How to Make a Stretchy, Knit Headband

SEP 8, 2016 updated Aug 17, 2021

Sport Lycra headband

Shevonne gets ready for yoga in her Sport Lycra headband with design Delf_Conversational by Stacy Iest Hsu.

You’ve just sewn up your Sport Lycra leggings and you’re ready for yoga class when it strikes you–­your freshly sewn yoga pants need a matching headband to keep the hair out of your eyes during those downward-facing dogs! With the bonus moisture-wicking feature and quick sew time, a headband is the perfect accessory to add to your athletic wardrobe. Join Spoonflower team member and self proclaimed athletic apparel advocate Meredith, as she shows you how to turn a fat quarter of Spoonflower’s Sport Lycra into a headband, ideal for sweating it out at the gym or just preventing a bad hair day.

Make a sports lycra headband

Materials:

  • 1 Fat Quarter of Spoonflower’s Sport Lycra (I used Jennifer Sanchez Art’s ny1329. The colors in her designs really pop on the Sport Lycra!)
  • Fabric shears or rotary blade.
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine/thread

Cut your sports lycra

1. To get started, cut down your fabric. Cut a rectangle 4.5” wide x 20” long. If you’re nervous about the headband fitting too snug, I recommend wrapping the fabric around head to determine how much fabric you’ll need, keeping in mind there will be a 1⁄4” seam allowance. You can always sew your headband with a larger seam allowance if it’s too big, so err on the side of caution!

Fold your fabric (1)

2. Fold your cut rectangle in half, left to right, right sides facing each other.

Fold your fabric, lengthwise (1)

3. With the fabric folded in half, fold the fabric again, top to bottom.

Fold your fabric, lengthwise again (1)

4. Fold the fabric in half, top to bottom, one more time!

Pin your fabric

5. Using a pin, secure the raw edges of the fabric. The end of your headband should be 8 layers thick.

Sew your sports lycra

6. Using a 1⁄4” seam, sew across the edge you just pinned together. I recommend using a stretch stitch to prevent your seam from ripping. Turn your fabric right side out.

7. The great thing about knit fabric, including the Sport Lycra, is that the edges won’t fray like woven fabrics! So, if you’re running out the door for yoga and don’t have time to finish your edges, don’t worry! If you do prefer a more finished look and don’t want the edges to roll, you can fold over the top and bottom of your headband about 1⁄4” and topstitch.

Do yoga in your headband

With so many designs to choose from in the Spoonflower marketplace, or a custom design of your own, the possibilities are really endless for a headband!

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  • Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    I’m looking for a free knit pattern for a garter stitch pattern

    • Thanks for letting us know, Beth! We’ve updated the tutorial to include the step where you turn the fabric right side out.

  • Hey there! Would you recommend the fabric you mentioned here over your Performance Pique fabric? If not, why? Thanks for the help!!

  • Hi Burchy!
    Thanks for your question! I cut the fabric with the stretch going left to right. These headbands are perfect for yoga and easy for a quick project. If you end up making one, I’d love to see a photo!
    Namaste,
    Meredtih

  • psb9646@att.net

    It looks as though in the picture where the fabric is being cut that the fabric is laid out and cut on the bias. Is it, or do you just cut square on? Great idea. Yoga starts Monday for the fall and your post is just in time. Thanks. Burchy

  • Hi MJ,
    Thank you for your helpful tip! The finished headband can be worn multiple ways, narrower or wider, depending on your preference. That’s the great thing about this headband! I chose to leave the raw edges showing but you can certainly finish them if your prefer!
    Thanks for the great feedback!
    Meredith

  • Seems ( seams ha) the idea is to not have a flat band but rather have a band that has so extra folds to widen, to narrow for every style, such as if you hair is down, you may opt for the band to be wider, covering to the crown of your head.
    a simple thought would be to say fold 4 times, making a narrow, 8 thickness strip, sewing across the narrowest end with a 1/4″ seam and to make a french seam, simply turn or flip to the finished side and sew across across the narrow end on the “right” side to keep raw edges tucked in.
    without Home Ec class where most females took the course in High school and later they taught as early as Jr High to both males and females, the terminology was taught and learned then though out life, these same words had meaning whenever used or read. This is why it seems harder to read or explain. Youtube is a great tool/way to check out any area that is not understood.
    Love your tutz! MJ

  • Hi Nikki, Beal, and Elizabeth,
    I’m sorry for the confusion in the folding! Thank you dollsz for further explaining the steps!
    The first fold goes left to right, meeting the two raw edges. The new size of the headband should be 4.5″ wide x10″ long. The second fold meets the raw edges on the top and bottom by folding the fabric in half again, but this time, top to bottom! Your headband should now be 2.25″ wide and 10″ long. Repeat this fold again, top to bottom. The headband should now measure 1.125″ wide X10″.
    When you sew the 8 layers of fabric created during the folding steps, it will create a closed end so you have a complete circle. Once you’ve sewn the end, you can unfold the headband!
    I hope that helps, but if you have any more questions, please let me know!

  • The first fold put all the end cut edges together. So after all the folding, you have one short side with all cut edges pinned together and then sewn with the 1/4″ seam allowance, and one short side of just layered folds. Get it? Look at #2 very closely. Happy sewing!

  • i can see one end being sewn in these pictures, so am at a loss at how it becomes a full circle to encompass the head? am i missing something? this really isnt very clear sorry.

  • Why is the headband larger between steps 3 and 4 when the text says that it needs to be folded smaller? For clarity, you should add dimensions, e.g., fold left to right so you have a 4.5″ by 10″ rectangle… fold again top to bottom so you have a 2.25″ x 10″ rectangle… etc.

  • Hi, I’m worried I am missing the last step. Do I sew the edges together and then unroll/unfurl it? Do you have this in a video format to watch? I’m new to sewing so any help is appreciated. Thank you!