Free pattern and tutorial: Baby and kids’ bandana

I really love bandana’s. I bought two of them when Norah was a baby, and used them a million times since.  One of them got lost, unfortunately, and now that Ava is wearing them too, I was really keen on using some of the beautiful knits in my stash to make a few myself.

The bandana shown here was made of a double knit from Nani Iro’s newest line, which I bought at Miss Matatabi. It was the first time I used double knit, and it is heavenly! I have just enough left to make a nice Summer top for Norah.

I couldn’t really find a pattern or tutorial online, so I tried to figure it out myself. On the one hand, a bandana pattern is really simple – just a triangle, right? But then when you try to get perfectly finished corners, things get a bit more complicated. Relying on my best high school geometry skills, I found a simple method which can be explained pretty easily as well.

The pattern
The pattern for the bandana can be dowloaded here or here. It consists of three pieces (on two pages) which should be assembled as shown in the diagram below. Seam allowances (1 cm or 3/8″) are included. I have also included a 45° angle, in case you do not have set ruler (which you might want to use in step 3).

The pattern comes in two sizes (small and tall). The small one fits babies and toddlers, while the tall one is for bigger kids. However, as you can simply adjust the bandana by tightening or loosening the knot, there are no precise age ranges. A lot also depends on how stretchy your knit is. In Nani Iro double knit, the baby size even fit me, while in Birch organic knit, the baby size was only just big enough for Norah.

– 1 piece of knit fabric, minumum dimensions:
    – small: W 63 cm x H 33 cm (W 25″ x H 13″)
    – tall: W 70 cm x H 36 cm (W 27.5″ x H 14.25 “)

1. Assemble the pattern following the diagram above, and cut your piece on the fold.

2. Optional: Serge the 3 main edges of the triangle. Do not serge the small edges at the corners (see pic below). (You can skip this step if you do not have a serger, as knit fabric will not fray.)

3. Let’s finish the corners. We’ll start with the 90° corner. Fold it in half, with right sides together. Stitch a line as shown in the diagram below. Cut off excess seam allowance.

4. Next, we’ll finish the 45° corners. Fold the corner in half with right sides together, as you did with the 90° corner. Stitch a line at 1 cm (3/8″) from the small edge – make sure to stay perfectly parallel to that small edge. Cut off excess seam allowance.

5. Turn the corners right side out, fold over each of the three edges by 1 cm (3/8), and press. Your corners should look nice and flat.

If they don’t, then simply repeat steps 3 and/or 4, using a bit of a sharper angle this time (no need to undo the previous stitches).

6. Finally, secure the edges. I used a zig zag stitch, but you can also use a twin needle.

Instant happiness guaranteed!


10 thoughts on “Free pattern and tutorial: Baby and kids’ bandana

  1. Oh An, very sweet! And thank you so much for the tutorial! But I am questioning your use of the word “bandana”… shouldn't it be a do-rag??? HAHAHA, just kidding!!! Bandana is just fine my friend!!! (Anyone reading this should know that poor An scratched her head trying to figure out the proper name for this hat thingy…. I'm just teasing her!)

  2. Thank you for putting this together with so much care! So great you figured out those corners! I am actually waiting for some nani iro double knit and this could be really nice for left overs…although I will surely not look as cute as your daughers wearing it!

  3. Ha ha, Palak's do-rag joke cracked me up so much 🙂 In the end, I decided that there wasn't really a perfect name for it, and that bandana would be the least bad option. You're the only one complaining so far, so… ;-p

  4. Thanks for this nice tutorial! It`s just the perfect thing for sunny days (i`m looking forward, hopefully summer is arriving in switzerland soon). I wanna sew a few of them for my little girl, they`re cute!

  5. This was perfect for our day out at the beach yesterday. I was able to whip it out in less than 30 minutes. Thank goodness for my serger. It seems I still have some learning to do when working with knit. My edges got a bit stretched out and wavy. I may have to play with my serger tension. It kept the sun off C's head but unfortunately her little cheek got a bit too sun kissed. She got many compliments on her bandana. Thank you for putting the tutorial together!

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