Friday, January 1, 2010

Reversible Headband

(Note: My beautiful sister graciously agreed to model the finished headband for me). While visiting our family over the holidays, a relative (my second cousin-in-law to be precise) told me about reversible headbands she had seen. She explained that the headbands are made of fabric strips, attached at the ends with elastic hairbands. I have always had a tough time keeping scarves and bands in my hair (maybe my head is strangely shaped or something), and I thought the elastic would improve the headband's staying power. I was definitely intrigued by this project because, well, frankly, I'm a little bit lazy when it comes to my hair. Between attending classes, writing a law review note, and generally trying to maintain my sanity, there is little time left for primping. On the more practical side, I've been needing something to keep the bangs out of my face while I'm cooking and I think these headbands will be perfect.

To construct the bands, I purchased 100% cotton fabric in a variety of prints. I tried to buy the patterns in sets of two so that each headband would have corresponding, but not matching, sides (two black and white fabrics, two brown and blue fabrics . . .). The shortest length the fabric store would cut is 1/8 yard, which is more than enough material to make several headbands. I cut two strips of material that were 16" long by 2 1/4" wide in the center, slightly tapering at the ends (see photo). With the right sides together, I stitched along the two long edges of the strips, with a 1/4" seam allowance. Using the flat end of a spare knitting needle, I turned the tube right side out, then ran the pointed end of the needle along the interior seams.

For the elastic, I chose thin, metal-free ponytail holders. I looped together two elastic hairbands by placing one over the other (like a Venn diagram), then pulling the overlapping center edges outward. I ended up with essentially a figure-eight of elastic with a knot in the middle. I turned in the raw edges of one end of the fabric tube, then inserted one of the elastic loops. Then I topstitched over the both layers of fabric, securing the elastic (see photo). I repeated this process with the second end. At this point, the headband could be pressed flat (although this is not really necessary). I tried several different techniques for attaching the elastic and this was really the easiest and most effective. I will probably be making headbands in every color now that I have the method worked out and I look forward to feeling a little less guilty about throwing my hair in a ponytail (at least I'll be accessorizing, right?). Shorter, narrower headbands in bright colors would be perfect for younger girls. Attach a loopy ribbon bow, or large artificial gerber daisy for a cute children's accessory. Be creative and enjoy!

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