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Topic: Super Easy Fabric Headband Tutorial (Pic Heavy!!!)  (Read 2571 times)
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« on: December 16, 2010 01:08:32 AM »

There are a couple headband tutorials around already, but I'm gonna go ahead and add this one for two reasons.  First of all, it's REALLY EASY.  A good project for beginners (and with that in mind I'm going to write this up like it's for someone who's new to sewing.  Also, I should probably mention that I sometimes tend to write like you must be stupid, but I promise that's not related!!!  If I thought people were stupid for not knowing what they were doing I wouldn't write tutorials!  It's just because it frustrates the brains out of me when tutorials don't explain things really, really clearly and I hope it doesn't offend anyone).  Secondly, it's an awesome way to use scraps!!  And super cute Wink  Also, my head is just nowhere near round enough for plastic headbands, but the fabric ones fit pretty much everybody.  Win-win! Cheesy

PS - if you're not a beginner, here's the short version:
Cut two pieces, sew them into tubes.  Press seam open on bigger piece.  Turn both pieces.  Put elastic inside smaller tube and tack onto each end.  To attach the two pieces, check the photos near the end cause it's hard to explain verbally :3

Here's a preview of the finished product:

You'll need:
-a little bit of fabric.  Seriously, I did the math (hwwwaaaat???) and you only need about 86 sq. inches.  Check out the pattern for details on this.
-a little bit of 1/2-inch elastic (about 5.5 inches)
-2 pieces of 8.5x11 inch paper to draw out your pattern (and a piece of tape or a stapler or something)
-a pencil
-a ruler
-a safety pin (it's such a pain in the butt to do this without a safety pin, I would definitely try to find one!)
-either an iron or something (details later)
-thread (matching is a bonus, but whatever you've got will do)
-a needle or a sewing machine
-pins, if you want them

First thing first is to draw yourself out a pattern.  You don't haaaave to do it on paper first; you can go straight to the fabric.  I like paper because it's easier to write on than fabric since I don't have any chalk or anything lying around.  And then I can reuse it which rocks.

So take your two 8.5x11 sheets of paper and tape them together at the short ends.  
The pattern only has two pieces, the band piece and the elastic casing piece.  The band piece is the part that goes on top of your head.  It's 4 inches wide and 15.5 inches long.  The elastic casing piece is the part that covers up the elastic going around the bottom.  It's 2 inches wide and 11 inches long.
You can probably figure out how to lay those out on these two sheets of paper yourself, but I have a picture for you anyways Cheesy

I took the picture after I cut the pieces out; I hope that doesn't make it more confusing than it has to be.  Also, if you can actually read what's written on there, you'll see that my measurements say "just under 2 in" for the width of the elastic casing piece, but stick with 2 inches because I forgot about the seam allowance in that one Wink

Cut out your pieces, pin them to your fabric (or trace them), and then cut the fabric.  If your fabric has a pattern on it like stripes, don't worry about the two pieces going the same direction.
Cut your elastic to 5.5 inches.  This headband is, in my experience, one-size-fits-all, but if you know you have a particularly small or large head, you might consider using a little less or a little more elastic.  For the first time around, though, I'd stick with 5.5 inches and see how it works for you.  (If you do experiment, let us know how you altered it!! Smiley)

So here are your pieces:

Next step is going to be to sew both of those pieces into tubes.  If you haven't done this before, fear not!  It's really simple Cheesy  Just lay out one of your pieces in front of you with the right side up (right side is the pretty, brighter side that you want showing; wrong side is the washed-out looking side that you don't want showing.  If you can't tell the difference, it doesn't matter!).  Fold it in half the long way, right sides together.  You probably want to either iron it down like this or pin it so it will be easier to sew.
Sew it closer to the open side than the folded side with that 5/8ths seam allowance I mentioned earlier.  If you're hand-sewing, that means you should stitch about 5/8ths of an inch (a little more than half) away from the edge, instead of right next to it.
When you're finished, you should end up with something like this:

Next step, sew the other piece into a tube, same way you did the first one!  Now you've got two tubes.
(Sorry for floor glare >.>)

The next part is hard to explain in words, but not actually difficult to do, so I hope my pictures can explain it for you!  See how in the two previous pictures, your seam was on the side?  The next thing you need to do is refold the tube of the band piece (the big one) so that the seam is in the middle.  Two reasons: first, so you can open it and it will lie flat on your head, and second, so it doesn't show when you're wearing the headband.  "Unfold" your tube (it's sewn shut so it's not really unfolded, just un-creased), and "refold" (re-crease) it so the seam is in the middle and it looks like this:

Sometimes the fabric resists your efforts a little, but just be patient.  Once you've got it looking like that, finger press it (use your fingers/fingernails to crease it) to help with the next part.

