How to Make a Turban for a Chemo Patient

Follow our step-by-step instructions for sewing an easy-to-make head covering.

By Marjorie Kinney

The turbans that Marjorie Kinney and her fellow Turban Ladies make are simple enough that even a novice sewer can stitch one together in about 30 minutes. They are an encouraging gift for anyone dealing with hair loss following chemo or radiation therapy. Many cancer centers and hospitals accept turbans on behalf of their patients, too. Find out if yours does and get stitchin’!

Turban pattern, diagram 1 
  1. Cut one piece of knit fabric 24″ x 13″ with the stretch on the 24″ length.
  2. Cut one 4″ x 13″ strip from the first piece. This will become the tab for the front of the turban. (See diagram 1)
  3. Fold the remaining 20″ x 13″ piece of fabric in half to 10″ x 13″.
  4. Machine stitch seam by rounding seam to form a crown, leaving a 1″ opening for inserting tab. (See diagram 2)
  5. Form a 2″ hem and stitch in place with zigzag stitch.
  6. Use double thread in needle. With even basting stitches (about a quarter inch in length), stitch on both sides of seam from base of hem to where the hole for the tab begins.
  7. Secure the thread at the bottom with several knots. Then gather fabric along the basting stitch by pulling on the threads to form the gentle folds of the turban. Secure the threads at the top with several knots.
  8. Take the 4″ x 13″ strip and stitch along the 13″ side to create the tab.
  9. Turn the hat and tab right side out.
  10. Insert the tab through the opening, around the hem. Inside the turban, form tab to hold folds in place. Cut away any excess length of tab before stitching the ends together.
Turban pattern, diagram 2

 

Download these instructions in PDF format.

 

Try Marjorie's recipe for Corn Bread Cake from Servings from the Heart, a cookbook she helped create that raised funds for outreach programs.