Pardon the messy hair and knobby knuckles. :-)
When my dear friend Joanne -- who, incidentally, introduced me to Fluevogs almost two years ago -- asked me to sew her up some imitation Sweaty Bands to keep her hair contained during her workouts, I was happy to say yes. I mean, she changed my life with Fluevogs; I have to pay her back somehow. ;-) But I couldn't not help after I found out how expensive Sweaty Bands are. Um, $15 to $18 for some ribbon and elastic? Say what? Worse yet, she would have ended up paying more because she needed to have them custom-made. So what's a girl to do? Well, she found this tutorial online, and when she asked me to take a look, I thought it was definitely doable.
Here's the basic outline of how to make the headband:
- List of items needed: decorative ribbon, velvet ribbon (so the headband will stay in place on the hair), and elastic.
- Step 1: cut the decorative ribbon and the velvet ribbon to the desired length, singe the ends, and pin ribbons together with wrong sides facing each other
- Step 2: with the velvet side facing up, sew the edges of the ribbons together, beginning with a long edge (don't forget to backstitch at the beginning of your stitches to secure the seam)
- Step 3: turn the corner at the first short edge, and insert the elastic in between the two layers of ribbon; sew over the three layers, backstitching at least once to fully secure the elastic (I stitched forward, then back, then forward again)
- Step 4: turn the corner and continue sewing the second long edge
- Step 5: turn the corner when you reach the second short edge, and insert the other end of the elastic in between the two layers of ribbon; sew over the layers, once again backstitching; this should result in the circle headband
Since we couldn't shop for the materials together given that she lives 400 miles away, she prepped everything herself. She bought the decorative ribbon (2 each of 4 designs for a total of 8 headbands), the velvet ribbon, and the elastic. She measured and cut them, singed the ends, pinned the layers together, and marked where she wanted the elastic to be inserted into the ribbons. She made it all super easy for me. (Yay for Type A personalities! Lol) The package was so neat and good-looking when I got it in the mail that I'm sorry I didn't take any photos before digging into the project.
She also chose some gorgeous ribbon. Seriously, just look at these!
When I did my test run, I found that I needed two things: 1) Fusible interfacing to bind the decorative and velvet ribbons to each other (using the heat of an iron) so that I had a stable piece when sewing the edges. (Indeed, Joanne conveniently sent me a roll of interfacing in case I needed it.) I hate crooked seams...which leads me to:
2) Invisible thread, which is basically clear polyester in thread form. I found this brief tutorial on invisible thread really helpful. For one thing, it made my life easier by telling me beforehand to pair regular thread with the invisible thread rather than trying to sew with the invisible thread on both the spool (top) and bobbin (bottom). IMPORTANT NOTE: because I was sewing with the velvet underside facing up, I needed the invisible thread on the bobbin (as the bottom thread) rather than on the spool (as the top thread). That way, the invisible thread would appear on the decorative ribbon, which is where I wanted it.
For the spool thread that will be visible on the velvet side, I would suggest using a color thread that also blends well with the decorative ribbon since tiny dots of that thread are visible on the decorative side. Here are two examples: I used white thread for the spool when sewing up a design with a white background, and you can see the white thread on the black velvet underside. For a design with a black background, I used black thread, which you can see completely disappears into the black velvet.
With Joanne's generous permission, I decided to keep two of them. The first one was my test run without the invisible thread, and the second one had a slight burn on the velvet when I turned the iron up a little to high. Oops. But they're definitely cute, and while I can't take any credit for choosing the designs, I'm glad I was able to help a good friend save some cash. :-)