Now we want to open up that seam.  All that means is separating those two pieces of fabric that are sticking up in that last picture.  Pull them apart with your fingers (gently, we're not trying to undo the seam or anything Wink) and smooth them down like this:

Now iron it open like that.  Use your fingers to hold it open for the iron but don't burn yourselfffff D: D: D:
If you don't have an iron, you're going to want to go google how to press clothes without an iron, because this sucks without one.  BUT!  I don't have an iron myself, and I have found a suitable substitute!  It's the stuff in this picture: wrinkle-removing spray.  Basically a really weird-smelling spray that claims to take out wrinkles.  It doesn't actually work great for wrinkles (better than nothing though), but it does work pretty well for creases.  Both taking them out and putting them back in Wink  Also, you can use it on fabrics that I'd hesitate to iron, although it works best on plain old cotton.  And it only costs like $3 and lasts a long time.  They have it at Target, Walmart, etc (near the detergent and stuff).  But I'd still take an iron over this stuff any day.  Anyways if you don't have the cash to spare for an iron (like meeee! Cheesy) it'll do just fine.

The next step is to turn these two pieces inside out.  I'm going to go over this as if you've never done it before, but if you have, you can skip the next three pictures.  This is the part where you really want that safety pin Smiley
You can start with either piece but I started with the small one.  Take your safety pin and pin it to one side of the end of the tube, like this:

Now stick the pin inside the tube:

(Okay you probably didn't need that last pic, but when I first learned how to do this it always confused the crap out of me :3)

Now hang on to the pin with your right hand, and scrunch a bunch of fabric up over it with your left hand.  Then grab it with your left, and use your right to pull the fabric over itself.

Keep going until the pin gets to the other end.  Then you can slide the rest of the fabric pretty easily without any more scrunching.

Do this with the other piece too.  Whichever one you do first, make sure that after you turn the band piece (the bigger one), you flatten it back out with those seams open (even though they're on the inside now).  Press it again.

Now we're going to put in the elastic, so you'll want the elastic casing pice (the smaller one).  Grab your safety pin again, and pin it to the end of your elastic.  Then stick it into the end of the casing.

Scrunch the fabric up around the safety pin and then pull it back over the elastic, similar to what you did before but without the turning-inside-out-ness.  Only go far enough to get the end of the elastic (without the pin) lined up with the end of the tube.

Pin it down if you need to.  Sew it in place (doesn't matter if you close up this end of the tube in doing so, doesn't matter if you don't.  Just make sure it's attached really well).

Now pull the safety pin the rest of the way through.  Your fabric will be really scrunched up around the elastic, so don't let go of the elastic or it will slide back through.  Take the safety pin off, pin the elastic to the tube just like before, and sew it down again.

Almost done now!!  All that's left is to attach the two pieces.

First, lay the band piece down in front of you with the seam facing down.  Set the elastic piece on top of it, with their short ends lined up on one side.  You'll want to scrunch the fabric of the elastic piece towards the other end for now so it's nice and flat near where they're lined up.  Line up the elastic piece so it's in the middle of the band piece like this:

Now take the corners of the band piece and wrap them around the elastic piece.

Pin it down if you need to, and then sew it right along that edge (well not /on/ the edge; give yourself a little seam allowance of about 1/4-1/3 inch) really well.  Make sure all the layers get attached!

Repeat this last step with the other ends of both pieces.

But wait!  It's actually "inside out" right now o.O  Gotta flip those seams you just did.  Here are pictures because I don't really know how to say what I mean for this bit without confusing you more:

(Sort of turn the headband upside-down)

You want it to look like this one so it hides the icky edge when you wear it.

You're done!!  Yay!!  Told you it was nice and easy!!

Hahah, sorry for that pic.  I figured I should take a shot of it on someone's head but my boyfriend refused Tongue  I've had a ponytail in all day so I just threw the headband on with it and got my skin all wonderfully over-exposed and my eyebrows are super overgrown because I'm getting them waxed in a few days and everything.  Juuuuust beautiful Wink  But you get the idea.  Cute (the headband anyways!  hahah), and it actually fits everyone's heads, not like those silly round plastic things!

Anyways, that's all folks!!  I know that was pretty much the longest tutorial of your life (actually making a headband takes less than 15 minutes if you know what to do).  Sorryyyyy :3  I know I get carried away.  I just wanted to make it really accessible since it's such a nice little project Smiley  Hope you enjoy it!
« Last Edit: December 16, 2010 01:25:45 AM by mclied » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2010 11:11:05 AM »

Great tutorial!  I'm glad you go so detailed because it's so frustrating when the instructions skip something that is supposed to be a given in sewing.

Embellishment opportunities here, too:  beading on a luxurious fabric; crochet a little flower and attach it...
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2010 12:39:02 PM »

These are great for embellishments!  Embroidery and buttons and things - a crocheted flower would be cute!!! Smiley

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