How To Make a Rosie Wrap Head Band

Rosie wrap, tie up rockabilly headband, dolly bow… whatever you want to call it, this is a super duper easy and quick sewing project. This would be a perfect tutorial to start with if you’re new to sewing.howtorosie1

I made mine in a pretty pink floral print, inspired by the trends featured in the spring crafting inspiration site from Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. To celebrate National Sewing and Craft month, Jo-Ann is offering a $5 off coupon on any $25 purchase! Click here for the coupon.

I’ll also show you how to make different widths for a slightly different look. Here’s a wider version, which I think looks a little more like the shape of Rosie the Riveter’s actual wrap:

howtorosiewrap2Heh. Okay, let’s get started. Below is the video version of this tutorial, but after that there’s also a photo/text version so you can go at your own pace.

rosievidPhoto tutorial:

Step 1

Step 1
Here’s what you need:

  • fabric – woven works best, but you can use a knit or stretch fabric as long as you’ve got some lightweight fusible interfacing! You don’t need much fabric, less than 1/4 yard, so this is a good project for scraps!
  • fusible interfacing – only necessary if you’re using knit fabrics or a particularly lightweight woven fabric
  • scissors
  • sewing machine
  • iron
  • fabric marker (optional)


Step 2

Step 2
We’ll start with a rectangle. When we’re finished sewing, we want the total length of the headband to be 38″ long.

I’m going to use 1/4″ seam allowances, because then I don’t have to trim them after sewing. However, if you’re new to sewing or aren’t as confident (i.e. brazen and stupid) as me, you can use 3/8″ or even 1/2″ seam allowances.

The point is, remember to add the appropriate seam allowances when you’re cutting your rectangle. Mine will be 38.5″ long with the seam allowances.


Step 2.1

Now let’s talk width. The thinner band in the photos above is measures 2″ finished. Before sewing, it was 2.5 wide. The thicker band measures 3.5″ finished, so I cut that one 4″ wide.

You can go anywhere in between, or even experiment with wider or thinner bands. Just remember to account for seam allowances when cutting the fabric.


Step 3

Step 3
When you’ve decided on a width, it’s time to cut! Cut 2 rectangles from your main fabric- alternately you can use 2 different fabrics for a reversible headband. The wider band in the photos is retro fruit print on one side and green gingham on the reverse, and the gingham just peeks out where the band is tied. It’s a nice subtle detail.

If you’re using interfacing, cut 2 rectangles from that as well.

Step 3.1

Here are my main fabric pieces cut.

Tip: a cutting mat, quilter’s ruler, and rotary cutter make long straight cuts much easier and faster than scissors!


Step 4

Step 4
If you’re using interfacing, fuse one piece of interfacing to the wrong side of each main fabric piece.

Tip: Don’t drop your iron on the floor, unless you want a big ass hunk of plastic to break off of it, like mine.

Step 4.1

Here are my strips, all fused up!


Step 5

Step 5
Fold the two rectangles in half and line up the raw edges, as shown above. Mark the center of the short edge using a pin or fabric marker. Then mark 5″ from the end on each long edge.

Step 5.1

Connect the dots with a gently curving line.

Step 6

Step 6
Cut along the marked lines.


Step 7

Step 7
Unfold the rectangles and pin the two pieces right sides together.

Step 7.1

Here’s my whole band pinned together.

Step 8

 Step 8
Towards the center of the long flat edge, make two marks (shown in blue) about 3 inches apart. (You can use special pins instead of a marker like the green heart pin in the photo.) You just need something to remind you NOT to sew in this space.


Step 9

Step 9
Sew around the entire band using your chosen seam allowance. Remember to leave that 3″ section unstitched. Backstitch at the beginning and end of stitching.


Step 10

Step 10
If you used a seam allowance wider than 1/4″, trim them down to 1/4″.

Snip the pointy ends down to about 1/8″ seam allowance, as shown in the photo.


Step 11

Step 11
Using a bamboo skewer or chopstitch, begin turning one end of the band right side out.

Step 11.1

Push the end through the space in the center of the band that you left unstitched.

Step 11.2

Repeat for the other end until the whole band is turned right side out.


Step 12

Step 12
Put your pointy pokin’ stick back inside the band and make sure the end points are nice and untucked.


Step 13

Step 13
Press the band with your iron. Pay special attention to the unstitched spot. Make sure the raw edges are tucked inside nice and evenly.


Step 13.1

I like to pin it closed, just in case.

Step 13.2

This is the whole pressed band.

Step 14

Step 14
Time to topstitch! Choose a matching or contrasting color. It’s up to you!

I like to start and stop sewing at the pin- since it’s towards the center of the band, it will wind up at the back of my head, so the backstitching won’t be visible. However, you can wear the headband “hippie” style, with the ties at the base of your neck. If you think you’ll wear it both ways, you might want the backstitching for your topstitch to be somewhere between the center and the points.


That’s it! Tie it on, and you’re ready to rock!

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27 thoughts on “How To Make a Rosie Wrap Head Band

  1. I have bought the similar wrap. It looks so cute and it is very convenient to wear it especially when you are cooking. Now I see that I could easily make it by myself.

  2. I have made such a wrap head band and I am extremely satisfied with it. It looks very funny and my hair doesn`t disturb me while I am doing something as cooking for example.

  3. Some nice inspiration for my kids sewing class! I have 19 primary school kids learning to sew on machines and this is a good project to finish in an hour. Thank you x

    1. Unfortunately, I don’t have any babies or small girls to measure for reference, but if you can get a head measurement, you’ll need to add about 16″ to have enough length form the tie on top.

      So if a baby’s head was 18″, you’d make the wrap 34″ long.

  4. just made a headband using this tutorial. It turned out exactly how i wanted it to! Thanks for posting this.

  5. Just made a Seattle Seahawks one for my 23 yr old grandaughter ,..she asked if I could and thanks to I stinkin cute..Thank You..

  6. This is exactly what I was looking for, except the fabric I want to use is flannel since that was the only type I could find with this particular print. Do you think it would still work okay?

  7. I’m growing out an undercu, so I plan on hiding my weird, poofy hair with a wider Rosie wrap! This is so easy…. basically like making a big ol sash. I can do that!!! I’m also going to try with knit fabric, too. Thanks for the tutorial and I will make sure mu iron doesn’t take a nose dive!

    1. I’ve never tried it, but I don’t see why not. I think you could attach the elastic before assembling, and then you’d just have to keep it stretched while sewing.

  8. Just made this from knit fabric and it is entirely too big…I started with 38.5 inch strips…what am I doing wrong?!

    1. Did you add interfacing so the knit fabric won’t stretch? If not, the stretch could be the issue.
      Or maybe I have a super giant head? XD
      If you still have the “too big” head band on hand, try tying it so the knot looks right, put it on, and then pin in the back until it fits snug. You can measure how much excess fabric is pinned, and then you’ll have an idea of how many inches to take off for your next try.

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