Postmodern Scrunchie

DonutsDo you remember when Carrie Bradshaw determined that a woman wearing a scrunchie in her hair was either:

a) washing her face, or

b) a scrubbed-cheeked hillbilly from Hickville?

1 The NieceWell, no more.  A recent discussion panel on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour (a programme where they normally tackle such weighty issues as gender pay inequality) suggested the Scrunchie is back and with a vengeance.  No longer an apologetic substitute for a decent hairstyle, the Scrunchie worn ironically is the hairstyle.

Make one that’s a bit out of the ordinary for your daughter or fashionista niece so that she can wear it with a donut: use the scrunchie instead of pins to tuck in hair. Or, as the Radio 4 programme suggests, make it enormous and out of Dutch Wax cloth like a youngster’s version of a traditional headdress. Or use Day-Glo neoprene or paper silk.  Make it from the leg of some old jeans (especially if they’re leather!).  Liberty fabric leftovers make a good choice too and striped shirting is good for tomboys.  Just don’t underestimate the amount of material this will require: the postmodern Scrunchie is a monster.

How to sew a ScrunchieNon-Metal Hair Ties

You will need:

a) One of these metal-free hair ties.  These vary in quality so make sure they’ll last by giving them a reasonable stretch before committing to purchase.  If they snap, walk off nonchalantly!

1 70 cm by 10 cm rectangleb) A rectangle of fabric some 70cm x 12cm for a smallish scrunchie or 90cm x 15cm for a jumbo.  If using jersey, the end result will look even bigger.

If possible, cut with pinking shears.

Step 11 Press under 1cm on short ends to wrong side

Press under 1cm on each short end of the fabric.

Step 21 Insert Hair Bands

With right sides together, fold the folded corners together over the centre of the hair tie.

Step 3 Stitch

Stitch the long side with a 1cm seam allowance, keeping the hair tie stretched out of the way.  When you get to the end, leave long strands of thread hanging.

1 Inside out scrunchie
Step 4

1 Feed to right side

Feed to the right side.  I use a safety pin.

Step 5

1 Slipstich the opening

Use one of the long thread ends to slipstitch the opening closed.


And no, you won’t catch me wearing one of these but then I live in England and my ears are usually cold 😉

Are you a (closet) scrunchie wearer?  Any interesting fabric suggestions?

14 thoughts on “Postmodern Scrunchie

  1. First, it’s funny that someone is actually discussing the death/revival of the scrunchie. 🙂 Secondly, I tend to agree with Ms Bradshaw, but I don’t think people are necessarily Hickville hillbillies but more like the set of folks who wear pajamas in public after 10 am.(Sorry, that’s something I can’t even pretend to find acceptable) I wore the scrunchy, loved wearing my hair up in a knot with a prettily colored scrunchy. But, then I grew to a certain age where it just looked well, like I needed to apply myself a little more. Anyhoo, I would have loved to wear a Liberty scrunchy. Too bad I didn’t think of that! But, I do have a niece, hmm. Thanks for a wonderful idea.

  2. Oh, and my ideas would be that inexpensive brocade. We have a store here called JoAnn’s that has bolts and bolts of the stuff. It’s not high quality or silk but those would make wonderful scrunchies. And you could easily wash them too.

  3. My partner’s daughter (14 and very fashion conscious) had one of these on her Christmas list. I thought it was quite funny at the time & hadn’t realised they were back. Maybe I’ll try your tutorial and make her one for her birthday.

    • Your hair is fantastic Kim (and I’m even more jealous of those who can pull off the perfect pixie cut than I am of the teenager with her donut & scrunchie).

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