Friday, May 4, 2012

A Regency Turban Tutorial

When it came time to try and hide my then half turquoise coloured hair (now half blonde) for a regency costume, I started searching around for turban hats. There are a lot of different styles and some that I would dearly love to have a go at some time, but for my first turban, I took it to it's simplest form and whipped up a really quick one. I was really pleased how it turned out, so when I made a couple for my mum for her Birthday (she does not have much of an aptitude for doing her hair), I decided to take a few shots and put together a tutorial.

- fabric, approximately 80cm (mainly because I make bias as the turban band). So far mine have been made out of dupion silk, but a lightweight cotton or silk would be just as lovely.
- matching thread
- contrast thread
- trimmings

Step 1.
Patterning - I don't actually have a pattern for my turbans, but it would be simple to make one. It is simply two pieces. The first is a circle as the crown. I cut mine with an 4" radius. I simply fold my fabric into 4 or 8, measure each edge and draft the curve of the circle, then cut.

The second piece is the band, I make this as bias cut fabric so that it will fit tight to my head, but still have room for any movement and with the intention that it will not give me a headache. This is cut by simply folding the selvedge edge of the fabric to the cut (hopefully straight) edge of the fabric and cutting along the 45 degree angle. I then measure out about 2 -3 inches from this and cut. How much you cut will depend on how wide you want your turban band. The finished width will be half this measurement minus 2 cm seam allowance.

Step 2.
Unfold your crown puff. Change the setting on your sewing machine to a long stitch and loosed the tension. Using a contrast thread, sew around the outside of your puff at about 6mm. Sew another row on the inside the width of your machine foot away from this. Leave the ends of the thread long and do not back stitch. This is your gathering thread.

Step 3.
Press. You will have a nightmare time later trying to iron a sewn in puff, so make sure to do it now and get out any unwanted creases.

Step 4.
Make your bias band. Line up the ends of the bias and sew the wrong sides together. Open out so that you have one continuous piece. (depending on the size of your head and the length of your bias strip, you may not need to join). Iron the seam flat. Fold your bias in half and press. Wrap the piece of bias around your head where you want the turban to sit. Cut to the necessary length, but make sure that you leave a seam allowance. Open out the fold, and sew the ends together to give one circle.

Step 5.
Mark the four equal points on the circle puff and the band (this will help you make sure that you gather up the puff evenly) Gather the puff to fit the band by pulling on one side of the long threads (the bobbin side works better). Match up your four points. Make sure that you have changed your machine settings back to normal sewing and put in your matching thread. Sew the puff to the band with a 1cm seam. Pull out the gathering threads (the reason I use a contrast is so that it is easy to see which thread to pull out).

Step 6.
Press a 1cm seam allowance on the other half of the bias band. Turn this to the inside, encasing raw edges of puff and whip stitch in place.
Step 7.
Decorate. Feathers, flowers, tassels, beads. You really can go to town.
Step 8.
Wear. I always make sure that the puff is pulled one way and not sitting up on top - that leads to shower cap territory.
And there you have it. Your very own shower cap, er, Regency Turban. :D

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