done up like a present – 50s headband

Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for a giveaway!

In the culinary world, an amuse-bouche is a single-bite appetizer-like food. It basically means something to “amuse your mouth” (or tickle your taste buds)–a quick fix of deliciousness. This little project is my sewing amuse-bouche in a way. I’ve been so bogged down in projects that are dragging out (the Lady Grey and a slipcover for our sofa before my inlaws arrive for Thanksgiving!), that I needed a quick sewing fix that I could do in a tiny amount of time. This little headband fascinator was inspired by a tiny picture I spotted in a 1950s magazine and I set out to replicate it straight-away! Plus, it injects a little plaid into my wardrobe (I’m still looking for the perfect vintage plaid dress that doesn’t break the bank), which is so perfect for this time of year. I think this would be fantastic in various fabrics for the holidays, for yourself or as gifts. Want to make one for yourself? I documented the steps so read on–it’s super easy!

11.03.10 {50s bow headband}

  • 1/2 yard of light to medium weight fabric (any fiber)
  • plastic headband, 1/4″ wide (I purchased mine here)
  • loop-turner (recommended, but you can use a needle and thread or small
  • scissors (paper and fabric), pencil/pen, ruler, paper, thread to match, needle

11.03.10 {50s bow headband}

On the paper, make three pattern pieces to the following dimensions (you could also just mark on your fabric, but if you want to make multiples, pattern pieces are the way to go!): Headband Cover 1 3/8″x14″, and mark to be cut on the bias. Headband Bow 5″x15 1/2″ marked to be cut on fold (short end). Bow Knot 3 1/2″x3″ to be cut on straight or bias.

11.03.10 {50s bow headband}

Lay the pattern pieces on the fabric, according to the grainlines marked. Cut one of each.

11.03.10 {50s bow headband}

11.03.10 {50s bow headband}

With Headband Cover, fold right sides together and sew a 1/4″ seam down the long edges. (If you sew a little more than 1/4″ that is okay–you want this to fit tightly over the headband.) Grade seam allowance. Turn tube right side out using the tube-turner.

11.03.10 {50s bow headband}

Slip the bias tube over the headband, easing it over the entire headband. Trim the ends if they are too long to about 1/4″ longer than each end.

11.03.10 {50s bow headband}

11.03.10 {50s bow headband}

Turn the edges inside and slipstich closed using the needle and a single thread.

11.03.10 {50s bow headband}

Pin long edges of Headband Bow, right sides together. Stitch with a 1/2″ seam allowance, leaving a 2″ opening at the center to turn the tube.

11.03.10 {50s bow headband}

Press seam open, centering it at the center back of the tube. Do not turn right side out yet!

11.03.10 {50s bow headband}

On the short ends, draw a parallel line 1/2″ from the bottom edge. Measure up 3/4″ and mark a dot at the center width of the strip (approximately 1″ in). Draw a diagonal line from the center mark to the outer edge of the line and repeat to create the other leg of the bow end. Do this on both short ends.

11.03.10 {50s bow headband}

11.03.10 {50s bow headband}

Stitch the legs of the bow ends, pivoting at the center and backstitching at either end. Trim seam close to stitching, clip corners and notch the corner. Turn right side out and press. Slipstitch 2″ opening closed with needle and single thread.

11.03.10 {50s bow headband}

With right sides together of Bow Knot, sew long edges together with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Turn right side out and press flat so the seam is at the center back.

11.03.10 {50s bow headband}

11.03.10 {50s bow headband}

With bow facing right side (without seam) up, mark the center of the length with a pin, and then place another pin 2″ from end on either side. Loop bow so the loop touches the outer pin and loops under at the center pin mark. Repeat for other side of bow.

11.03.10 {50s bow headband}

11.03.10 {50s bow headband}

Pin all layers securely so they don’t shift. On underside of bow, catch stitch the loops together at the center using needle and doubled thread.

11.03.10 {50s bow headband}

Place Bow Knot over center of bow, arranging it so it sits nicely on the right side. On the underside, turn under one raw edge of the knot 3/8″ and overlap the other edge by 3/8″ to cinch the center of the bow. Pin securely. Catch stitch folded edge to Bow Knot with needle and doubled thread.

11.03.10 {50s bow headband}

Slip headband through Bow Knot on the underside, sandwiching it between the Bow and Bow Knot and making sure it’s centered along the length of the headband. Whipstitch the Bow Knot to the headband cover fabric, and be sure to take a few stitches on the bow underside to secure the headband in place.

11.03.10 {50s bow headband}

Secure the shaped ends of the bow (not the loops) to the headband on either side with a few whipstitches as well.

11.03.10 {50s bow headband}

Enjoy sporting your 1950s style bow! I think this would be lovely made up in a variety of fabrics–especially sumptuous ones like brocade, velveteen, or a shiny silk. You could also embellish it with some beads or sequins. The holidays are the perfect time of year to add some sparkle to even an everyday outfit!

