A Panda Scarf in Paris

I’ve got a full zoo going with my animal scarves and what’s the newest animal? A panda! I’d had the idea of a panda since summer, but it took a whirl-wind trip to Paris to bring it to life. So how did it come to be? Well Clément and I teamed up for a multi-part mission and this is that story:

The first step? Source the fabric. Clément played tour guide and we headed out to a district I can’t quite remember full of fabric stores. And guess what? We were able to locate a cotton/polyester fleece blend in the third shop we visited. The benefit of having to pop into the first two? Loudly singing along to Katy Perry’s song “I Kissed A Girl” that was blaring from the speakers at one fine shop. Anyway, procuring this kind of fabric is no easy task in Berlin. At times it feels like the hardest fabric to find in the city, though I have found yellow at the Turkish market, hence me beginning to make lion scarves. Via Facebook, roomie Romain recommended the Le Sentier area for purchasing fabric at wholesale cost and I’d be curious to go track some down around there at a later date. We stopped by on a Saturday, but every store was closed for the long weekend.

Next? Heading down to Sweat Shop which is a drop-in sewing cafe I learned of by way of the website Travelettes, a site which I began contributing to in the early fall. I’d been going to Stitch N Bitch in Berlin since the sewing machine at my home-base in Neukölln decided to fritz out. What did we do in our hour at Sweat Shop? I manned the machine while Mr. Haslé helped by turning the legs, tails and completed scarves right-side out after they had been sewn.

Wonder Boy

The last part of the creation adventure was hand-sewing on the heads to the two panda bodies I created at Sweat Shop. The first was on a park bench and the second was during some DJ set at the Pitchfork Paris festival, while occupying some seats in the VIP section. Nothing like sewing at a concert…

But no scarf is complete without a name. And let me tell you, it was a struggle coming up with a name for this buddy. The only thing I could think of to make a play off of was the Kung-Fu Panda movie which I haven’t even seen. Of course I could say something bamboo related, but that seemed more suited to the item description than it’s name. Enter Animal Collective. “Don’t they have a member named Panda Bear?,” I asked myself in an a-ha moment. (Note that this question was of the rhetorical variety as I don’t really need to ask what members belong to my favorite band.) Right then and there I decided I was going to make the name be a play off of one of his songs. Enter “Comfy in Nautica.” Put the two together and you’ve got “Comfy in Panda Bear Scarf.” Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner! And it makes sense, since this scarf will make you feel warm and comfy. My mom says no one will get the name. Does that even matter? And for the record, Arya and Draeger got it in an instant. PS, if I ever own a scarf store, my mom wants me to call it Animal Collective ahahaha.

Here’s the scarf on Etsy as modeled by the fabulous Clément (with an enjoyable appearance by Elsa if you click through!):

Etsy link:

And if you are seeking to find a panda scarf IRL, you can find now find them in three stores!
Berlin stockist: Fumanchuh
Portland stockists: Tender Loving Empire and Black Wagon.

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