread in color 1040 or to match your Tana Lawn Fabrics


Roughly 17 X 50-inches



The most fun part of this project is that the pieces are torn, not cut! To tear these fabrics, and any woven fabrics, just make a small cut at the point where you'd like to tear and then rip the farbic. It will tear in a straight line, along the grain of the fabric.

First, tear the Kona Cotton into four 1-inch strips from selvage to selvage. Cut off the selvages. Pull all of the loose threads off of the strip so that you are left with pleasantly fringed edges.

Press the strips.

The easiest way to ensure the Tana Lawn pieces are the same size is to tear them, since that will ensure that the pieces stay on grain. Tear both pieces of the Tana Lawn to be exactly 18-inches wide. Then tear off thier selvages so that they are exactly the same length.

Pressing and Pinning

Press the raw edges one of the Lawn pieces a 1/2-inch to the wrong side of the fabric across all four sides. Tuck the corners in on themselves as shown above.

The corners should look neat with no raw edges sticking out.

Repeat this for the other piece of Tana Lawn.

Cut one of the Kona Cotton strips to be 17-inches.

Lay the first pieces of Tana Lawn down on a smooth surface wrong side up. Place the cut Kona Cotton strip on top of one of the short sides of the Tana Lawn piece so that it sticks up 1/4-inch above the edge of the Lawn.

Lay the second piece of Tana Lawn on top of this at the same level as the first piece, with the Kona Cotton Strip sticking out 1/4-inch above the folded edge of both Lawn fabrics. Pin this edge together through all three fabrics.

Now un-pin one of the corners and lay an un-cut Kona Cotton strip along the long side of the Tana Lawn pieces. Position it so that it will stick out 1/4-inch from the top and side of the Tana Lawn.

Pin the long sides of the scarf together in the same manner as the short side, with the Kona Cotton strip sticking out 1/4-inch from the edges of the folded Tana Lawn.

Kona Cotton is not as wide as the Tana Lawn so you will run out of length on the strip. When this happens just  fold over the short  edge of the Kona Cotton strip onto itself to form a little triangle as shown above.

Fold the end of the next strip you are going to use in the same manner and then lay this strip, folded side down, on top of the first strip, thus hiding the folds.

Keep pinning  the scarf together in the same manner.

No matter how hard I tried my Tana Lawn pieces never ended up the same length (I think they get slightly stretched or shrunk in the pinning and folding processes. So when you get to the opposite end of the first long side just leave a long tail of Kona Cotton and leave the short side open.

Pin the Kona Cotton strip in along the second long side in the same manner as the first, starting from the pinned short side.

When you get to the end you will (most likely) have one Tana Lawn piece longer than the other.

Cut or tear the longer Tana Lawn panel to be the same size as the shorter one. Re-press the newly cut piece making sure to tuck its corners under neatly as you did in the earlier steps.

Pin this final side together with another 17-inch Kona Cotton strip as you did on the first short side. Trim the long strips from the long sides so that they neatly poke out 1/4-inch from the folded edges.

Top stitch just at the folded edge of the Tana Lawn across all four sides of the scarf making sure to catch all three fabrics as you go. When you get to a corner leave your needle down and pivot the scarf to keep going. Back stitch at the beginning and end of the seam.

Trim off any rogue threads and it's ready to give to Mom!

15 Responses to Mother’s Day Liberty Scarves

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  1. Chelle says:

    This is absolutely lovely. Just found this idea and made the excuse to finally order some liberty fabric. Perfect to make to take on vacation and give as gifts. Thank you so much for the wonderful ideas and the wonderful on line store! Very inspiring!

  2. Lindsay says:

    I love the idea of this scarf, and the texture/body of it (judging from pictures) particularly with the contrast kona cotton.

    Question: if I wanted a scarf that was closer to square, do you think it would be absolutely crazy to cut the 53″ strip in half & sew together to make something like 26.5″ x 35.5″ before I fold and sew the edges? Do you think that center seam would ruin the effect?

  3. Deborah Newton says:

    I just LOVE this idea– the frayed edges are fantastic. What a great way to display more than one fabric too… The weight of the scarf must be really nice.

  4. purl bee says:

    Hi Lindsay-

    I do think that adding a seam down the middle might get a little bulky and messy. To get a square scarf I would recommend that you buy 3/4 of a yard of each Tana Lawn and cut a 27-inch square from each. You would still only need 1/4 yard of the solid fabric for the edging.

    Please let us know if you have any more questions.

    – Molly

  5. Jan says:

    These are beautiful! I made one for my mom and one for my sister for Mother's Day gifts. 54″ is a bit shorter than scarves I've worn previously. Do you have any suggestions for the best way to wear them? Would you use a scarf pin?

  6. amber says:

    i really love this project. and i especially love that you showed us you could never get your pieces to match up. :) thanks for keeing it real.

  7. purl bee says:

    Hi Jan-

    Thank you so much for your nice comment. I have one of these scarves myself so I have some opinions on how to wear them :) Here are 3 options:
    - Tie it in a simple overhand knot around your neck
    - Wrap it around your neck as many times as it goes and then tuck in the loose end in so it forms a kind of turtleneck collar.
    - Fold it in half length-wise, drape on your neck, and pull the ends through the loop formed by the fold.

    Hope these make sense, Thanks!– Molly

  8. Carolyn says:

    Thanks Molly for this beautiful scarf tutorial. We just had a new baby come into our family and I used this idea to make a Baptismal handkerchief. My daughter was thrilled with the present and the start of a new family tradition. Keep up the great work you all do at Purlsoho; I can't get enough!
    Here is my post with a reference to your tutorial if you would like to check it out!

  9. purl bee says:

    Hi Carolyn!

    So nice to hear from you. Your project looks great, thanks so much for sharing. Congratulations on the new granddaughter!

    Best- Molly

  10. Tricia says:

    Thank you so much for this lovely idea! I can't tell you how much I enjoy the Purl Bee site and all of the truly wonderful projects.You enhance my life!!!

  11. purl bee says:

    Hi Angela-

    I'm sorry to hear you're having troubles. If you're using Liberty Tana Lawn it really should be tearing well. If you're using something else it might not be woven 100% straight. In that case you might just want to cut it with a rotary cutter. You should still be able to tear the 1-inch strips for the edging, as they don't have to be that straight.

    Please let us know if you have any more questions. And thanks for writing in!


  12. Fiona says:

    Hi, do you think using African batik fabric for one or both patterned fabrics would make a scarf that falls nicely, or would it be too heavy/bulky?

  13. purl bee says:

    Hi Fiona-

    I think that could be very beautiful but it would be a bit thicker. But with the fall and winter coming up I think a thicker, warmer scarf could be great! Good luck and thanks for writing in.


  14. OnePerfectDay says:

    This is fabulous scarf!!
    The little torn strip of fabric in the middle makes all the difference.
    I can't wait to make one!

  15. Lee says:

    I have been admiring this scarf forever and finally made it for my mom's birthday! Overall it's pretty fabulous, and it was fun to pick the fabric combination. I want to make a zillion of them.

    One little problem. As a caveat I'll say I am pretty new at sewing. But I did have the same problem that Angela had with ripping the Liberty tana lawn. It wasn't even close. The cotton ripped, no problem. Ultimately I did use a rotary cutter and made the scarf 15" which actually turns out to be a nice width, but it's just a teeny bit wonky, and I wish I knew what I was doing wrong there.

    Thanks for this lovely design!!!!

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