Tute Review: Bangin’ Headbands

January 11, 2011 in Craft and Art, Design, Fashion by alliemcc

Here's the first of what I hope will be a monthly series, "Tute Review".  I will review DIY fashion tutorials and how-tos from all over the web, let you know how user-friendly they are, and show you what I make. Hooray for arts & crafts!

This month, I'm reviewing a couple of tutorials for headgear.  A few months ago, I let my hairstylist have her way with my head.  She chopped my locks into a cute, flippy style… but it was just too short for the frigid winter here in Connecticut!  It did look damn good (and I could protect my ears) with headbands, turbans, and scarves– very 1920's bohemian– so I decided to try out a couple of headband tutorials.

First up was this retro bow headband, an original by Casey at Elegant Musings (girl crush!).


I made up a couple of these in preparation for a photo shoot with a '50s party theme.  We ended up not shooting those looks, so I just kept the headbands for myself.

I made one from a gold taffeta-like fabric, following Casey's instructions exactly.  I found that her measurements for the headband cover piece were a tad short, so I would advise you measure your own headband before you draft the pattern piece.  And it was a little difficult to wiggle that skinny little tube over the headband, especially with the little grippy teeth on the underside of the headband I was using. 

elegant mustings bow headband

The second one, I made from wide, satiny black ribbon.  I actually found it easier, this go round, to wrap the fabric around the headband, fold one edge under, and just stitch it right on.  This is also the best way to go if you don't have one of those skinny tube-turner tools.

The breakdown

  • Time-consuming: This is not a quickie, put-it-together half an hour before your date, kind of DIY. More for a weekend afternoon.
  • User-friendly: Casey's directions are very clear and specific, and her photos are very helpful.
  • Skill level: You should be familiar with a sewing machine, or very good at hand-sewing, and have some experience with sewing construction before attempting this. Give it a shot!
  • Cost for materials: Minimal. You could use any thin headband you already own, and you need a very small amount of fabric. You could upcycle an item of clothing, use a fabric scrap or length of ribbon from your stash.  If you don't have any supplies lying around, headbands are only a couple of dollars, and you would only need about a quarter-yard of fabric (1/2 yd if you want it on the bias), or a yard of wide ribbon (about 2 inches), plus needle and thread.

Click here for the '50s Bow Headband Tutorial.


Next we have the very boho earwarmer turban by Erica of P.S. I Made This.


I made this for myself a few weeks ago– I was organizing fabric and supplies in my studio, and came across the waistband of a sweater I had upcycled last winter.  I saved the waistband because it was the perfect shade of heather gray rib-knit wool, and I just knew it would come in handy for something…

So I did my own riff on Erica's how-to.

I cut off one side seam of the waistband, tied a loose knot in the center, then wrapped it around my head to measure it.  I held the ends together and  (very lazily) marked the point with my fingers, then stitched it together on my machine with a wide zigzag stitch. Voila!

The breakdown

  • Time-consuming: This is definitely a quickie, put-it-together half an hour before your date at the ice rink, kind of DIY.
  • User-friendly: Erica's directions and photos are a bit sketchy and incomplete, but once you assemble your materials and start to follow her instructions, you'll see how it goes together
  • Skill level: If you can tie a knot and put your hair in a pony tail, you can do this. And if you have more advanced skills, you can make your own modifications.
  • Cost for materials: Again, minimal. Use an over-the-knee stocking and a narrow scarf, or use a thin winter scarf in place of the sock, with or without a thin scarf or scrap of fabric. Or use 2 scraps of fabric of different weights. Or upcycle a sweater or other piece of clothing, like I did. You probably have a few extra hair elastics– you could also use thread or embroidery floss… you get the idea– this one's up for endless variation.

Click here for the knit earwarmer tutorial.


If you give either of these a go, let me know how it went, and send pictures!

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