How to Make an Usamimi or Wire Fabric Headband
Usamimi is a Japanese word combining "usagi" and "mimi", which together mean "rabbit ears". You can wear this headband with lifted "ears", as a bow or twisted into a knot. In this tutorial I'll show you how to make a headband and a bun knot.
- Sewing machine (optional)
- Sewing thread
- Sewing needle
- Tape measure
- Tailor's chalk
- Wire cutters
- Pattern template
1. Transfer Pattern on to Fabric
Print the pattern on to A3 paper. Design no. 1 is for a headband with a head circumference of around 57cm (suitable for sizes up to 4cm plus or minus). Design no. 2 is for a bun wrap. Cut both of them out. The patterns are designed in half to fit the printing paper.
You can also design your own pattern according to your measurements. Use a tape measure to get your head's circumference. Follow the lines of the template and replace the length of the part indicated as "half head circumference" with your head measurement, divided in half. Add the second part, which will be the surplus that creates the bow and cut it out.
Take two long pieces of fabric and place them one on top of the other, with the good sides facing. Fold them in half lengthwise. Place the pattern on the fabric. Make sure that the dashed line touches the fold.
Secure the pattern on the fabric using pins. Mark the pattern's outline using tailor's chalk.
1. Cut and Sew
Leave about 1cm for the seam allowance and cut around the pattern.
Remove the pins and pattern. Unfold the fabric. You must have two identical pieces to form a headband.
After you unfold the pieces, pin them again and place the pattern on the other half that doesn't have markings and mark with chalk. The marks will be your sewing guides.
Remove the template and take the pinned pieces to the sewing machine. If you don't have a sewing machine, you can sew by hand. Run a straight stitch all around, but remember to leave one of the long sides open.
Turn the tube of fabric inside out. Be extra careful with the corners - poke with chopsticks if necessary. Fold on the open seam parts and press with the iron.
3. Bend the Wire
Take the end of the wire coil and pull it with both hands to straighten it. Place it on the pressed fabric. Use pliers to bend the wire according to shape. Make sure to start from the open long side and finish there.
When you reach the starting point, leave about 2-3cm extra and cut. Twist edges together to close the shape.
Cut the excess off and wrap the edges inwards to create a loop.
Wrap a tiny piece of fabric around the twist. Secure with a few stitches. You don't have to be very careful with these stitches. This part will be hidden in the headband.
4. Attach the Wire
Push the wire in the fabric until you have a good fitting.
Push the wire into the folds. Take it to the sewing machine. You might need to use a zipper foot for this.
Push the wire towards the seam with your fingers and sew a top stitch. This way you will close the open seam and keep the wire in place. Begin stitching about 1cm away from the chunky part of the wire overlap twist and finish 1cm before. Be very careful to keep the needle away from the wire, especially in the corners.
5. Final Stitches
Hand-sew the part you have left open. Repeat the same steps for the second pattern to make a cute bun wrap.
Style your Usamimi
Wrap and go! To wear your headband, wrap it around your head and hold the two edges with your hands. Bring one edge on top of the other and make a full twist.
Wear and Impress
You can adjust the bow by bending and positioning the wire, or keep twisting to create a knot.
Make a cute messy hair bun or top knot and wrap it around with your small usamimi. Style with a twist.
In this tutorial, you learned how to make two gorgeous accessories that will stay put on our head. This project is also a great way to use your fabric leftovers.
Have you ever tried wearing a wire headband? How would you wear it? Please share your links and comments below.