How To Make a Headband, Version 5: Stretch Jersey Headband

Stretch Jersey Headband - 1
Stretch Jersey Headband - 2

Jersey/spandex fabric headband 2" (51 mm) wide by 17" (43 cm) in circumference.

You can find a simple jersey headband in stores for pretty cheap, like this American Apparel headband for $8. But if you have some scrap fabric or a t-shirt that you don’t wear lying around, you easily can sew one yourself.

Materials: Jersey knit/spandex blend fabric

Instructions

  1. For a 2" (51 mm) wide headband, cut 1 rectangle from your fabric as shown in Diagram 1.
  2. Note for the length: You’ll need a length of approximately 17-19" (43-48 cm), but it depends on the stretchiness of your fabric and the size of your head. Try wrapping a folded piece of your fabric around your head to figure out the exact length, adding in an extra 0.5" (13 mm) for seam allowances.

    Note for the width: If you want a different width for your headband, multiply your desired finished headband width by two and add 0.5" (13 mm) to determine the width of fabric to cut.

    Diagram 1

    Diagram 1
  3. Fold the short sides of the headband in half with right sides together. With a 0.25" (6 mm) seam allowance and using a stretch stitch, sew the long raw edges together to create a tube, stopping and starting about 1.5" (38 mm) away from each end. See Diagram 2.
  4. Diagram 2

    Diagram 2
  5. Turn the tube right side out.
  6. With right sides together and using a 0.25" (6 mm) seam allowance, sew the short ends of the headband together as shown in Diagram 3. It will be tricky to get the short ends to lay flat to sew them together, so you may have to pin and sew a portion at a time.
  7. Diagram 3

    Diagram 3
  8. Fold the seam back into the inside of the tube. Tuck the raw edges at the opening to the inside of the tube and slipstitch the opening closed.
  9. Press the headband so that the seams lay flat.

How to Make a Headband, Version 4: Headband with Ties

Headband with Ties - 1
Headband with Ties - 2

Silk headband measuring 2" (51 mm) wide by 17" (43 cm) long with 13" (33 cm) long ties. The headband is connected at the back with covered elastic measuring 0.5" (13 mm) wide by 4" (10 cm) long.

Materials

  • Woven fabric, like lightweight cotton or silk
  • 0.5" (13 mm) wide elastic–you’ll need a length of about 4.5" (11 cm), but you can wait to cut it until the fitting stage
  • Safety pin or loop turner

Instructions

Measuring and Cutting

  • Main Piece (including ties): Cut 1 rectangle from your fabric as shown in Diagram 1. The 44" (112 cm) length creates ties about 13" (33 cm) long; adjust the length if you want longer or shorter ties. The width range of 3.5" (89 mm) to 8.5" (22 cm) results in finished headband widths ranging from 1.5" (38 mm) to 4" (10 cm), respectively. To determine the exact fabric width to cut, multiply your desired finished headband width by two and add 0.5" (13 mm).
  • Connector Piece: Cut 1 rectangle from your fabric as shown in Diagram 1.
  • Note: Any grainline orientation should be fine, but laying the long sides of the rectangles crosswise (i.e., perpendicular to the selvage) will use the least fabric yardage.

    Diagram 1

    Diagram 1

Sewing

  1. Fold the short sides of the main piece in half with right sides together and, using a 0.25" (6 mm) seam allowance, sew the long raw edges together to create a tube, as shown in Diagram 2. Repeat with the connector piece.
  2. Diagram 2

    Diagram 2
  3. Turn the main piece right side out and press so that the seam is positioned at center back (CB). Repeat with the connector piece. (Use a safety pin or loop turner to turn the pieces right side out if needed.)
  4. Insert the elastic inside the connector piece using a safety pin or loop turner.
  5. Sew the elastic and connector piece together at one end with a 0.25" (6 mm) seam allowance, as shown in Diagram 3. (On the other end, just leave the end of the elastic sticking out for now; you can pin the end of the connector piece to the elastic to keep it in place if needed).
  6. Diagram 3

    Diagram 3
  7. Fold the main piece in half lengthwise and mark it with chalk or a fabric marker 8.5" (22 cm) away from the fold in both directions, as shown in Diagram 4.
  8. Diagram 4

    Diagram 4
  9. If your headband is wider than 1.5" (38 mm), pleat the main piece at each mark to make it about 1.5" (38 mm) wide, as shown in Diagram 5. Pin or baste stitch the pleats to secure them.
  10. Diagram 5

    Diagram 5
  11. Lay the connector piece down on top of the main piece, both with CB seams facing up. Align the stitchline at the end of the connector piece (Step 4) with one of the marks on the main piece, as shown in Diagram 6. At the mark, fold the sides of the main piece over the connector piece (the folded sides will overlap a little), and sew all layers together.
  12. Diagram 6

    Diagram 6
  13. Test the fit by trying on the headband while stretching the free end of the elastic to the other mark on the main piece. Cut elastic to desired length, including an extra 0.25" (6 mm) for a seam allowance.
  14. Repeat Step 4 with the other ends of the elastic and connector piece.
  15. Repeat Step 7 with the other ends of the connector piece and main piece, making sure the headband is not twisted.
  16. Remove the basting stitches made in Step 6, if any.
  17. (Optional) Cut the ends of the ties at an angle as shown in Diagram 7.
  18. Diagram 7

    Diagram 7
  19. Tuck the ends of the ties 0.25" (6 mm) to the inside and edgestitch the openings closed.

