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“Babushka” Tutorial

Emma and Lily have worn their babushkas everyday since I made them last week.  They are fun and practical… and apparently quite comfortable… since they won’t take them off.

Here’s how to make one (or 2 or 3):  This tutorial is for a child sized babushka, but it can easily be made larger for an adult.

You will need:

  • 11″ x 11″ scrap of fabric (A)
  • 24″ of rick rack- optional
  • 2 1/2″ x 19″ scrap of accent fabric (B)
  • 2″ x 6″ scrap of accent fabric (B)- optional if you want your elastic in a fabric casing
  • 1/4″ wide elastic

Start by cutting a square of fabric (A) 11″ x 11″.

For an adult, I would cut it 12″ x 12″.

Cut your square in half diagonally, making two triangles.

I thought the rick rack added a fun accent to the kerchief.  I lined the rickrack along the 11″ sides of one of my triangles.

I moved my needle position over to make a scant 1/4″ seam, and stitched the rick rack even with the edge.

Lay the other triangle on top of the other, right sides together, and pin into place.  Move your needle position back to center and stitch together using a 1/4″ seam along the same edges as the rick rack seam.

Clip the corner.

Turn right side out.

And press well.

Now to make the trim.  Ignore my ruler!  It’s wrong, wrong, wrong.  I ended up cutting my fabric a little narrower.  Cut a strip of accent fabric (B) 2 1/2″ x 19″.

If you are making an adult you could cut it 2 1/2″ x 20″

Now it’s time to put your iron to work.  Press 1/2″ hem on both sides of the long strip.  Then fold and press in half lengthwise.

Press a 1/2″ hem at the end of each strip.

Now slip the kerchief into the trim, making sure it is even on both sides.  Pin into place.

Stitch along the length of the trim, leaving both ends open.  (Those open ends are where you will slip the ends of the elastic.)  The finished trim is 18″ long.

If you wish, at this point you can just slip in a piece of elastic and stitch into place.  The length of the piece of elastic depends on how large the person’s head is.  My girls heads measured almost 20″ around, so I needed a 3″ elastic, which allowed for 1/2″ seams on both ends.

Because I didn’t like the idea of a plain piece of elastic, I made a fabric casing.

Cut a scrap of fabric (B) into a 2″ x double the length of your elastic.  For the girls 3″ inch elastic my fabric was cut 2″ x 6″.

Fold a 1/2″ hem along the length of both sides, and press.  Fold in half and press.

Stitch along the length of the strip, leaving both ends open.

Pin a safety pin to the end of your piece of elastic. And thread the elastic through the casing….

… just until the end of the elastic is even with the end of the casing.  The other end of the elastic with the safety pin will be in the middle of your casing.  Don’t worry about that.

Stitch across the end of the casing, to secure the end of the elastic in the casing.

Now you can thread the elastic the rest of the way through the casing.  It will gather the casing, and make it look nice.

Leaving the safety pin in place, but moved out of the way, stitch across the other end of the casing to secure the elastic.  Remove the safety pin, and cut away the small amount of excess elastic.

Slip the end of the elastic casing into the trim.

Using a zigzag, stitch into place.

Repeat on the other side.  And you are done.  It should look just like this…

And this….

….and this.   Enjoy!  And don’t hesitate to drop me a line if you have any questions.

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17 Responses to ““Babushka” Tutorial”

  • great tutorial, and super cute ‘do-rag’ as we like to call them!

  • Kim:

    These are so precious! I make similarly constructed headbands for my girls – I’ll have to try this as well!

  • amy:

    sooooo cute! and i can’t get over the fabric – where can i find it???

  • it was so fun to meet you tonight at Blue Lemon!! I’m so happy to have found your blog! I love these, such great ideas!!
    Melissa

  • These are just so cute. I think we’re going to make a few today. My girls will look so much tidier. :)

    So fun to get together with you last night! Thanks again for the head’s up!

  • jimmye:

    Oh, too cute! I want to make some of these for my granddaughter! She will love them….

  • Patty:

    My grandmother wore these all the time; she called them “babushkas.” Anyway, my granddaughter brought over a piece of fabric and wanted a scarf. Thanks for the fun and cute way to make one! I plan on a trip to Hobby Lobby to find a coordinating piece to match what she brought over and make one! Thanks for the step by step info!

  • Its so nicely) In Russian this headband called “kosynka”.
    “Babushka” means “grandmother”

  • Morgan:

    My grandmother wears babushkas allll the time. My family calls any bandana/hair cover like this a babishka. I wear one when I garden! Thanks for the tutorial!

  • Regina:

    Hi. I am from Russia and it is called Kosinka. Normally it is only one layer of fabric cut in triangle, and with end of triangles you tight around the head. It was design to protect head from heating up and keep hairs away from face for little girls only. “Babyshka” it is grandma in Russian, and well they don’t wear something like this. Normally older women will wear shawls which was folded in shape of triangle.

  • Liz:

    Thanks for the tutorial! It’s sooo cute! I’m going to try making one for my daughter.

  • Linda:

    What agreat idea to use up scraps of materiel

  • Lisa:

    So so so love this idea! I’m new at sewing and I did this okay! Thank you for the great instructions! This is FUN! :)

  • Kim:

    These are so cute! I’m making some for my girls’ group, the Little Flowers of St. Therese, in colors to match their uniform. Thanks for the great idea!

  • Jenn:

    So adorable…and it looks pretty easy for a sewing newbie like myself. I can’t wait to try this for my girls. Thanks!

  • Renita:

    What measurements would you suggest for an infant..This scarf is so cute and I know it would look super cute on my granddaughter.
    Thank you!

  • Thank you so much. I was looking for a project just enough challenging but cute to sew for the girls. It took 2 hours from cutting to the final pressing. I used a mermaid fabrics. It’s one my cutest project yet. Thank you!

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