How to make a scrunchie

You may have seen that when I make a garment, I often use the remnants to make a matching scrunchie. It’s a great way to say “this garment is custom made” without having to actually tell people that.

Making a scrunchie is relatively straightforward. Afterall, it’s just a tube enclosing a loop of elastic. The trick is in how to make a scrunchie quickly and efficiently, with as few steps as possible and as little hand sewing as possible, yet with the highest degree of finish possible. I searched but could not find a page with good instructions, so I decided to write one.

I start with a rectangle of fabric, 3.5″ x 20.25″. I prefer to cut it on the bias (45 ° to the fabric’s grain), but sometimes I’d cut it with the grain if I don’t have enough fabric. The length of the elastic depends on your hair and how tight you want your scrunchie. I use a 7 1/2″ length of 1/8″ elastic cord, allowing for 3/4″ of overlap of the ends to form a loop.

There are four seams altogether. The first seam is to form the tube: fold the rectangle lengthwise, right sides together, and sew a 1/4″ seam along long sides, stopping about 2 inches from the ends:
sew seams along long sides, stopping 2

Turn the tube using a bodkin, or a large safety pin:
turn tube using bodkin

Run the elastic through the tube:
run elastic through tube

“Whip” the ends of the elastic together. I put the ends under the presser foot and zig zag across them as much as I can. I don’t tie the ends together because the knot would invariably slip and become undone. Also, a knot is a bit too bulky inside the tube.
whip ends of elastic together

Now, here’s the tricky part: match up the ends (the short sides of the rectangle), right sides together, and stitch a 1/4″ seam:
ping short sides of rectangle together

Now, here’s the really tricky part 🙂 : pin as much of the remaining open edges along the long sides of the rectangle as you can. (You won’t be able to pin all of it.) Since the tube will be doubled up inside itself, be very careful not to catch the inner tube in the seam.
pin long sides of rectangle together

Here’s another view of the pinned seam:
another view

The stitched seam:
stitched seam

Now turn the tube right side out, and stitch the last bit of the lengthwise seam close:
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