DIY Sybill Trelawney Headband

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For this year’s Halloween (2022) me and my family decided to dress as characters from Harry Potter movies. In this blog post, I’m going to describe how to make a Sybill Trelawney headband I will be wearing . (Sybill is a fortune-teller and professor at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry). The dimensions in this tutorial are designed for an adult.

For the headband you will need:

  • Red-orange fabric with a pattern on it
  • Red fringe trim about 15 – 20 cm (6 – 8 inch) long
  • Silver sequins (optional)

How to sew the Sybill Trelawney headband

1. Take the fabric you have picked for the headband and cut a long rectangle. You can calculate the dimensions of the rectangle using the formulas and image below:

headband width = 10 cm (rectangle width = 4 inch)

headband length = 150 cm (rectangle length = 60 inch)

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Do not forget to add seam allowances and hem allowance to the pattern pieces.

If you use a woven fabric, finish seam allowances on the long sides of the rectangle. You may also finish these allowances if you use a knit fabric.

2. Cut two 12 cm (5 inch) sequences of fringes, do NOT add any seam allowances to them. Fix their edges with a small amount of glue to keep the fringes together (see the images below).

Two equal sequences of finges prepared for the Sybill Trelawney headband.
Glueing edges of fringe trims.

3. Prepare the fabric rectangle you have cut so that you can see its right side. Pin the fringes to its shorter side (see the image below).

Stripe of fringes pinned to a shorter side of a fabric recgangle.

4. Use a zig-zag stitch to attach the fringe trims to the fabric (see the image below).

Large width and length zig-zag stitch setting on a sewing machine.
Sewing fringe trim to a headband end.
Stripe of fringes sewn to fabric.

5. Turn the fringes over the zig-zag stitched edge and pin the fabric again, looking at the right side of the fabric rectangle (see the image below).

Pinning fringes with fabric so that they can be topstitched.

6. Topstitch the fabric and the fringe stripe with a straight stitch (see the image below). This way you will be covering the zig-zag stitch used to attach the fringes. As you sew, make sure that you keep the fringes on the right hand side, so they do not get sewn to the fabric :).

Sewing fringes to a fabric with a straight stitch.

7. Repeat steps 4, 5, 6 for the other fringe trim: Pin it, sew with a zig-zag, turn over and topstitch with a straight stitch.

Once you have done this, the headband ends should look like this (see the image below).

Fringe ends of a Professor Sybill Trelawney headband.

8. Now fold, pin and iron the seam allowances along the long side of the fabric rectangle (see the images below). If you press the seam allowance, make sure not to press the pins.

Pinning a folded seam allowance of a costume headband.

9. Sew along the edge with a medium length straight stitch (see the image below).

Topstitching fabric with a fringe trim.

10. The Sybill Trelawney headband is almost ready. In the last step you will group the individual fringe strings into chunks. I think one chunk should contain about 6 strings. In order to do so, take a chunk of these, loop them and move the knot towards the fabric (see the images below).

Finishing a Sybill Trelawney headband by grouping fringe strings into chunks.
Crossing a chunk of 6 fringe strings.
Looping a chunk of six fringe strings.
Moving looped fringe strings towards the headband fabric.
Chunk of fringe string on Professor Sybill Trelawney headband.

If you end up with more than six strings at the end, divide them into two smaller chunks. If it’s fewer than six strings, just make one smaller chunk.

When you finish the grouping on both ends of the headband, the result should look similar to this (see the images below).

Fringe trim divided into chunks of six fringe strings made for decoration.
Fringe trim divided into chunks of six fringe strings made for decoration.

Sew silver sequins to the headband for a more interesting and original look.

11. (Optional) Sew the silver sequins to the the headband if you wish to use them. Not particularly noticeable though, they make a contribution to the final effect of this hair decoration. Sew a row of about 10 in the middle and two rows of 10 sequins to the sides of the headband (see the image below). I did not sew them in a flawless row on purpose. I think this tiny imperfection suits the allover look of the whole costume.

Silver sequins sewn to a Sybill Trelawney headband from the Harry Potter movies.

Your headband is ready (see the image below)! You can now collect the accessories professor Trelawney is wearing: Bracelets, necklaces, rings and glasses.

DIY professor Sybill Trelawney headband from the Harry Potter movies.

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