Retail Roundup: Wide Headbands

Wide Headband with Covered Elastic - 1

Links to Retail Examples of the DIY Wide Headband

Echo headband, in nylon mesh with colorful embroidery.

Anthropologie Strata headband, 4.5" wide in a brightly-striped open knit, made from cotton and polyester.

Anthropologie Gardening headband, 3" wide in floral silk.

Ann Taylor headband, about 3-4" wide in white cotton with brown floral embroidery. And a similar Ann Taylor headband in black with white pindots.

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.

Retail Roundup: Head Scarves

Head Scarf with Covered Elastic - 1

Links to Retail Examples of the DIY Head Scarf

Juicy Couture cherry print head wrap, 13" wide by 15.5" long; gathered at the ends and attached to 1.5" wide by 6.5" long elastic; in printed voile.

J. Crew No-Hassle head scarf, 9.5" wide by 16" long; pleated at the ends and attached to 1.25" wide by 6" long covered elastic; in lightweight printed cotton.

Plus, several from Anthropologie: Blocks & Blooms headband, Cafe Au Lait headband, and Links headwrap, all in either silk or cotton, ranging from 6-7.5" wide and attached to covered elastic.

And finally, Intuition’s multi-print elastic back headband (no details given but you can see some photos).

How to Make a Headband, Version 1: The Head Scarf

Head Scarf with Covered Elastic - 1
Head Scarf with Covered Elastic - 2

Silk head scarf measuring 10" (25 cm) wide by 15.5" (39 cm) long with covered elastic measuring 1" (25 mm) wide by 6" (15 cm) long.

Materials

  • Woven fabric, like lightweight cotton, linen, silk chiffon, or silk charmeuse
  • 1" (25 mm) wide elastic–you’ll need a length of about 6" (15 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. You can vary the width quite a bit depending on how much of your head you want covered; I’d say 6" (15 cm) to 13" (33 cm) is the general range for this style.
  • Connector Piece: Cut 1 rectangle from your fabric as shown in Diagram 1. The 2.75" (70 mm) dimension is sized for 1" (25 mm) wide elastic. If you choose a different width for your elastic, update this dimension by multiplying the width of your elastic by 2 and adding 0.75" (19 mm).
  • 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. Hem the long raw edges of the main piece by folding each raw edge 0.25" (6 mm) to the wrong side twice, as shown in Diagram 2. Sew along the upper edge of the hem. If you are using a very lightweight material like chiffon and/or using a rolled hem presser foot, you can sew a narrower 0.125" (3 mm) hem.
  2. Diagram 2

    Diagram 2
  3. Pleat or gather the short, raw edges of the main piece so that they are the same width as the elastic, 1" (25 mm) in this case. See Diagram 3. To gather, sew a gathering stitch (i.e., a long, straight stitch with the tension loosened) within the 0.5" (13 mm) seam allowance, leaving long thread ends; pull the thread ends to gather the edge to the width of the elastic and then tie the threads. To pleat, try using overlapping knife pleats and sew a basting stitch within the 0.5" (13 mm) seam allowance to hold down the pleats.
  4. Diagram 3

    Diagram 3
  5. Fold the short sides of the connector 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 4.
  6. Diagram 4

    Diagram 4
  7. Turn the connector piece right side out with a safety pin or loop turner and press so that the seam is positioned at center back (CB).
  8. Fold and press the raw edges of the connector piece 0.25" (6 mm) to the inside of the tube.
  9. Insert the elastic inside the connector piece tube and pin the connector piece onto the elastic so that the elastic sticks out on both ends.
  10. Overlap one end of the elastic 0.5" (13 mm) onto one of the raw ends of the main piece and sew them together as shown in Diagram 5. 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. Overlap and sew the unattached ends of the elastic and main piece like you did on the other side.
  11. Diagram 5

    Diagram 5
  12. Slide the ends of the connector piece just past the elastic ends, keeping the raw edges of the connector piece folded inside the tube. Topstitch next to the folded edge of one of the connector pieces. Topstitch again about 0.25" (6 mm) further down the connector piece. See Diagram 6. Repeat the topstitching on the other side.
  13. Diagram 6

    Diagram 6

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