Monday, July 21, 2008

make a headband cover

I don't know about you, but good-fitting headbands are hard for me to find. They often give me earaches and headaches. Also, those elasticized headbands that go all around your head just don't stay on me well. They keep slipping off the back of my head. Maybe because I have such a freakishly high forehead. But I'm loving all the cute, wide, fabric headbands out there right now and I need some.

Soooo...recently I bought my daughter a handful of those el cheapo thin, flexible plastic headbands and noticed they do not hurt my head. So, I thought, why not cover it with wide fabric? And make it so I can switch covers at will?

So I stole a flashy gold one that she doesn't like for me to use. I measured the circumference of the headband with a measuring tape, added a bit for breathing room, then drew out a silhouette of a wide headband that tapers to a point just behind the ears. (sorry I didn't think to take photos of the whole process, but it is pretty straightforward, and there is a free pattern included below in case your headband is the same kind as mine)

I added the seam allowance, cut out two from my fabric*, and stitched it all around, right sides facing, leaving 2 inches open for turning. (before stitching, you could add interfacing too if you want a stiffer look).

*Savvy crafter Olivia offers this improvement: before you stitch, replace the slit with a buttonhole and you won't have to dab it with Fraycheck like certain impatient crafters named Larissa.

I turned it, then topstitched the opening closed. You could topstitch the whole thing if you were so inclined and liked that look. Then, on the bottom side, about an inch or so above one end, I used my seam ripper to cut a slit about half an inch wide in one layer of fabric, so basically I had a slit to feed in the headband (skip this slit/fraycheck step if you already did Olivia's buttonhole idea). I dotted Fraycheck around the cut to keep it from fraying.

Then I fed in the thin plastic headband through the opening until it was all inside. Voila. Instant, comfortable, wide headband, that I can switch out whenever I want with the other fabric covers I plan on making. You can see a lump where the thin headband is inside, but to me that just looks like a wrinkle in the fabric, kinda the look I was going for.

Pretend there is a Heather Bailey-esque arty photo of me wearing it here. Not happening.

Do you want to make one? Here's my free pattern, although you should measure your headband first to make sure it will fit. Make sure the pattern prints at actual size, not 'sized to fit'.


  1. Awesome idea! I have the same problem...headaches and a freakishly shaped head that won't work with elastic bands. :)

    I finished Molly Monkey this weekend. I will try to get pics to you sometime today. I love her!

  2. I forgot something in my first comment. If you planned it first, you could also cut your opening and use the button-holer (or whatever it's called) on the sewing machine to make a secure opening that won't tear or fray.

  3. Olivia, the button holer is an excellent idea, you know, if you want to get all fancy-schmancy. :-) Impatient people like me are why they make FrayCheck and Fabritac.

    I'm so so jazzed about your molly monkey! thanks so much for being a tester and HURRY UP ALREADY WITH THE PHOTOS. :-p

  4. SO fun the Heather's pic! lol...
    I wish I could make such beautiful photos as well. Or, at least, be as pretty as she look sin the pics, lol...

  5. Hi there! When I starded reading your post I thought: "this is so me..." I do also have those ear and headache, eventhough I love wearing head bands...
    I'll try doing one for me and another for my daughter. I think she will love it.
    Thanks for sharing you experience.
    I thought I'd find it hard reading your tutorial in english, but it was quite easy.
    I'll be caming here often, so, see you soon!

  6. handmade lover,
    thank you and I'm so glad you found the tutorial easy to use!

  7. I am a crafter in my heart & head mainly because I don't have anytime, but I am going to do something for me this year and I'm starting with the headband covers. I've pulled my sewing machine out and I'm going to figure out how to really use it this year. I grabbed some fabric today and I'm going to get started. Happy New Year!

  8. I used two different materials for each headband. Since the headband is narrow, you can easily turn the material around and have reversible bands-two for the price of one!

  9. Do you have any idea where to get "fatter" headbands. Apparently those are the only ones that fit on my head. I have one that is covered in fabric and is probably two inches (maybe 2.5) at the biggest part and they're the only ones to stay put! Thanks much!

  10. This blog seems to be a problem solver as I also was struggling to find the best fit headbands that can actually keep my hair in place without hurting my ears and head. Your blog is wonderful and I am looking forward to make a band for myself and style them with my outfits. Thanks for sharing.


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