The V&A Shop sells many beautiful things (as well as the wonderful V&A books, obviously), but did you know about their range of gorgeous cotton fabrics? With patterns inspired by the collections of the museum, the fabrics are perfect for quilting, crafting and general swooning over. As part of the V&A Shop Fabric Project, my V&A colleagues and I were encouraged to get creative and to use the fabric for our own crafty projects. I used a fat quarter of the new tree buds design - a pattern adapted from an Art Nouveau-style furnishing fabric - to make the fabric-covered, floppy-bowed hairband shown above.
My method for making the hairband was a mixture of Cally's easy headband tutorial and the Blooming Leopold bow tie tutorial, and I was really pleased with the result. It's very cute, though perhaps not appropriate for this 32 year old to sport on a regular basis.
How to make a fabric-covered hairband with a floppy bow:
1. Take a plain hairband (this one was a souvenir from Cuba), and measure the length and width of the band.
2. Measure out a rectangle of fabric. The length of the fabric should be the length of your hairband plus about 5cm; the width of your rectangle should be four times the width of your band, plus an extra 1cm.
3. Get your iron out. Fold the fabric in half and press. Unfold.
4. Using this ridge as a guide, press the long edges of your fabric into the centre.
5. Fold in half again lengthways. The right side of the fabric should be showing on both sides. Then pin.
6. Sewing machine time. Stitch down both of the long sides of the strip, staying close to the edge of the fabric.
7. Set that aside while you consider the very important matter of your bow. Draw a rough bow shape of whatever size you desire, and cut from fabric. Place face down on the fabric, so right sides are placed together, and use as a guide to cut out a second bow shape.
8. Cut out a piece of iron-on interfacing, just smaller than the size of the bow pieces. Apply to the wrong side of one of the bow pieces.
9. Pin both bow pieces together, with the right sides together. Stitch around the edge of the bow to sew both pieces together, sewing about 5mm away from the edge. Leave one side of the bridge of the bow open, then use this opening to pull your fabric through and turn your bow the right way out.
10. Give the bow a little twist in the middle for extra jauntiness.
11. To make the central band for your bow, get a small square of fabric. Fold in half, so the right side of the fabric is on the inside. Stitch down the open side of the strip to make a tube-like shape. Turn the right way round and stitch around the centre of your bow by hand, covering up the opening.
12. Sew the bow onto your main strip of fabric by hand. Be careful only to sew it to the top layer of fabric because then ...
13. ... you push your hairband through the tube of fabric.
14. At both ends, turn the extra fabric into the the inside of your hairband and glue to secure neatly. I did a bit of stitching too to keep everything in place.
15. Et voila! The finished hairband. An easy and satisfying craft project.
Next on my list of crafty projects is to try and recreate one of these. So I guess the next most important question is which fabric should I choose to do it with? Decisions...
For more inspiration, do keep an eye on the V&A Shop Facebook page to see what my crafty colleagues come up with.