Monday, 1 August 2016

Liberty strips patchwork headbands

I so nearly managed to get this posted yesterday to sneak in before the month end and get back on my Christmassy 'Ho ho ho and on we sew' wagon, but it wasn't quite to be. I'd forgotten just how long it takes to edit and load up photos. I missed the end of the month deadline as midnight ticked over, my brain felt like it was turning into a pumpkin and, without the motivation of my deadline, I took myself off to bed instead. But never mind falling off the monthly 'Ho ho, ho' blogging wagon, I seem to have fallen completely off the whole blogging wagon.recently, so posting a day late still feels like an achievement and a step in the right direction!

But I'm afraid my Christmas making this month hasn't been anything very original. Sewing time and thinking time has been a little limited so I've been continuing with previous themes - hair accessories. I've had in mind for a while that I wanted to make some patchwork headbands. Because of the long, thin nature of head bands, you're quite restricted with the patchwork you can easily create. Simple narrow strips seemed the obvious choice and I was tempted into buying these Liberty scrap strips on Etsy to make them that little bit extra special.

I started off with a long rectangle of plain fabric, I made mine 8" by 17/18" for 2 head bands, but it just depends how wide you want your finished bands to be, and how much fabric, as opposed to elastic, you want lengthways.

Then I just sewed on my strips.

My strips were pretty narrow, so they had to be just slightly overlapped, raw edges out.

If I used a really thin strip then I sewed the 2 pieces to either side first, leaving a narrow gap to then add my thin strip.

Narrow gap above

 That way I wasn't overlapping those extra thin strips and so losing some of the little width they had.

And in goes the extra narrow strip

When I'd covered the whole rectangle I sliced it down the middle long ways, to make 2 rectangles 4" by 18" for 2 bands, and ironed/sewed in a narrow hem at the short ends.

Then ironed over a hem along one long side on each band...

Ironed up the other long edge to just below this narrow hem.

And finally ironed that narrow hem over again on top of the lower fabric, to create the finished bandwidth with no unsightly edges.

Sewed this down neatly.

And then sewed a line of top stitching on the other side to match.

It just needed some elastic now - check how much you need according to the head size you're aiming for, if you've gone with 18" initially then chances are you'll need very little elastic. Insert it into the short ends, I like to push it a good inch or so in and sew it down with a couple of lines of stitching to be confident that it's really secure.

And there's your finished headband.

They were quick and easy and fun, so, as you can see from the first photo I made quite a few!

With this next one I used some blue linen fabric for my 'base' rectangle (an old, holey pair of trousers!), and I left regular spacing to show the blue, rather than overlapping strips all the way along.

And this one is just an old, embroidered napkin turned into a band in the same way.

Then we had such a lovely, sunny weekend that I decided I definitely needed a sunshine themed band too, so fished out some appropriately coloured vintage sheets.

These I could cut a little wider so I 'pieced' these on to some backing fabric to avoid any raw edges, rather than just sewing strips on top of it. But I need some elastic which works better with the yellow to finish it up.

And I had a few tiny Liberty scraps which were perfect, combined with some wool scraps, for little hair clip birdies. 

Mainly Liberty wings on wool, one complete Liberty strip birdie, and the top right is a scrap of a vintage, embroidered napkin again.
Headbands would look much better in photos if modeled on a head, but I've decided Maria needs some of these too so she was no longer an option for secret photos, and although I did try and persuade Sam to model them for me he declined politely!



  1. they're really lovely. the birdies too xxx

  2. I really like the headband from an embroidered napkin; it's lovely! I also had no idea elastic came in so many great colors, although it makes sense in hindsight. I hope that the lack of blogging is indicative of a fun and enjoyable summer. :)

  3. I really love those birdies!

  4. Oh, the birdies are so sweet! The variety of hair accessories you are accumulating is quite astonishing. Sew creative!

  5. Now you'll be early for this month's Ho Ho Ho. I especially l like the blue headband made from old trousers. Ha, ha... no wonder Sam declined the offer to model.

  6. they are super! love then and great for christmas stockings!

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