Sewing the Core

With the core memory fabric finally in hand after the design process, what could I make? My first idea was a necktie, but having to cut that on the bias wasted a lot of fabric and the pattern ended up going the wrong way. My wife suggested a headband would look good, so I poked at a few of hers to puzzle out the construction, then got out the scissors.

The main body of it is a tube about sixteen inches long, tapering from around 2-3/4 inches at its widest in the middle to around an inch and a half at each end. Fold the fabric in half and cut an 8.5″ long piece to ensure each end tapers the same. Cut out one piece for the outer fabric and one for the the inner fabric. I used the core memory pattern on the outside and a solid blue on the inside. Put the two pieces together with their good sides facing each other, then stitch along the long edge (not the short!) with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Turn it right side out.

I wasn’t so good about taking pictures as I went, so I hope these scribbles can clarify things. Dimensions are all approximate; adjust them as you see fit for the look you’re after.

Make another tube to hold the elastic in back. I chose a bright red to match the wires in the memory pattern. When finished, this piece will be about an inch across and twelve inches long. Sew the long edges like you did with the main piece, then turn it right side out. Slide a 5″-6″ (depending on the size of your noggin) piece of elastic through and stitch one end at a time. With the elastic in it, all the extra fabric will scrunch up nicely to only a few inches long.

Roll each end of the main headband piece in so there’s a nice, clean edge. Slip one end of the elastic piece about half an inch into the main piece, then sew the two together. Sew back and forth a few times because this will have a lot of tension on it. Do the same on the other end.

When it’s all done, hopefully something like this emerges:

I also had an 8″x8″ sample piece of an upholstery-weight twill with the pattern printed. Eventually I’d like to make an iPod or Kindle case, but this sample wasn’t big enough for that. However, it was just the right size for a coin purse or iPod cover. This was my first project with a zipper, so I unlike with the headband I wasn’t going to go freestyle on this one. I found this well-illustrated tutorial from, and after just a little cursing (“which of these is the F&$*# zipper foot?!”) I managed to put together the pouch below.

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