Making An Easy Headband For My Daughter

 "Mommy, can you sew me a mask?" my seven year old daughter, Rose, comes up to me with a piece of floral fabric and asks, when I already have a lot on my plate.

While I have sewed masks before and they aren't that hard or complicated to make, sewing masks without a sewing machine is time consuming, and I didn't have the energy or patience for what was required.

"Rose, we already have enough masks," I tell her. 

"But Mommy," she says, "I haven't sewed with you in a while."

Anneliese was at her dad's and while I did have a lot to do, I decided to set aside some time with my daughter to sew. But not a mask.

"How about a headband?" I ask her, showing her the idea I had in mind. She agreed to the headband, but had specific ideas about how she wanted it to be.

We cut the fabric long enough to go around her head and then some, and I showed her how the standard headband is made with a wider part and then a thinner part containing elastic.

She didn't want that. She wanted elastic the entire way through. I told her that that would make the headband scrunch up like a scrunchie, but she said she didn't mind, that her best friend, Maggie, at school had a headband like that.

Ok then, what Rose said is what will go, since this is her headband after all.

We had a blackout exactly at that moment (why, I have no idea) so we went outside to sit on the hammock and sew.

I folded the fabric while inside out, and held it together (since I couldn't find the pins) while Rose sewed it together (there was a line on the fabric that she followed and kept it straight). She probably got 3/4 of the way through and then stopped, and I finished the rest.

Then Rose flipped the fabric right side out and got some elastic to put inside it. (Took three tries, since she insisted on going inside and cutting the elastic, but cut it too short each time but disappeared before I could tell her how long to cut the elastic.)

Rose then threaded the elastic through the fabric and I tied it so it would be the right circumference.

The next part was to hem the edges of the fabric.

I folded the edges of the fabric into themselves so they wouldn't fray, and overlapped them with each other, then sewed them together.

I went to put it on Rose's head and... oops. Didn't fit. Took me a few seconds to realize that it wasn't that the elastic wasn't long enough but rather I had shortened the fabric too much for the elastic to even make a difference. 

Back to the drawing board. I used a pair of scissors to cut the thread and took out what I did.

Then I put what I had on Rose's head and measured how far the fabric actually could go, and had the rest of the elastic stick out of the fabric. This time I folded the fabric onto itself, but each side separately, and sewed it onto the elastic, making sure the elastic lay flat.

Headband ready, no? 

Not yet.

Rose asked me to gather the fabric in the middle so that it looks like a knot at the top, so I just did a simple stitch and pulled it tight and then sewed it again to hold it together.

Now the headband was done (and would probably benefit from being ironed, but I didn't feel like taking the iron out), but it was already dark out.

 I wanted to take a picture to show you about this headband that we made simply and cheaply, but Rose was in a silly mood, so I apologize for the silly pictures.

Totally fun activity to do together...

...and now she has a fun and pretty hair accessory. 

Yes it took time away from what I was doing, but this special time together with my daughter was worth it in so many ways.

Do you sew? If so, do you ever sew with your kids? What types of things do you sew together?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. I love that she was able to ask you for what she really needed, and the way you responded was perfect. And look at her - she's adorable in her new headband!

  2. She will love it all the more having designed and helped to make it!

  3. Adorable, practical and a great learning experience for both of you.

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