September Free Design: Embroidered Headband

This one size fits all, adult size headband, is bright, colorful, and comfortable to wear. Our Brother Free Design of the Month is just the right size to accent the top of the headband. Made from small pieces of knit fabric, you can whip this up quickly for yourself, or as a gift for family and friends. This is yet another project that prompts you to save your scraps and turn them into something pretty and practical!

Materials and Supplies

Note: This project features a 5-inch X 7-inch hoop with the design stitched as a border. The design itself fits within a 4-inch hoop. Re-hoop fabric to add designs and create a similar border design with a 4-inch hoop.
  • Brother Embroidery Thread and bobbin thread.
  • SA5929 Brother Pacesetter heavy weight cut-away stabilizer.
  • Brother Free Design of the Month.
  • Embroidery needle for embroidering.
  • Temporary adhesive spray made specifically for embroidering.
  • Fabric for headband: One piece of interlock knit cut to measure 5-inches wide X 18-inches long, and one piece of interlock knit cut to measure 4-inches wide X 10-inches long.
  • Three pieces of 3/8-inch lightweight clear elastic measuring 5 ½-inches long.
  • Bodkin or small safety pin for inserting elastic.
  • Basic sewing notions including sewing thread to match fabric, a straight edge ruler, and a wash out fabric marker.
Tips: Be sure to test your marker for easy removal. Most markings need to be thoroughly removed before pressing. Please read through instructions before beginning.
Design size and original thread colors:
  • 1.49” High X 1.13” Wide
  • (37.9 mm High X 28.7mm Wide)
[caption id="attachment_16841" align="aligncenter" width="759"] Free Design of the Month[/caption]

Steps to Create Embroidered Headband

  1. Transfer design to your machine. Select a rectangular frame shape with a triple straight stitch from the built-in menu. Re-size to equal approximately 6.97” X 4.98.” Add the accent design, repeating it four times to create a vertical border. See Figure #1.
[caption id="attachment_16842" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Figure #1[/caption]
Note: We used the repeat pattern function built in to various Brother model machines to create the perfectly spaced border design, adding designs at the top and bottom to create the vertical border. See Figure #2a and #2b.
[caption id="attachment_16843" align="aligncenter" width="161"] Figure #2a[/caption] [caption id="attachment_16844" align="aligncenter" width="190"] Figure #2b[/caption]
  1. Hoop cut-away stabilizer. Use any thread color to stitch frame. See Figure #3. Next, remove hoop from machine and spray stabilizer with adhesive, following manufacturer’s directions.
[caption id="attachment_16845" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #3[/caption]
Tip: Using the circles on the template as a guide, trace the dimensions of the template grid to create a window on a piece of paper, cardstock, or cardboard. Cut out the window. Use as a guard for the spray by placing it over the hoop, protecting the surface of the inner and outer hoop and lightly spraying adhesive only through the window. See Figure #4a, #4b, and #4c.
[caption id="attachment_16846" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #4a[/caption] [caption id="attachment_16847" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #4b[/caption] [caption id="attachment_16848" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #4c[/caption]
  1. Lightly mark the center of the 5-inch X 18-inch strip and center it over stitched frame. See Figure #5a.
[caption id="attachment_16849" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #5a[/caption]
  • Embroider design in center of strip. See Figure #5b. Trim away excess stabilizer.
[caption id="attachment_16850" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #5b[/caption]
  1. Set up machine for sewing. Select the embroidered piece. In this next step you need to sew a basting stitch along the ½-inch seam line of each short edge, beginning and ending 5/8-inch from the edge and anchoring the stitch with a tie off at one end. You can mark each end with a pin to show the starting and stopping point for basting. See Figure #6.
[caption id="attachment_16851" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #6[/caption]
Tip: Basting stitch allows for easing embroidered piece to fit the narrower elastic band.
  1. Select the triple stretch stitch. See below:
  • Increase stitch length to 3.0. Fold embroidered piece in half lengthwise and sew a ½-inch seam along long edge. Turn right side out and press, having seam centered in the back.
  1. Place right sides together and sew long edge of second, smaller strip in the same manner. Turn right side out and press, having seam centered in the back. Next, sew channels for elastic by sewing a line of standard straight stitches ½-inch from each long, finished edge. See Figure #7.
[caption id="attachment_16852" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #7[/caption]
  • Insert elastic into each channel, pinning elastic and leaving a small amount extended at each short end.
  1. Sew close to the edges to anchor elastic in place. See Figure #8a and #8b.
[caption id="attachment_16853" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #8a[/caption] [caption id="attachment_16854" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #8b[/caption]
  1. Insert ends of elastic piece into open ends of embroidered strip. Gather ends to fit elastic band, turn raw edges under, and then stitch across the folded end with a zigzag stitch, closing the seam and anchoring elastic in place. See Figure #9.
[caption id="attachment_16855" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #9[/caption]
  • Remove basting stitches if they show. You are finished! Enjoy! See photo of back of headband below:
Options and ideas:
  • If you are unsure of fit, baste strips together and try on before permanently sewing elastic in place. Shorten elastic or replace with longer lengths if needed. Adjust length of embroidered piece for a child sized headband. If desired, use a 1-inch wide piece of soft knitted elastic in place of the three individual elastic pieces, and eliminate stitching the channels.