Let's make a Vintage Headband!

What am I gonna do with all these fabric scraps? Oh yeah, I can totally make a sweet vintage-looking headband. Why don't we make one together?

Project Time:

      20-30 mins

Items Needed:

      -2 scraps of fabric that are at least 1 yard long and about 5 inches wide

      -Scissors, pins, thread, and a sewing machine

Personally...I think this project works best with a woven fabric. I made a version out of jersey knit too and while it fits well on my head, it didn’t have the crisp corners on the bow like how I wanted it.

Step 1) Making the Pattern

  • Take your measuring tape and measure the circumference of your head. Get a general idea of how long you want your bow ends to be, how tight the headband will be tied. My ideal measurement is 34 inches long and 2 inches wide.
  • We will be using a ½ inch seam allowance

I’m using a woven fabric to make my pattern, but paper works too. Heck, you don’t even have to use a pattern, you can just draw right on your chosen scrap fabric if you want to.

  • Fold your fabric/paper in half.
  • Make a mark where your pattern will end. Mine will be 17 ½ inches away from the fold (I figure my seam allowance into my measurements to save time. For my fellow nerds, 17.5 = (34 + 1)/2 is the equation I used). I like to draw a center line, which will come in handy when it’s time to cut the pattern out (it ensures that your bow ends will be symmetrical).

  • Draw a somewhat hourglass shape that tapers at the tip. The lowest point of the dip is 4 inches (4 ½ inches if you already included your seam allowance like I did) in from the end. I made my dip 1 inch wide, but feel free to take some creative liberty with this part, make it this shape however you want.
  • With this method, you only have to draw that one line. Your fabric is already folded in half, fold it in half again along that center line and cut.


Step 2) Cutting the Fabric


  • You will need two pieces to sew together. *Get creative with your color and pattern choices!*
  • Lay one fabric down on top of the other so you can cut both simultaneously. You can either draw an outline of your pattern directly onto the fabric or you can pin the pattern down to the fabric, but either way you’ll end up with this:


  • Place your cut pieces one on top of one another, faces together so the back of the fabric is all you can see. You can pin them together for the sewing or freehand it, but here’s a key part:


MAKE SURE YOU LEAVE A GAP IN THE STITCHING SO YOU CAN TURN THE PIECE INSIDE OUT. Put your gap in the curve near the end of the bow so the knot will hid your closing topstitch. This is very important!

See those pins there? Don't sew between 'em.


Step 3) Sew Them Together


  • We’re using a ½ inch seam allowance.


Step 4) Turn it Out (3 Hops this time, criss cross!..."Cha Cha Slide"...anybody?)


  •  Use that hole you made to pull your fabric right side out. To make the bow ends nice and crisp, use a pointy BUT NOT SHARP object to push the corner out. I’m using a mechanical pencil, I feel its rounded enough to not poke a hole into the fabric.

Step 5) Ironing

  • You’ll have to work the edges of the headband a little bit to make sure it’s nice and flat. See in the picture how puffy looking the one side is? No good.
  • When you’re ironing your seam gap, you will have to fold the edges in a bit to simulate seam allowance. You want this curved area to be as crisp as the other curves. 


Step 6) Top Stitch

  • Sew that gap shut!
  • Now, you can leave it with just that little section top stitched, or you can top stitch all the way around if you like. For this project, I’m only sewing the gap area.

Step 7) Try It On!

Lookin' pretty good for just scraps! <3


1 comment

  • Thinkbot

    Nana said she saw that headband on an episode of " I love Lucy " when she worked as a sanitation engineer for pre-Castro Cuba

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