50s Bow Headband Giveaway

11.03.10 {50s bow headband}

If you don’t want to make one yourself (or just like this one), I am giving away one to a lucky reader! I haven’t done a proper giveaway in so long… it’s shameful because I adore doing these. You’ll get a brand new (unworn–I made two during shooting this tutorial) plaid bow just for yourself! I even added an Elegant Musings tag to the inside to make it “official”. Here’s how to enter:

  • Leave a comment in this post for one entry telling me what your favorite small gift is to give to people for the holidays/birthdays/special occasions.
  • If you would like additional entries, you can Tweet or post on your blog about this giveaway with a link back. Just be sure to come back here, comment and post a link to your Tweet/post! (Feel free to use one of the images here in your post.)
  • The giveaway is open until Sunday, November 7 at 10pm (EST). A winner will be randomly chosen and I’ll announce the winner on Monday.
  • This giveaway is open to readers worldwide!

Is it silly I get so excited about doing a giveaway?! I think I might try to squeeze in one more before 2010 is over… Good luck with this one!!!

November 3, 2010 · 234 lovely thoughts
posted in tutorials · tags: , ,

Mel H November 3, 2010 at 16:12

I lean to making homemade cards which at Christmas time double as ornaments. I’ll reuse the previous years cards and find ones that match each family member or friend. Its even better when I can get my hands on the vintage images – I get the comments from my older Sisters-In-Law “That looks just like so and so when they were little…”.

RetroJetGirl November 3, 2010 at 16:15

Oh how cute!! If I wore headbands enough I’d enter, but I’d rather a girl who wears them all the time win one, so I won’t. But that is such a cute, easy-looking project! Love how it contrasts with your dress too.

Becky ♥ November 3, 2010 at 16:16

i love making gifts! Last year i made all my freings a little jar with a pincushion on top! each was a different colour then i filled the jar with mini bobbins and some yarn in the same colour of the cushion they all love them!
I’m so glad you are doing it worldwide! Thanks Casey!
Love your blog as always!
Becky xoxox

Becky ♥ November 3, 2010 at 16:17

sorry that was supposed to be freinds! :) silly me!

Kazz November 3, 2010 at 19:29

this is an adorable idea!

Becky♥ November 4, 2010 at 09:34

Oh thank you so much Kazz the year before i made little puffy hearts with there names embroidered on!

Inky November 3, 2010 at 16:16

i love to give of my time to people during the holidays – help where they need it :) thanks for the tutorial, it’s adorable!

Tilly November 3, 2010 at 16:22

So cute! Great tutorial, thanks for sharing – definitely one to bookmark.

I’ve been going to a lot of weddings recently and love giving the couple two small red heart-shaped dishes from Le Creuset, perfect size for chocolate mousse or a similar romantic treat! I’m plotting various handmade gifts for Christmas this year though, and hoping to get lots of inspiration from

Toby Wollin November 3, 2010 at 16:24

Fab!! I’m actually thinking of making something like this, only a little bit padded so that I can pin in brooches (which I have a bunch of but which I hardly ever wear) for more formal wear. Very inspirational post!!

mary martha November 3, 2010 at 16:25

I love to give fuzzy socks as a small Christmas gift. Here in Chicago winters a cold and fuzzy socks make everything feel cozy.

I love the tutorial and the headband is adorable. My niece has asked for headbands for Christmas and perhaps I will try making one!

Sophie V. November 3, 2010 at 16:29

That is a wonderful tutorial!! Thank you so much! I love giving little handmade items to my friends and family, so I am definitely going to try making some headbands this year.:)

Tasia November 3, 2010 at 16:31

This is so pretty! Thanks for sharing your tutorial, it’s so very clear! I won’t enter the giveaway myself as I’d rather a true headband-lover win like RetroJetGirl said… Looks like it’s a giveaway kind-of-day! :)

Syrena November 3, 2010 at 16:33

What a cute hairbow! I wouldl like to see what you are wearing…. is that a blouse or a dress?? It looks very pretty!

Eithne November 3, 2010 at 16:36

I love making scarves to give away as xmas presents, especially ones using noro yarn. I love the headband,beautiful!

Carys November 3, 2010 at 16:39

I went through a phase of making my friends little 1920s style headbands! They were quite simple (just a velvet band with a feather and a jewel), but they made such cute little gifts because everyone got different ones. I need to start making some again in time for christmas!
You look so lovely in these pictures, and the plaid bow is totally adorable!
From Carys of La Ville Inconnue

Gina November 3, 2010 at 16:39

Love the headband, I have a plaid dress I am working on, LOVE plaid. The gift people love to get from me is my homemade laundry soap.( Powder) I put it in a mason jars, one jarful does about 16 loads of Laundry! Two tablespoons per load. It’s good stuff! Thanks Casey for another great idea!!

