Thursday, July 12, 2012

{How To} Sew a Quick + Easy Headband

Sewing headbands is addictive...

Since I sewed my first headband, I've made a few (ahem; quite a few) more for myself and my daughter. It took me a few tries to get the length and width just right, but once I did, I was off and running. I've sewn these on the machine and by hand; either way they are quick and easy gratification, and they keep my long, unruly (especially in the humidity of summer) hair off my face.

It's been a while since I shared a tutorial, and I thought it would be fun to show how I make these. I scanned in my adult template and child template as a Google doc. The child one is sized to fit my three-year-old daughter's head. The elastic makes it adjustable, but you may want to fiddle with the length or width a bit for an older child. (I aim to get the finished length to run from just behind one ear to just behind the other.) Just remember not to make the end openings any narrower than they are now, or it's just too hard to turn them right-side out. The templates are for half of one side of the headband--print them full size on 8.5x11 paper, but trace the outline against the fold of a larger sheet of paper. (Or you could cut two pieces and tape them in the center.) If this doesn't make sense, it should once you see the pics below. Okay, enough of the small details. Let’s get started!

For an adult headband, you’ll need enough fabric to cut out two pieces. A fat quarter is definitely enough. You could use two different prints and make it reversible. You could embroider your headband like I did with my denim one. Play around! You’ll also need about 5.5 inches of elastic (a little less for a child). I usually use woven, but the scrap I grabbed for this is knit. Take your full-size template and trace it onto your fabric. If you’re not fussy cutting (to get a particular part of the fabric onto your headband, like I did with the dogs here), just fold your fabric right sides together and trace, then cut out both pieces at once.


Sandwich your elastic on the inside. You can leave a little poking out the end.


Then pin your pieces together on three sides. Begin sewing (1/4” seam allowance) at the end without the elastic, but leave yourself a little room--a half inch or so--at the end. Otherwise, it’s really hard to turn it rightside out.


When you get to the end of the first long side, pivot and then sew back and forth over the elastic a couple of times.


Pivot and head down the second long side, being careful not to catch the elastic as you do.


Once you’ve sewn all three sides, turn it rightside out (grab hold of the end of the elastic to help you do this), then iron the seams flat. (You could press a bit before you turn, if you wanted to.) Fold the raw edges of the open side under and press.

Rather stained ironing board cover...
Tuck in the other end of the elastic and fit it to your head so it’s comfortable—not too tight, but not too loose, either. Then sew the opening shut, sandwiching the elastic inside. Again, go back and forth over the elastic a couple of times.

Pinned and ready to be sewn

You could topstitch all around if you want, but I never do. Here's this one all finished.


If you finish and realize the elastic isn’t quite right, no big deal. You can always adjust it. I made one too loose, so I just overlapped it and sewed it securely. I made one for my daughter much too tight, so I cut the elastic and inserted another piece to extend it, again, sewing it securely.

Finished headband--the modeled shot! So quick and easy, pretty and useful. So much to love in one little project.

Goofy self-portrait, so you can see it on.
Shared with my creative space...

5 comments:

Jen said...

Yay!!!! Thank you for the tutorial!!! Marie-Therese has been loving wearing her 2 headbands lately and I think she'd love Momma/her matching headbands. You're awesome for sharing! :-)

Jill said...

Nice blue :)

GirlAnachronismE said...

Very good tutorial, I may have to make one of these for the gym

Bells said...

Ok this is helpful. I know you sent me the write up ages ago but I haven't sat down to try. Now when I do I've got pictures!

Sally said...

I've just pinned this tutorial so I can come back to it later... the little girl is very much in need of head bands... and I could probably use a few too :)