Friday, May 18, 2012

The Most Awesome Headband Ever Made

Okay, so I saw these head bands a long time ago in a store and tried them out.  It ended up being one of my favorite things to wear.  I loved it because it was such an easy and attractive way to do my hair.  I can never have a bad hair day when I wear these!  You can make them in any different fabric:  some of my favorites are bandanas and those cool "fat quarters" you can find anywhere that sells fabric. You could even make them in shiny satins for those "dress-up" days.

So, given the fact that this is my first tutorial, please bear with me and please let me know if you have any questions!

Materials needed:
small amount of fabric such as fat quarters or bandanas
elastic- I used 1/4" but depending on how thick your hair is, you might want to use 1/2"
basic sewing tools: measuring tape, scissors, pins, sewing machine, etc.

There are basically 2 parts to this headband: the wide part on the top and the fabric-covered elastic that wraps underneath. 

First thing's first: if you want it to be perfect, you should probably measure the person's head.  However, there is plenty of give in the headband so an inch or so really doesn't matter!  I measure from the middle of the ear on one side, over the top of head to the middle of the ear on the other side.  For my daughter, this ended up being about 11inches.  Don't forget to add an inch for seam allowances!!  Then you need to figure out how wide you want the band.  I just arbitrarily picked 6inches.

For the length of the elastic I measure around the bottom of the head, from one ear to the other.  In this case it was 9 inches.  Cut a piece of elastic to this measurement.  I found that doubling this measurement for the length of the casing over the elastic is probably the best way to ensure you have enough stretch in the headband to get over the head.  The width of this piece depends on the size elastic you're using.  Since I used 1/4" elastic, I made my piece 2" so I'd have plenty of wiggle room.

So this is what we have so far:

Now that we've gotten all the preparation done, let's sew!
I hate to say it, but you have to finish all of the seams on the large rectangle (my least favorite part!). If you don't do this, all of your hard work will be for nothing because your headband will fray terribly.   I actually cut this out on the selvage of the material so I just need to finish three out of the four sides.  You can use a serger for this stage but I found it feels more comfortable when you're wearing it if you make a hem.  If you're familiar with sewing, you are just making about a 1/4" hem on each side.  To do this, you fold over the fabric as little as possible, fold it over again on itself and then sew.  You can "finger press" which means you really don't need to pull out the iron and the pins, just fold as you feed it through the machine.

Now it's time for the elastic.  Fold your long piece of fabric in half length-wise, right sides together and sew about 1/2" seam.  Trim your seam allowance.  Turn right side out.  (OK-this can be a little tricky.  I highly recommend purchasing a tool made for this purpose!) Press.

Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic and carefully feed it through your casing.  Just before the elastic disappears completely inside the casing, sew the end back and forth a few times to secure it.

Continue to thread the elastic through to the other side and secure the other end in the same fashion.

Here comes the fun part: with the RIGHT side of the large rectangle facing you, put one end of the elastic on one side, about 1/4" from the edge.  Wrap that edge around the elastic.  

Now fan the rest of the fabric BEHIND the elastic, accordion-style, leaving enough to wrap around to the front at the end. Holding onto this lump very well, shove it under your machine and go back and forth like crazy.  (Yes, your needle WILL sew through it!) Because this is not perfect, I like to sew as close to the edge as possible which usually ends up being 1/2" or so because my fan lump is uneven. :)

Repeat on the other side.

All done!

Here's another picture...

Good luck!
Let me know if you need help with any parts of the project.  Also I'm trying to think of a catchy name for these in case anyone has any ideas leave a comment!

My First Post!

So, here it is: my very first blog post!  I have finally joined the 21st century.  These are my first, very small baby steps to eventually posting and selling my handmade items.  Woo-hoo!  Spread the word, my friends! Please be patient with me while I learn the formatting and all of the other neat stuff I can do!  Because I'm not as creative as most others I find on these blogs, I will begin with my one and only original copy of something I saw in department stores years ago and can't live without now...The Get All of the Hair Off Your Face Headband.  Of course, that's not the official name of the headband but I'm still working on that one!