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The VersaWrap: A Stretchy Band for Head, Neck, Hair & Face

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The VersaWrap is our version of the flexible head, neck, and face wraps popularized by the hiking community. Made of soft jersey knit as a simple tube, you can keep it around your neck as a lightweight scarf, pull it up over your nose and mouth to protect from wind and/or dust... or this time of year: germs, pull it all the way up over your head like a beanie, or scrunch it down into a headband. Quadruple the versatility in one simple project. 

You definitely want to use a knit in order to get the stretchiness needed to mold the VersaWrap into all its different shapes as well as to pull it on and off over your head. We recommend two different knits for the exterior and interior.

You could certainly conserve fabric and keep the outside and inside the same, but we loved the look of the color combination. Our knits are by Rashida Coleman-Hale and are part of Cotton + Steel’s jersey knit collection.

Not only do you need stretchiness in the fabric, you should also really make sure you have stretchiness in your thread. We used and recommend Eloflex Thread by Coats. It comes in 21 colors so you’re sure to find a good match for your fabric.

VersaWrap #1 - Let it softly bunch up around your neck right under your chin. It works great as a buffer against a cool breeze.

VersaWrap #2 - Bring it up over your nose and mouth. This is how the wrap is often utilized by hikers. It works as a dust barrier that’s not too hot, still breathable, and easier to lift up and push down than a traditional bandana. And, as mentioned above, during cold and flu season, it also helps to keep germs at bay.

VersaWrap #3 - Pull it all the way up and over your entire head as a lightweight beanie style head covering. With one open end, there’s still some airflow so your head won’t sweat.

VersaWrap #4 - Scrunch it down into a headband shape to hold your hair in place and/or keep your ears toasty (see the very first photo above).

VersaWrap Reversible - It’s not  “officially” reversible because the final opening in the seam that makes everything turn right side out correctly is hand stitched closed. But, if you make your stitches tiny and neat, you could certainly wear it “wrong side out.”

The VersaWrap finishes at approximately 10” x 10” when flat and easily stretches to fit over the head of an average adult.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

Getting Started

  1. From the exterior knit, fussy cut ONE 21½” wide x 11” high rectangle. We used two rulers butted together to insure a clean right angle on our corners.

    NOTE: If you wish to add your own sewing label as well did, stitch it in place now. Our label was stitched 2” to the left of center and 2½” up from the bottom raw edge.
  2. From the interior knit, fussy cut ONE 21½” wide x 11” high rectangle.
    NOTE: In both cases, make sure you are cutting with the stretch of the knit running horizontally.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

  1. Place the exterior and interior panels right sides together. All edges should be flush. Pin along the two 21½” sides. The two shorter sides remain open and raw.
  2. Insert a ballpoint needle and set up your machine for stretch stitch. This was Stitch #6 in the Utility Stitch section on our Janome Skyline S9.
  3. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch each long side.
  4. You’ve created a long tube.
  5. With the tube still wrong side out, reach inside and grab the raw edge at one end.
  6. Pull through until the raw edges meet and the fabrics are right sides together. Your tube will have a fold on one open end and the two raw edges will be aligned on the other open end. You now have a shorter tube that is half pink (interior) and half blue (exterior).
  7. Make sure the two raw edges are truly flush all around and nest your seam allowances. This mean the interior seam allowance should be together and folded in one direction and the exterior seam allowance should be together and folded in the opposite direction. The seam lines themselves should align perfectly. This helps create a flatter finish.
  8. Pin all the way around the raw edged opening, leaving a 2” opening at the center of the interior side (the pink in our sample).
  9. Still using the stretch stitch and a ½” seam allowance, stitch all around. Remember to lock your seam at either side of the 2” opening.
  10. Turn the sewn tube right side out through the opening.
  11. The fabric is right side out, but, as shown below, the VersaWrap itself is interior side out. This is correct.
  12. Thread the hand sewing needle with the stretchable thread to match the interior fabric and carefully hand stitch the opening closed. You are only stitching through the interior fabric; do not catch the exterior fabric. We used a tight ladder stitch.
  13. Turn the VersaWrap right side out – exterior side out. Press all around, concentrating on the open ends. You want the edge to be very straight. The exterior should not be rolling to the inside, nor should the interior be rolling to outside. Keep each layer in position with a crisp edge all the way around. We used a blast of steam for the flattest finish.
  14. Re-thread the machine with the stretchable thread to best match the exterior in the top and the stretchable thread to best match the interior in the bobbin. Re-set for a straight stitch. If possible, attach a Quarter Inch Seam foot. If you have a free arm, as we do on the Janome Skyline S9, now is a great time to use it.
  15. Topstitch all the way around both open ends using a ¼” seam allowance.


Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Kathy Andrews, What Sew Ever


Comments (8)

SereneSadie said:
SereneSadie's picture

Thanks for the pattern.  I admire these in the camping store, but not their price (or their print choices usually).

I really like the idea of Eloflex thread.  Would it work to use it in just the bobbin, and use regular multipurpose thread in the needle?  Would the seam hold together well, etc.  

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ SereneSadie - You are so welcome! We'd recommend sticking with the stretchable thread in both the top and the bobbin. You could try a test with a universal needle, but ballpoint is usually the go-to for knits. 

Anonymous said:
Anonymous's picture

I have had a fair amount of shredding and twisting with the eloflex, despite using a ball point needle, sewing very slowly, troubleshooting, rethreading etc.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

We have not had ANY issues at all with Eloflex. It's run perfectly through our machines. You might want to reach out directly to Coats to see if there might be a threading or tension issue that you haven't taken into account.

Kathleen Ann said:
Kathleen Ann's picture

This is really cute! Can't remember the last time I sewed with a knit. Isn't a stretch stitch necessary for top stitching? Won't the straight stitch pop with use?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Kathleen Ann - The topstitching should be fine with the stretchy thread, but if you're concerned, you could certainly pick a more traditional stretch stitch. 

DebS said:
DebS's picture

Using the stretch stitch will be new for me. My machine has it and this seems like the perfect project to experiment with. Fingers crossed!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Deb - Let us know how it works out for you: stretchy fabric, stretchy thread, stretchy stitch