Millinery: How to Make a Decorative Removable Ribbon Hat Band

July 13, 2016 by Chuleenan of CSews 0 comments

How to Make a Decorative Removable Ribbon Hat Band (Part III)

For my second hat band, I had two yards of two ribbons: A striped 1.25″ Petersham ribbon and a 5/8″ solid black Petersham to go on top of the striped ribbon, which adds a thick stripe. The extra yard was for the embellishment that covers where the hat band pieces join. (To read about my other hat band, see Part II.)

Ribbon 2B


I cut a 25-inch length of the striped and black ribbons for the crown and gently stretched and pressed them. The striped ribbon wasn't as pliable as the black ribbon so I required a little more tugging to get it to curve.

Ribbon 15For more information on pressing and stretching Petersham ribbon, see Part II.

Next I pinned the solid black Petersham ribbon to the striped ribbon and used a ladder stitch to baste it in place.

Ribbon 16

It's called a ladder stitch because the other side looks like a ladder.

Ribbon 17

Then I folded over each end of the ribbon twice, about 1/4 inch - just enough so that that the length was a little less than the crown circumference of 23 inches. The elastic would bridge the gap. I machine stitched the ends and then attached a 2-inch piece of wide elastic, securing it with a double row of stitches. one row of stitches follows the stitch line I made from sewing the ends of the ribbons. I used a longer piece than I needed because it makes it easier to sew. Then I just trimmed the excess after it was sewn.

Ribbon 18

The elastic looks like this.

Ribbon 19

Now I needed to figure out how to hide the elastic. I liked the idea of a pleated rosette but the two ribbons together were rather thick so I opted to hand stitch and gather one side to make a flower - just like making a fabric yo-yo. I basted one side of the ribbon using small stitches, about 1/8 inch long.

Ribbon 20

Then I pulled on the end of the thread with the needle, gathering the center. You can easily add more stitches to the ribbon if you want to made it even fuller.

Ribbon 21

When you decide it's enough, stitch the ribbon together at the center and secure it with a few extra stitches and knot it. Then cut the ribbon, leaving an extra 1/2 inch so you can sew the ends together and make it seem like it's natural pleat in the flower. I made sure to match the stripes.

Ribbon 22

Here's the completed "flower." You can barely tell where the two ribbon ends meet. It's that fold on the bottom left.

Ribbon 23

To secure the center gathering, I stitched through the gathers to make sure they would stay in place. Then I attached it to the hat band, just in front of the elastic. The back of the hatband looks like this. You can see that I trimmed the elastic down to an inch.

Ribbon 24

And the completed hat band looks like this!

Ribbon 25

And here I am wearing the hat.

Ribbon 26

You can play around with the placement of the embellishment and move it to the back or the front. And that's how you can easily make a replaceable hat band!


Chuleenan Svetvilas lives in Berkeley and blogs about sewing and hats at C Sews. She is also the organizer for the Bay Area Sewists meetup group. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.