My sewing machine is having problems. Who could have predicted that the ultra-bargain machine I bought 4 years ago on clearance at Walmart wouldn't last forever? I couldn't. I feel very betrayed by this unexpected turn of events--we've always gotten along so nicely. I'm torn between my love for it (the sweet memories! the quilts we've made together! the refashions! the home decor!) and deep anger toward it (how dare it rebel against me! I raised it and taught it everything it knows! I'm going to drop it off a building!). While we sort out our issues (rather, while I decide whether or not I can afford a new machine), I made a simple no-sew headband (originally posted a few weeks ago on A Little Tipsy).
My husband left a few t-shirt sleeves lying around the other day after cutting them off to make tank tops for working out (yes, he's that guy at the gym . . . I'm sorry), and I remembered a quick craft I used to do as a teenager:
Turn a cut off t-shirt sleeve into a headband! I remember making these when I was in a pinch in high school . . . headed to school, but suffering an awful hair day? Cut off a sleeve. Bam. Bad hair hidden. Going for a jog and need to keep your bangs off your face? Sleeve. Boom. Problem solved. I used to leave them plain and just wear them as simple knit headbands, but now that I've grown a little craftier (and am armed with a glue gun), I like to add a little embellishment to this simple headband.
And the best part is, there's no sewing involved (take that, ornery sewing machine!). There is one teensy stitch that you can feel free to skip if you don't want to bother with any sewing, and no one's the wiser. Since knit fabrics don't really fray, you don't have to worry about any hemming at all. Just cut and go!
Want to make one yourself?
Start with a sleeve cut off from one of the many big, worn out t-shirts you probably have in your closet. Make sure the sleeve isn't from a smaller size t-shirt, or it won't fit over your head. My sleeve was from a men's large shirt, and it's a perfect fit for me. Just cut it away from the body:
Then cut off the hemmed cuff of the sleeve and the end that was connected to the body of the shirt, leaving a 2-4 inch loop with straight edges:
Since the sleeve is sewn at an angle (which you can see at the bottom of the sleeve in the picture above), you may want to trim the point down a bit--just open up the loop and trim off any odd points or straggly ends. It doesn't have to be perfect--the ends will curl in and hide any imperfections, so don't worry about making it exactly right.
Now for the optional sewing--you can certainly skip this part if you prefer, but it's very quick and easy and, I think, adds a little extra interest to your headband. Thread a needle (with thread that matches your sleeve--I used pink so you can see the stitches better), tie a knot in one end, and sew a few loose, wide stitches across the headband. Don't tie off the end just yet.
Cinch up the sleeve fabric by pulling snugly on the thread. You can decide how loose or tight you want your fabric to be . . . when you like the look, just tie a knot and trim the thread.
You could also stop here and sport your simple cinched headband. I wanted a little extra embellishment (I can hardly help myself), so I got out my glue gun and made a few little felt flowers (there are quite a few tutorials to make these out there, so I'm not going to repeat one here . . . but here's a great example) and a few little leaves:
Just hot glue the embellishments right over the cinched portion of the headband:
And there you have it! A super quick and easy--not to mention really cute--headband.
You can also make sleeve headbands from a smaller size t-shirt for younger girls . . . bet you never thought you'd have a use for your husband's icky discarded gym shirt sleeves, did you?