Bend-tastic // DIY Bendable Wire Headband Tutorial

Alright, you’ve caught me. I thought I could beat the festive season this year and successfully churn out a post a day, but it seems in just 4 days the holidays have gotten the better of me. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been making every chance I get, and to prove it here’s the next post of Merry Making 2014, a DIY bendable wire headband tutorial!

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This accessory was all the rage last year (especially amongst twee-loving Asians and Blonde tumblr babes) but it seems to have died down in recent months. That doesn’t mean it’s old news though! In anticipation of all the photo booths (and photobombs) at the parties I’m going to attend this year, I made up a couple of these really fun headbands. In case you haven’t encountered them before, they’re essentially a fabric headband with a wire down the middle that lets it be bent into any shape you desire – think Rosie the Riveter but better!. It also facilitates dorky Teletubbies impersonations (between those things and Furbies, I had a very traumatic childhood indeed).

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These headbands are great as simple DIY Christmas gifts for groups of girlfriends (or boyfriends if they’re up for it) and are fantastic stash busters! The red polka dot fabric you see in the pictures below are from my Minnie Mouse costume that I blogged about here, and the blue fabric is from this kimono make. Each required only 2.5″ by 42″ of fabric and even then I lobbed off about an inch off the length because it was a little too long. If you want to get in on the action and make one of these beauties then read on below!

DIY Bendable Wire Headband Tutorial 

Materials needed:

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Scrap fabric – if you don’t have a single piece of fabric measuring 2.5″ by 42″, simply sew together a few lengths of your scrap fabric, right sides together, to meet the required dimensions (I did this on the red headband which can be seen in the pictures below)

Matching thread

Bendable wire (I got mine from a florist supplies shop)

Directions:

1. Cut your fabric to the required dimensions (2.5″ by 42″). Do cut a longer length if that is your preference.

2. Fold the fabric in half, right sides together, and press.  Cut to taper the ends as shown below.

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3. Pin together the raw edges and sew up the sides of the headband using a 5/8″ seam allowance and leaving a gap of about 2″ in the middle of the headband. You can do this by starting at either end of the headband and working towards the middle. This is to facilitate turning the headband right side out later on.

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4. Snip horizontally across the tip of the tapered point and trim down the seam allowances to reduce bulk.

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5. Turn the headband inside out, using a chopstick or a point turner to get the tapered ends nice and pointy.

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6. Press.

7. Insert the wire into the headband through the gap you left in the stitching at the middle of the headband, as shown below.

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8. Close up the gap by stitching on the top of the headband.

And tadaaaaa! Your headband is ready to go. What do you guys think? Love it, hate it? I’d love to know!

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P.S. Well done if you could match the Teletubbies to the impersonations! Clearly, like me, you are still suffering the lingering effects of Post-Teletubbies Stress Disorder.

Casual Christmas // DIY Poolside Party Kimono

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Christmas around the equator (and I suppose the Southern Hemisphere) is always a slightly strange affair. Instead of a white Christmas with warm fires, I’ve watched enough episodes of Bondi Rescue to know that Australian Christmases often come with white sandy beaches and copious amounts of sunscreen. In Singapore, this also means that end-of-year parties are a somewhat more casual affair, with barbecues, shorts and flip flops, as opposed to heels, party dresses and faux-fur coats – it’s just too hot and humid to bother  with nice dresses and make up!

Honestly, this makes me more than a little jealous of you people with sub-27 deg C temperatures. (All you people who say you would love to have summer temperatures year round clearly don’t know what you’re talking about!!!)

So this year, I decided to amp up the glam factor with a simple kimono throwover that is both functional and goes a long way to making a blouse and shorts combo look more presentable than it actually is. As I found out at a recent family stay-cation at the Hard Rock Hotel, it also doubles up as a cover-up for the beach or the pool – don’t you love multifunctional clothing??

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I made the kimono using this easy tutorial by Leanne Barlow. If I remade this pattern, I would definitely shorten the length as I found it much too long on my 1.62m (5′ 4″) frame. Other than that, this make was really quick and simple, made even easier using my new rolled hem foot that really helped with the finishing of the sleeves, collar and hem!

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I’m seriously thinking of making a couple more of these in lieu of cardigans using knit fabrics, maybe? A kimono jacket like this would also make a great handmade Christmas gift for a stylish friend or family member if you don’t have enough time to sew up something more detailed.

Have you made or are you planning to make one of these? Oh and how are you guys down under planning to spend the holidays? I’d love to find out!

Special thanks goes to my photographers for the day – my sister and cousin Joelynn! 

Christmas Pyjamas for the Tropics // Margot Pyjamas Pattern Review

Continuing with Merry Making 2014, today’s post is a brief pattern review and hack of Tilly and the Button’s Margot Pyjamas from her book, “Love at First Stitch“.

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If the multitude of blog posts on Christmas pyjamas (or pajamas in this context) that have sprung up over the last few weeks are any indication, it would seem that Christmas pyjamas are a big thing in the States.  Though we don’t have that practice over here, I can totally see the appeal of it – if presentable sleepwear means more time bumming around in my jammies, then I’m down for implementing this new tradition in my household!

With this in mind, I whipped up this pair of Margot pyjama shorts in anticipation of an upcoming family stay-cation at the Hard Rock Hotel in Sentosa, Singapore. … I may or may not also have been motivated by the prospect of getting to photograph my brand new shorts in a luxurious hotel room and bed, as opposed to my orange bedroom walls and comically colourful $10 cartoon sheets. (Also a big thank you to my sister and cousin Joelynn for helping with the photos!)

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My pattern of choice was Tilly’s Margot pyjamas from her book, Love at First Stitch, but in shorts rather than trouser form. If there’s one thing warm humid nights in the tropics don’t need, it’s long pyjama pants! It was a quick and easy make, especially as they weren’t meant to be fitted and I omitted pockets; it must have taken me at most an hour from cutting to hemming.

Margot Pyjamas as pictured in Love at First Stitch

If I could remake this pattern again, I would definitely go with a different fabric – I found that this one creased terribly once it was sat on. I would also shorten the pattern a tad bit more as I found this make a little too long! I ended up cuffing the shorts at the hem, if you can tell from the mismatching vertical stripes (I couldn’t be fussed to match the print properly… it’s meant to be pyjamas after all).

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All in all I love this pattern, and will definitely be making it up again soon. I would highly recommend using the Margot pattern if you’re thinking of making matching Christmas PJs for the entire family – imagine how cute that would be!! If you’re leaning towards a full pyjama top and bottom set, I would suggest pairing it with Megan Nielsen’s Eucalypt Tank pattern – I’ve actually got a tank dress made from the same fabric as these Margot pyjama shorts and they look adorable paired together.

Do you have a tradition of getting new pyjamas on Christmas day? If anyone knows the history behind it, do let me know in the comments below!