Friday 28 September 2012

Things To Make & Do - 1940s Turban

Today's post is a quick one, about an even quicker stash-busting sewing project

~1940s Turban ~
(Stash Buster)

Designed by: Mary Jane of Make Your Way Around Britain

The tutorial does not require a pattern, but I find it easier to have a pattern to work from so I can note any adjustments for future makes. So I have created a PDF file which you can download HERE if you so desire!

T-shirt OR *A Light Weight Knitted OR Any Stretch Fabric
Chalk or marking pencil OR a Printout of the PDF
Needle & Thread OR Your Trusty Sewing Machine
* I love the idea of using an old jumper or scarf for this project as it will create the look of a knitted turban without the many hours of knitting, just be sure to overlock/secure the cut edges to prevent it gradually unraveling.

Confession Time!
For the past 5 years of owning my sewing machine, I had no idea that A & B (see left) are stretch stitches for guess what, stitching on stretch fabrics!
What a Numpty! If it hadn't been for me moving some boxes out of the way of my little Pee monster, and finding the manual inside, I would have no doubt remained none the wiser for another 5 years. You probably already knew this, but just in case I'm not alone in my manual reading ineptitude, then is worth looking out for this stitch! It is not essential, but it certainly helps!

This project took no longer than 30 mins from cutting to finishing and it would have been quicker still if I had used a t-shirt with a lower edge seam already included rather than an off cut of stretch velvet which needed hemming.

The stretch stitch is great it takes a bit longer to do, due to the back and forth action of the needle, but it is worth it to have seams that move with the fabric, with no risk of them suddenly popping open under tension! I was so keen to use my new found knowledge that I totally forgot I have a big old head! So my first attempt with the (medium) measurements given was a bit too tight - headache inducing in fact, so I added an inch and a half, to the width and that did the trick.

Pleats at the back!
Since this photo, I've added an extra pleat to remove a bit more of the fullness that was sagging at the back and removed that pesky thread.
It is looser than perhaps it should be (bit more like a beanie) but much more comfortable, and I am only guessing here, but I would think, seeing as there was no lycra back in the 40s then the fabric turbans would have had to have been a slightly looser fit anyway, perhaps with a bit of elastic stitched somewhere to help it stay put!

I love my turban it is stylish enough for wearing out and about (especially in the autumnal weather) and perfect for hiding your hair whilst, cooking, cleaning or just slobbing about on the sofa! It's also a great way to use up old t-shirts, jumpers and scraps of leftover fabric, so I am sure I'll be making many more very soon!

Wendy x


  1. What a fabulous turban, and it really suits you. You look great.

  2. Squeal I love a good turban and you have done a marvellous job, so chic! xxx

    1. Thank You Hannah, I thought you might like it :) x

  3. Its gorgeous and suits you.
    Julie xxxxxx

  4. I love it! you look gorgeous! x

  5. Oh so that's what those are!! Thanks for the tip. Lovely turban, you picked a great material. Glad things are improving for your tootsies!!

  6. oooh I love it!! Such a great idea! I'd love to make one of these :) you look beautiful xxx

    1. Thank you Emma! I am sure you would look amazing in one! xx

  7. Hello Wendy! it's very beautiful, If you make a white one, you'll look like Lana Turner in 'The Postman Always Rings Twice' :)
    Lovely idea!

    Lorena Be-Bop

    1. Thank you Lorena, What a great Idea, I will have to give it a go! xxx

  8. Lorena, the turban is brilliant! And your instructions are so clear! thank you so much. I'm going through chemo and I think this will be perfect.

  9. Thank you for sending me the pattern x