Welcome to 2018!  This year is proving to be very interesting for racing fashion enthusiasts across Australia with FOTF changes happening everywhere. After a long break I am back to blogging and hoping to help you get ready for your next event, wherever or whenever that may be.

Do you copy trends or are you brave enough to be a trend setter? You can follow the crowd while setting yourself apart from it by adding your own twist to something that’s on trend. A new year is the beginning of new outfit ideas and what better place to start than with a turban headband you can make yourself at home.

When I think of turbans this is what instantly springs to my mind…

Turban Headband

A quick search on Pinterest for Carmen Miranda will display an array of the most weird and wonderful Afro-Brazilian inspired turbans you have ever seen! These make me smile. I’d never wear something like this to the races but they are so much FUN and can inspire your own creations!

Sequins, plastic fruit and oversized feathers aside, the turban has been worn in many countries by both men and women for centuries. The turban was introduced into fashionable European dress in the early fifteenth century and has seen many revivals and adaptations since then. Whether for religious observances, as a cultural signifier or just simply to hide a bad hair day, the turban is the epitome of do it yourself headpieces

Racing fashion blurs the boundaries of modern and classic racewear and it’s safe to say that trends do come and go, especially when it comes to headwear. Recently we’ve seen perchers, boaters and crowns all pass through their high points and eventually they too will have to make way for the next “big thing”. Turbans are a practical option for the casual race goer and statement pieces have been seen on the stage at many FOTF events. These stylish ladies were snapped by Mr Smith Photography at Magic Millions race day in QLD.

As with other fashion designers, milliners look to the past for inspiration and with a dash of creative flair thrown into the mix they re-create headpieces that reflect their own techniques. The turban is an example of how a simple scarf can vary so much in style, size, shape and colour. The possibilities are endless from petite printed knots to gravity defying structured shapes. Here’s some amazing designs that I would love to wear myself!!!

Some of my favourite milliners are hand crafting the most beautiful turban styles (and have been for a while) so if a bit of DIY isn’t your thing then seek out an amazing milliner to make something just for you. You can find them by clicking on the pictures above and following the link to their Instagram. If you want to hone your millinery skills then Louise Macdonald will teach you the detailed ins and outs of making a real high quality turban during one of her Melbourne workshops. Click the picture below to find out more…

But… if you are a notorious ‘I’ve left it to the last minute’ kind of person when it comes to planning a race day outfit, then being able to make a quick and easy headband is a good trick to have up your sleeve. Abby made this little headpiece to match her outfit for the Mount Gambier Gold Cup. She had  last minute outfit change so after finding some fabric that matched she put it over a headband and tied the knot on top.

A post shared by Abby Von Duve (@abbyvonduve) on

Something you make yourself may not last long but you can pull it apart and make it into another headpiece to go with a different outfit. The best part about making something at home is you can match it perfectly with your outfit and try it on as you go, this is something you can’t do when ordering online. I don’t encourage you to copy or recreate a milliner’s design using the steps given in this tutorial. Take advantage of the fact you can make something completely unique to suit your own taste and style.

Here’s how I styled my turbans with what I had in my closet…

Turban headband
Turban Headband
turban headband
turban headband
turban headband
turban headband


***Make sure you tag on Instagram us so we can see your beautiful finished DIY creations!***

-Shaping material (fabric, leather, millinery supplies)
-Hot Glue or Craft Glue
-Sewing kit (scissors, measuring tape, needle, thread etc)

*You can get these from Spotlight, a craft shop or millinery websites

Cut out a scrap template using calico to work out how long and wide you want your piece to be. My template is started at 50cm x 120cm (with lots of allowance). I then fold it in half or thirds. Do a quick knot and measure the piece on your headband. Cut it down to the size you want, the wider the fabric the fuller the headband will be.

Cut the fabric to match your template – I always leave a little allowance on the ends just in case you make the knot bigger.

With the piece folded in half, put a knot in the fabric and play around with it until you get the shape you want.

At this point you have two options for the edge sections either side of the knot depending on your skill level and the time you have. This area will be under the headband anyway, so do what works for you…

a) leave the long edges open, you can glue them down to the headband on top of each other (which you can fold down the second piece on top for a neat edge).

b) for a tidy and strong long edge sew up the open sections (don’t stitch the knot section) when the piece is turned inside out.

Insert the headband through the knot. If you have sewn the long edges you can slot the headband through them too. You can adjust the shape of the knot and the sides by pulling on the or puffing them up.

Once you have the shape you want it’s time to secure the underside and if you didn’t sew the long edges on the machine you’ll need to glue them down underneath.

To tidy up the ends you can fold them under or secure them down with ribbon.

To tidy up under the headband you can glue a strip of ribbon over the joins.

If the headband is heavy (which a large leather one will be) you can sew a comb underneath or add elastic from one end to the other.

Cut a strip of your chosen material with extra length (if using fabric sew the strip together with the wrong ways facing and turn it inside out). Instead of securing the material to a headband simply join them at the ends so the join will be at the back of your head.