Top 7 Tutorials for Making Your Own Shopping Tote

Canvas Bag

Update your canvas tote bag collection (I know you’re not using plastic bags at the grocery store anymore) with one you made yourself. Here are the top 7 tote bag tutorials on the web.

Singlet-Style Shopping Bag, based on the design of the regular plastic grocery bag. This one is receiving much love on Craftster right now.

Two-Hour Tote Bag, perfect for some standard canvas fabric and, for the straps, nylon webbing.

Curved Gusset Bag, just see how much stuff you can fit in it!

Lotta Jansdotter’s tote bag from her book Simple Sewing, a smaller bag with a contrast fabric bottom.

Martha Stewart’s tote bag, the largest bag in the group. She actually calls it a beach bag, but it would work for any kind of serious hauling.

Morsbag, no frills, just the standard canvas bag. There is even an animated version of the instructions, so it’s a cinch to follow.

And, finally, a knitted tote bag for smaller loads. Yes, it has holes, but it’s too pretty to pass up so just don’t buy any grapes.

If you know of other great tote bag tutorials, let me know about it in the comments.

Craft Book Excerpts at Canadian Living

In case you don’t already own Lotta Jansdotter’s Simple Sewing book or Amy Butler’s In Stitches book, you can visit the Canadian Living site to see a couple of projects excerpted from each book. This way you can try out a project (or two) before committing to buy the book.
The site is also great for browsing other DIY projects, including excerpts from other books.

Picnic Placemat from Lotta Jansdotter’s Simple Sewing

Tote Bag from Lotta Jansdotter’s Simple Sewing

Kitty Tunnel from Amy Butler’s In Stitches

Floor Cushions from Amy Butler’s In Stitches

How to Make a Headband, Version 2: The Wide Headband

Wide Headband with Covered Elastic - 1
Wide Headband with Covered Elastic - 2

Cotton voile headband measuring 3.5" (89 mm) wide by 15.5" (39 cm) long with covered elastic measuring 0.5" (13 mm) wide by 4" (10 cm) long.

Materials

  • Woven fabric, like lightweight cotton or silk
  • 0.5" (13 mm) wide elastic–you’ll need a length of about 4.5" (11 cm), but you can wait to cut it until the fitting stage
  • Safety pin or loop turner

Instructions

Measuring and Cutting

  • Main Piece: Cut 1 rectangle from your fabric as shown in Diagram 1. The width range of 4.5" (11 cm) to 12.5" (32 cm) results in finished headband widths ranging from 2" (51 mm) to 6" (15 cm), respectively. Multiply your desired finished headband width by two and add 0.5" (13 mm) to determine the exact fabric width to cut.
  • Connector Piece: Cut 1 rectangle from your fabric as shown in Diagram 1.
  • Note: Any grainline orientation should be fine, but laying the long sides of the rectangles crosswise (i.e., perpendicular to the selvage) will use the least fabric yardage.

    Diagram 1

    Diagram 1

Sewing

  1. Fold the short sides of the main piece in half with right sides together and, using a 0.25" (6 mm) seam allowance, sew the long raw edges together to create a tube as shown in Diagram 2. Repeat with the connector piece.
  2. Diagram 2

    Diagram 2
  3. Turn the main piece right side out and press so that the seam is positioned at center back (CB). Repeat with the connector piece. Use a safety pin or loop turner to turn the pieces right side out if needed.
  4. Insert the elastic inside the connector piece using a safety pin or loop turner.
  5. Sew the elastic and connector piece together at one end with a 0.25" (6 mm) seam allowance as shown in Diagram 3. (On the other end, just leave the end of the elastic sticking out for now; you can pin the end of the connector piece to the elastic to keep it in place if needed).
  6. Diagram 3

    Diagram 3
  7. Mark the short ends of the main piece about 0.375" (10 mm) away from each long (folded) edge as shown in Diagram 4. In between the markings on each end, make pleats as needed so that the width in between the markings matches the width of the connector piece, which in this case is 0.625" (16 mm). If your main piece is on the narrow side, try one knife pleat in the center; if it’s on the wide side, try multiple knife pleats. You can also try an inverted or box pleat as shown in Diagram 4. Pin or baste stitch the pleats to secure them.
  8. Diagram 4

    Diagram 4
  9. Lay the main piece down with the front side facing up (i.e., CB seam facing down). On top of the main piece, lay the connector piece down with the back side facing up (i.e., CB seam facing up), aligning the edge of the connector piece that is sewn to the elastic with one of the ends of the main piece. The connector piece should be laying on top of the pleated portion of the main piece and should fit just within the markings you made on the main piece. Fold the short sides of the main piece 0.375" over the connector piece (the folded sides will overlap), and sew all layers together with a 0.25" (6 mm) seam allowance as shown in Diagram 5.
  10. Diagram 5

    Diagram 5
  11. Turn the headband right side out and test the fit by trying on the headband while stretching the elastic to the unattached end of the main piece. Cut elastic to desired length.
  12. Repeat Step 4 with the other ends of the elastic and connector piece.
  13. Repeat Step 6 with the other ends of the connector piece and main piece.
  14. Turn the headband right side out.