Friday, 31 July 2015

Scrap busting: vintage-style headscarf tutorial

I've got a great scrap-busting project to share with you today! It's to make these vintage style headscarves/headbands - they're the kind with wire inside them which makes them stay in place nicely.

I've been meaning to make one for ages because I had an old shop-bought one that I wear all the time, but I couldn't work out what kind of wire to use - nothing seemed quite right. Then recently I saw a similar project in a magazine that used garden wire so I decided to give that a go. I was a bit skeptical because the wire didn't seem like it would be bendy enough, but it actually worked really well and now I'm slightly obsessed with making these headbands. They're really simple, so much so in fact that I almost thought it didn't warrant a tutorial, but it's always good to share ideas so I'm doing it anyway! Here we go...

You will need:
- Long, thin fabric scraps
- Garden wire (mine is 1.2 mm thick, and does the job nicely!)
- Insulating tape
- Sewing supplies

Cut 2 strips of fabric. The length/width/shape is up to you really, but as a guide I cut my strips to be 85 cm at the longest point, and 8 cm wide. I curve the ends of the strips slightly as you can see in the photo above.

Put your 2 strips right sides together and sew (I use a 1 cm seam allowance) around the edge, leaving a gap of around 10 cm in one of the long sides for turning. Don't forget to secure the threads at both ends!

Turn the fabric right side out and press

Take your wire, bend the end over and wrap it back around the wire to create a loop roughly 5 cm long - this doesn't need to be too precise, the loop just helps the ends of the headband keep their shape.

Wrap insulating tape around the wire at the bottom of the loop to hold in place and make sure there are no sharp ends.

Hold this loop at one end of your fabric strip and stretch the wire out so it is roughly the same length as the strip, allowing enough extra wire at the other end to make a second loop. Cut the wire at this point and then make a second loop in the same way as the first.

Put the wire into the fabric tube through the turning hole, feeding the loops to either end.

Sew up the turning hole by hand using your preferred method. I love the ladder stitch which Flossie Teacakes shows in this tutorial.

And you're done!

These headbands are a great way to use up fabric scraps and such a quick project. I only wish more of my friends and family were fans of headbands like this, because they'd be great to make for presents. As it is, I'll just have to make lots of myself instead - I'm sure I'll cope with that! I hope the tutorial all makes sense - if anything's not clear let me know and I'll try to sort it. I hope you enjoy making them as much as I do!


  1. Thanks for sharing this. You always look so coordinated with your headbands K xXx

  2. Thanks for sharing this tutorual, ive seen them in the shops and thought they would be easy to make. My daughter would love one and while i am at it i might make one for me too!!!!

    1. You're welcome! They are really easy - hope you like making them!

  3. Are they comfy to wear Ruth? They look super cute for sure. Guess I 'll be looking out for gardening wire at the weekend!

    1. Yes, I find them comfy - you can adjust them to be as tight or loose as you want so that helps!

  4. I can see why you were suspicious about the wire at first! It's so thin but good to know it works. I'm tempted to give them a try as well :)

    1. They'd definitely be a very simple project after all your complicated wedding dress making!

  5. What a great little tutorial, I love all your coordinating headbands. I used to wear headbands loads when I had longer hair so will definitely keep your tutorial in mind if/when I decide to grow my hairstyle out again!


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