Carleen November 3, 2010 at 16:41

I usually make handmade Christmas cards. It’s one of my favorite craft to do with my daughters.

Lindsey November 3, 2010 at 16:42

Thanks for the tutorial. I’m looking forward to making them for holiday parties. My favorite small gift is homemade cookie mix in a mason jar. Just put all the dry ingredients in and make cute instruction cards to attach.

Carleen November 3, 2010 at 16:43

I tweeted about the giveaway.

Ellie B November 3, 2010 at 16:54

I like to hit up one of our local boutiques to buy little handmade cards or cute pieces of jewelry for people.

HOPE November 3, 2010 at 16:55

Hi Casey,

I came from a large family with 12 girls. We never had much money for gifts, but we loved buying pretty ribbons and head bands for our hair, which has always been a favorite gift in our home. I have never outgrown the love of headbands and ribbons.

This is the loveliest of all headbands! I happen to be a great lover of plaid and red is my absolute favorite color!

This headband looks perfect on you with this amazing blue dress.

Whoever receives this lovely gift will be truly blessed. You are very generous.


Elissa November 3, 2010 at 16:58

Thanks for the giveaway! I’m really enjoying reading people’s comments to this post too… lots of great ideas! PS You look GORGEOUS in these photos! I’m in love with this headband!

My favorite thing to make to give away is infused vodka (or sake, or light rum…). It takes hardly any work at all, just put your ingredients in (I love herbs like sage, rosemary and basil) and let them sit for a week in the dark. Don’t take the ingredients out when you gift it to your friends, it makes a better-looking presentation!

lap November 3, 2010 at 16:59

I can’t wait to make these for both my daughters! Even the one who isn’t “girly” will love one in plaid! I shared this entry on my Facebook wall, but that’s more for the good of the country than to win a prize!

Evie November 3, 2010 at 17:09

This headband is so cute, Casey! And such a cute gift idea. I always like coming up with small handmade items to give people, whether sewing, knitting or some other media. Baked goods are always a great way to go too. I have to admit, sometimes I cheat on this one and don’t do the baking myself. My boyfriend is a wonderful baker and is always happy to make things in my name :) Whether I win this one or not, I’ll definitely have to make some myself.

Morgan November 3, 2010 at 17:22

What a cute headband!
I love to bake things as little holiday gifts–last year I found some neat little tins for cookies and gave them to family members with a card as a Christmas Eve present.
Thank you!

Catherine November 3, 2010 at 17:31

Gorgeous! What a great idea for a giveaway – thanks for the chance to enter :)

Heidi November 3, 2010 at 17:33

What a wonderful giveaway! Wonderfully done headband. My favorite gift to give during the Holiday’s is little gift baskets full of various things (like cookies, bath and body products, etc.) – it’s my own and I dress it up with bows and everything :)
Thanks for entering me in the giveaway! :)

- Heidi

Heidi November 3, 2010 at 17:34

I also tweeted about the giveaway!:!/msfashinista/status/29608027636

- Heidi

Jenna November 3, 2010 at 17:34

Thanks for making that for a giveaway…too cute!

Every year I make something small to give away; one year it was soap, another was chocolate covered marshmallows. This year has been so hectic and I have so many major occassions I need to craft to celebrate that I’ll be buying the small gifts.

Catherine November 3, 2010 at 17:37

Ack, I left out my favourite thing: I know it’s lame but I love throwing a little colored lip gloss into gifts (Burts Bees seems to be a fav). It’s a bit of instant pizazz you can carry around in your purse, a locker, a desk drawer!

Marne November 3, 2010 at 17:38

I love making delicious baked goods for my friends and loved ones, a favorite treat to give are homemade gingersnaps, especially at Christmas.

Sara November 3, 2010 at 17:38

So pretty! I’m going to try this tonight!

For quick gifts I like to keep some felt, hairclips, hot glue and feathers on hand to make fascinators. I find that they’re perfect for those unexpected birthdays!

ruby slippers November 3, 2010 at 17:40

Hi Casey, great tutorial!

I love to make cute retro aprons for my aunties and girlfriends and I always find a beautiful scented candle a winning gift!

x Ruby Slippers

Heidi November 3, 2010 at 17:54

I knit, so my favorite thing is something simple like a pair of mittens or a cowl. Especially since I live in Norway, this is usually a good time of year for woolly presents…

Mary November 3, 2010 at 18:01

Beautiful headband! My favorite small gift to give is sugar cookies!

