“Upcycling” clothing is a fun way to re-purpose old fabrics into new clothes for children and adults. Upcycling involves incorporating the materials from old clothes, changing the style and turning it into something different. Upcycled clothing is usually less expensive than new.
You can find lots of old neckties in the thrift store or your closet. Neckties are a long strip of fabric that would be perfect for a hairband.
Use your sewing tape measure to measure from the chin, around the ears, and back to the chin again. Measure and mark the fabric elastic and cut it. Place the fabric elastic from the top of the head, around the bottom of the chin and up to the top of the head again. Stretch the fabric elastic. Determine whether you want to cut off more elastic to make a tighter fit.
Find a tie that is longer than the head measurement that you made with the tape measure. Cut off at least an inch of the tie on either end. Keep the center of the tie because that’s the part that’s approximately the same width all the way down. Measure the tie according to the head measurement on the tape measure. Leave approximately half an inch of extra fabric on the tie on either end for a hem.
Pin the fabric elastic in the center of the necktie. There will likely be an inch or half an inch of fabric on the end of the necktie that won’t have fabric elastic. It will be used for the hem, and the fabric elastic needs to be shorter than the fabric so that it will pull tight to the head. Choose a thread that complements the tie fabric. Begin sewing the fabric elastic in the middle of the tie. Sew all the way to the end of the fabric elastic. Begin in the middle again and sew all the way to the other end. Do the same thing on both sides of the fabric elastic until it’s well-anchored to the necktie.
If you want a smaller hairband, fold in the edges of the necktie until they meet in the middle and overlap them slightly. Sew the edges together in the middle of the headband. If you want a wider necktie, you may want to sew a separate piece of fabric underneath the necktie so that it will disguise the fabric elastic.
Finally, take the necktie fabric that extends beyond the elastic and pin it together. Sew a seam through the half-inch of fabric so that the necktie makes a full circle. Fold over the excess fabric and hem it neatly or cut it away. Put the hairband onto your head and make sure that it fits. If it’s too loose, you can always hem it again and make it a little tighter