So, I got given a brief for a birthday present for The Boy to give to his friend. Something along the lines of* “A hairband, like you make me, because I saw his hair flopping in his eyes, black with a red or orange flame on it like the one on his t shirt”.
Quick background info here to get you up to speed if you don’t already know. There is an author, called Rick Riorden, who writes, amongst other things, retellings of Greek myths set in current day USA, featuring teenage demi-gods. Said teenagers hang out together at Camp Halfblood, which is basically an American summer camp for demi-gods, where the cabin they sleep in is determined by their godly parent. Some clever person(s), who clearly realised just how popular the books and films are, sells all manner of Camp Halfblood related t shirts, including t shirts for Cabin 9, where the children of Hephaestus (the god of blacksmiths and fire) sleep. Some of these have a flame design on. That was there “flame” part of my brief came from.
Whilst searching for said flame, I noticed that a lot of the Cabin 9 stuff had cogs on, which I thought surely easier to reproduce than flames, albeit not in the brief. Presumably the cogs are something to do with the fact that Leonidas “Leo” Valdez (favourite of the birthday boy) resides there, he is, as I’m sure you know, quite good at making things.
So, next up, how to get a design onto a headband. I discounted fabric paint (painting on to black, tricky), hand embroidery (not my forte), or using a zig zag stitch to embroider the fabric (looks a bit scruffy imho), and thinking about the fact that headbands work best when lined, I settled upon reverse applique to create my design.
First up, a test headband. The idea was to use scraps I had lying around and a simple design, so I ended up with a green trident on a blue background (for children of Poseidon, such as my sons favourite Percy, resident of cabin 3 obviously). It was deemed acceptable, although it was pointed out to me that the fact the green fabric was lighter weight than the blue was not ideal.
For the real deal, I bought a metre each of some ponte-esque thickish knit in red and back, which is a bit nasty and synthetic TBH, but I didn’t have a lot to choose from.
Wanna make your own camp halfblood headband? First cut two rectangles of 2 contrasting colours of knit fabric (preferably of similar weight) – exact size depends on your head size and how stretchy the fabric is, hopefully you have a helpful headband to copy, but if in doubt, try 90% of your head circumference + seam allowance.
Sew right sides together, along long edges, turn and press. Then trace out your design, it needs to be “fat”, as you’ll be cutting away to reveal the colour underneath. In my example the lines of the design are sewn as parallel lines (well, parallelish, cut me some slack, it’s all wiggly wavy!). Then, cut away on the right side to reveal your design beneath.
Then pin the right sides of one of the short edges together, being careful to match up the seams top and bottom. I pinned the red short sides together. Start sewing a little way before, so on the black for me, and end a little way after. So, I have the red side sewn together and the top and bottom of the black side. Then finish the remaining hole by hand.
And voila, a camp half blood headband.
Of course, if you’re a glutton for punishment, you can make the headband reversible by repeating the process on the other side before sewing the short ends up. (I centred each of my designs 1/4 way in from the edge, so whichever on is at the front, the other is at the back, as the seam lines show through to the other side.) Turns out that cogs are at least as tricky as flames to sew (and trying to do both is just a silly idea).
Then repeat, so your son can keep one and give one away. (There are two honest, the second one even has a slightly more elaborate cog, I just forgot to take a photo of them side by side.)
Clearly, the headbands didn’t take 1m of fabric each. So, watch this space for what I did with the rest….
*it was a few weeks ago now, I may not be quoting accurately.