Ashley November 3, 2010 at 18:01

I’d like to win it! Your hands make such lovely things.

chriss November 3, 2010 at 18:10

Casey while that headband is super-cute (and very festive!), I actually don’t want to comment to enter the giveaway — but I’d like the details on that dress! I LOVE the v-neck+dress shirt collar look, but I detest (on myself) button-up dress shirts.
Is that dress something you made yourself? Or…?

Taylor November 3, 2010 at 18:12

I love to give away small homemade goods. Often they are cookies or bread, but during good canning years I’ve also given away preserved peaches or a jar of jam. One year I made frozen pizza dough for friends who had pizza nights every so often. It’s inexpensive, personal, and everyone loves goodies from the kitchen!

Holly Storm November 3, 2010 at 18:15

This is so frickin’ adorable! I am entering for the giveaway!

My favorite small gift to give for the holidays are homemade bath salts and hand scrubs. I pick up some nice fragrance oils, food colorings, Epsom Salts & Sunflower oil and make large batches. Pick up cute glass containers from our local Hobby Lobby and design cute labels. Voila! Sweet little gifts for teachers, friends, etc..

Holly Storm November 3, 2010 at 18:18
Lilac November 3, 2010 at 18:18

I’m definitely going to attempt to whip one of these up, too cute!
My favourite small gift to give is a homemade mix cd or a makeup bag. I decorate the covers of the cd really nicely and wrap the presents perfectly so it looks like a lot of effort has gone into it (which it has!).

Alicia C. November 3, 2010 at 18:25

I love almost everything about that headband! It looks absolutely adorable on you. I recently made myself a simple navy hair bow with an elastic headband since plastic ones generally make my head hurt after a while (the one thing I dislike about yours). My fave small gift to give is jewelry from local artists bought at either the SFMOMA or a local event called ArtTrails.

Laura S. November 3, 2010 at 18:28

I like to give something homemade (in the past I’ve done tote bags, doll dresses, aprons, etc.) or else a pretty something-or-other that I’ve found — notecards, stationary, etc.

Pamela November 3, 2010 at 18:31

I love giving people little notes! It is always nice to express appreciation and a note is so personal! A homemade treat to go along is always nice too.

Jesslyn November 3, 2010 at 18:33

Super cute! Will definitely be making this. And LOVE the dress you’re wearing!

Holly Storm November 3, 2010 at 18:38

I also did a Facebook post here:

Ryan November 3, 2010 at 18:41

I used to wear headbands, then I cut my hair short so I stopped, but now i’t grown out again and I’ve been thinking of finding my head bands. I really like how this one looks with your hair pinned up, kind of like a hat. I definitely need more plaid.

I don’ t give a signature gift (but that is a great idea – so I always have something on hand just in case) but try really hard to listen when people talk about things the wish they had, and I know they probably won’t get for themselves. Like last year I got a set of vintage silver seafood forks for a friend and sewed a silvercloth roll to store them in.

emma November 3, 2010 at 18:44

Aw Casey what a gorgeous headband! Love the plaid!

As for giving gifts, you can’t beat the personal touch. Homemade gifts are the best because it makes the person feel special that you took the time to make them something. I love making specific cards for specific people adding drawings, photographs, stories etc. that are special to me and that person. I also love making up photo albums for people because with digital cameras I find people don’t develop photos as much so when you make up a photo album of memories for them, they are so appreciative.

Great giveaway Casey!

xx Emma

Ruth November 3, 2010 at 18:45

Oh this is so adorable! Another great post! And everything so nicely explained! I always like to gift people something to pamper themselves! it always has to have good smell and vivid colours!

Christina Thompson November 3, 2010 at 18:46

I loving away handmade ornaments and cute little boxes of homemade candies.

Abigail Buzbee November 3, 2010 at 18:59

This headband is too cute…perfect for the holidays!
My favourite gift to give is coffee. We roast our own coffee at my house, and a bag of specially roasted coffee made for friends and family really is special, and is great for all the coffee snobs in our family,”Only gourmet fresh roasted coffee beans for me,si’l vous plait…” : )
I hope I win!
Abigail B.

Kelly Anne November 3, 2010 at 19:00

I ADORE this headband. So perfect! And actually, for Christmas last year I gave several of my girlfriends pretty headbands from Bambako. The mix of colors and materials made it easy to find different options to suit each of their personalities.

Briana November 3, 2010 at 19:03

What a wonderful headband!!! How absolutely clever!

Homemade candies are my favorites to make! Especially for the holidays, I fashion my own boxes with tissue compartments for homemade candies. For the holidays- making peppermint bark is a challenge, but I did it last year- my friends and families loved it! Pralines are fun to make, also- and toffee/chocolate clusters are particularly easy!
I had a friend who was allergic to chocolate and made cranberry, macadamia-nut cookies instead, and I think I will try lemon bars this year!
Showing dedication of time and thought is always the best gift! All the money in the world couldn’t equivocate sincere devotion of energy like handmade goodies!

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