Thursday, April 13, 2017

Rosie the Riveter Headband

This year, International Women's Day (March 8, 2017) marked a day that women went on strike across the United States.  For A Day Without a Woman, women are staying home from work, wearing red and avoiding shopping for the day to shout that Women's Rights are Human Rights.  I posted the following with my picture on Facebook:
I stand with the women who strike today for a #DayWithoutaWoman.  I wear red to stand with the women striking, to stand stand with the women who want to strike but can't because it would put their jobs, people in their care or our communities at risk.  I stand for the women who go to work for a strike-in because they realize that their presence in the workplace will speak louder than their absence.

I want to acknowledge the privilege of participation in this day. The ability to strike is a privilege.  The ability to avoid shopping for a day is a privilege.  Buying something to wear (or the fabric to create something to wear) for this day is a privilege.

I realize that there is some irony for a stay at home mom to wear a #RosietheRiveter headband to support the strike.  However I want to share the message "We Can Do It!" I want to support all women who work: those who work for money, who provide unpaid labor, who want to work but aren't able.  I sit here with my baby in my lap typing.  I am not on strike today, but I will raise my voice to shout with those who do.

In the week before the strike, I realized that I needed to come up with something red.  I didn't own anything red so I decided that I would sew my own Rosie the Riveter style headband.  I also didn't have any red fabric in my stash beyond tiny scraps so I did a quick run to the fabric store to select some red and white polka dot fabric.  I prewashed and pressed the fabric.

The pattern is really well laid out with a photo tutorial.  I really appreciate that even the snips of the fabric are shown.  I decided to create the 3.5" version so I started with two 4" strips of fabric.  I cut the fabric on the fold.

To test the sizing, I tied one of my strips around my head.  It was pretty cute with raw edges! I like the length that it was, so I decided to just trip the edges of the fabric and not worry about getting 39.5".  My fabric length ended up being about 40" long.  I'm glad that I wasn't worrying about length, I basically hit the target without trying!

I placed the strips together with right sides facing and then folded them in half.  I marked the center of the end of the strips and then 5" down (as directed in the pattern)  I cut all 4 pieces of fabric at the same time.... freehand.  I didn't sketch the curves because I knew that I could probably cut as well as I could trim a curve.  I started out conservatively and then trimmed slightly more until I got a shape I was satisfied with.

I pinned the fabrics together and then was ready to make the 0.25" seam.  I'm really glad that I'm doing the thicker headband because I hate trying to turn small tubes right side out!

I forgot to clip the tips before I turned the headband right side out.  I also made the opening (to turn right side out) a little narrower than I had intended.  Thankfully the tube was super easy to turn right side out and my points aren't that shabby either.

The last step was a top stitch.  If not for this step I don't think I would have bothered to use red thread, but I wanted it to be nicely finished.

This was so fast to create!  I had a flash forward to helping create accessories for school plays someday.  I might actually make the headband a 6" or so shorter next time so the bow isn't quite as long on my head, but I am really happy with how it turned out.  In addition to an iconic headband, this works really nicely as a neck scarf (not pictured.)

All of my boys (dog included!) wore red for International Women's Day.  For me, the strike was about recognizing that my role in society is important.  Unpaid labor isn't valued by many, so it was nice to have recognition that what I do is important beyond my family but for society.  We need people to care for our children, or sick, our elderly.  We need those who are paid for this work to be valued just as much as people who work any other job.  

Lately, I've felt empowered to use my voice to speak to our government officials.  How can I expect my representatives to represent me if I don't tell them how I feel on issues?  I really like the website 5 Calls, you can enter your zip code, pick an issue, and they provide the phone number of who to call plus a sample script.  I don't love talking on the phone but this has really helped me with making phone calls.  I know that my call will end up with a check in some column on a spreadsheet, but at least my representative will have a little more knowledge on where their constituents stand.  

You have a voice.  What do you want to do with it?  

Sewing project started and finished 3/6/17