I have always loved a more vintage aesthetic, and recently the blackhole of youtube sucked me into the lovely ladies who show off their beautiful wardrobe and style inspired the 40s/50s. Whilst I have always been intrigued I’ve always found the more pinup vintage style of cherries and bright colours just a bit too much for me and I think when you are only shopping on re-production sites like Collectif you start thinking that is the only style of vintage. But then I stumbled across Sage Lilleyman and that was when I decided that actually no, there is a space in the vintage style that I like and actually it really appeals to me. I thought a good place to start might be the hair and that in itself is a huge area with many different methods. One that seems very popular is the foam rollers and when I was watching the videos and looking at the various hair rollers available a spark fired in my brain. This might be a brilliant scrap busting project!

And so began my most recent sewing project, scrap hair rollers! I have two piles of scraps, one is the bigger scraps that might be able to make something but probably not clothing and the other is all those tiny bits that are offcuts and tiny clippings. This project used both types- the larger for the outside and then stuffed with the tiny bits.

How to make scrap hair rollers

1. Cutting out

I made these from the toile of a coat from last year – the white cotton worked perfectly although I may have to go a little more adventurous for my next batch! The piece size depends entirely on you although I will say that the curls are smaller than the original size of the hair roller as they do get compressed although this looks to also happen with foam rollers.

For the width of your square you need to work out what diameter of roller you want and then use a diamter to circumfrence caculator such as this one (use the bottom option in the drop down) to work out the width of your fabric – make sure to add the seam allowance, I used 0.5cm seam allowance and went for a diameter of 2cm which gave me a total width of around 7cm. For the length, double the length you want your roller, add around 1cm overlap and 1cm seam allowance. For me I went for 14cm total lenght (ish)

2. Making the tube

Next, fold the fabric in half lengthwise and stitch around the edge leaving a gap of around 1cm at the middle of the long edge and turn through this hole.

3. Sewing lines

To stop the stuffing going all the way to the edge we need to add two lines of stitches, this should be half the length of your roller +0.5 down from each end (i.e. for me my roller will be 6cm, my total tube length is 13cm and therefore I want to sew 3.5 cm from each end).

4. Stuffing

For the stuffing, I simply shredded my small scraps as small as I could and then put them in through the side in the hole of the roller, until the hair rollers were about as squishy as a firm cushion. I then hand-stitched the hole closed.

5. The snap fastening

To allow the roller to close I attached metal snap fasteners by hand, these seem to work really well, they aren’t too fiddly and allow for the hair roller to be clipped either side.

The end result

So here you have it the finished scrap hair rollers, I have been using them for about three weeks now and whilst I can’t claim to be able to use them very well I do really enjoy experimenting with them and they seem to do the job very well. They are also very comfy to sleep in with no plastic pokey bits!

Rollers in use

Here they are in use and a picture of what I managed to get out of them! A lot of practice will be needed and I have found another black hole of setting patterns to get lost in… But, I am hoping that this is the beginning of my journey to a more vintage style. It was also a really great use of scraps and I will be making more in different sizes so I can try out more style. Let me know what you think?

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