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.

Built By Wendy 3835 for the Fall Season

Built By Wendy pattern 3835

This Built By Wendy pattern (Simplicity 3835) has been very popular this spring and summer, as you can see at Soulemama and Shim + Sons. Most people seem to think it’s cute and comfortable, well-drafted, and easy to make. It’s also a very spot-on style for the season–just look at this similar Puella dress that Kate Hudson is wearing. Judging by some new fall tops and dresses with the same silhouette, like these from Milly, Mint, Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent, and Anthropologie, the pattern should be perfect for your fall wardrobe as well.

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.