Button headbands

A couple of weeks ago I got a text from a friend asking me if I knew “anyone” who could make button headbands for her daughter Charlotte, and her friends who are nurses at Loyola University Hospital in Chicago. Wearing face masks all day was making their ears sore and they had heard that the headbands might help?

So I googled button headbands and found various ideas and tutorials, even some for sale on Etsy… Most of the patterns involved stretchy knit fabrics which I don’t have in my stash… so I thought about things and came up with my own plan using what I already owned. By the end of the evening I had nine made which Charlotte’s dad came and picked up from my front step… Charlotte tried one out, pronounced it fit for purpose and I made 21 more before I ran out of elastic.

I posted some pics on Instagram and had several requests for directions so here you are. I am not known for my wonderful pattern writing so just know I have done my best!! I didn’t take process pictures while I was making the original bands so I  made one out of plain pink to show you 🙂 I would suggest you read all the way through to the end before you start…

For each mask you will need fabric, elastic and buttons. I got four headbands from each set of two fat quarters. My elastic varied between 1″ and 1 1/2″ wide. The button are about 3/4″ diameter.
I drew up a pattern taking features from several I saw and traced it onto clear template plastic. As you can see it measures 4″ at the widest point down to 2 1/2″ at the narrow end. It is 10″ across. It is designed to be placed on the fold where the arrows are which makes for a total length of 20″. It includes a 1/4″ seam allowance on the sides and a 1/2″ on the ends to be folded under. The dot shows the button placement.

I layered two fat quarters (18″ x 22″) right side together, folded across the middle (18″ sides together to make it 18″ x 11″) and cut each mask out ready to stitch.I folded the short ends 1/2″ back on themselves (towards the wrong side of the fabric)

and stitched down the long sides, with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

I backstitched at the beginning of the seams and left a 2″ gap on the long straight side for turning.

Now I turned it right side out, and cut a 4 1/2″ piece of elastic.This got inserted in the open ends and pinned in place,before I topstitched all the way around the headband, closing that turning gap as I went,

and reinforcing the ends to hold the elastic securely.

Time to add the buttons! They go 2″ from the end.

Make sure you sew them on well. They are going to come in for some stress!

And here you have it…

And here are some of the ones I made earlier!You might notice the pink ones are a little narrower. Just take a little bit off the width if you prefer them that way. Charlotte and her friends liked the wide ones. They thought they looked more like bandanas… That’s them in today’s featured image at the top of the post.

So, if you can understand my directions and decide to have a go please post pictures on my Facebook page (link at the side) or drop me a note to let me know. Apparently they do work!

I have made two fabric masks for Steve and I to use. I chose the simplest pattern available. We only go out once a week so they can be washed between trips. I have no plans to make more.

 

If you want the best face mask pattern my good friend Valli Schiller teamed up with Ami Simms to design what they are calling the Valami Face Mask. I have heard great things about it. You can find their most excellent pattern  at the bestdiyfacemask web site. Now they know how to write instructions!

Time to get back to my white whole cloth walking foot quilting pieces…

 

10 Comments

  1. Anne Hersch said:

    Thank you so much for posting this Catherine!

    May 2, 2020
    Reply
    • catherineredford said:

      My pleasure. Hope it was useful!

      May 2, 2020
      Reply
  2. Janie Rentz said:

    Headbands are great idea. Our small group are finishing 1,000 for nurses at our local hospital.

    May 21, 2020
    Reply
    • catherineredford said:

      That is a lot of headbands. I’m sure the nurses are very grateful for all your hard work. Well done!

      May 21, 2020
      Reply
  3. Jessica said:

    I’ve been making these since the start of the pandemic, my sister & the other Nurses in her COVID Unit love them!!

    May 22, 2020
    Reply
  4. Deanne Trussell said:

    I have 19 made but wondering where to get them to. The hospitals don’t want them

    May 25, 2020
    Reply
    • catherineredford said:

      Hi Deanne. Congrats on making the headbands. I’m sad that you received such a disheartening response. I have only made the bands (and a few masks) when I was asked so I knew they were wanted. I hope someone who needs them comes along soon.

      May 25, 2020
      Reply
  5. Jeanmarie said:

    I work at a Veterinary Clinic and we would love those headbands! I’m sorry you didn’t get a good response. Why dont you try a Vet Clinic in your area?

    May 25, 2020
    Reply
  6. Betsy said:

    Thanks for this posting, which was brought to my attention by my future daughter-in-law, a health care provider at the VA Hospital in Louisville, KY. She knows I sew and asked me to make her a couple. I’ll make them for all the gals if it works for her. Great way to use up those extra buttons from other projects!

    May 27, 2020
    Reply
    • catherineredford said:

      Hi Betsy! Glad to be useful. Do send pics when you’ve finished

      May 27, 2020
      Reply

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