Free Chemo Headwear Pattern and Tutorial-Special Request

chemo headwear patternHere’s a chemo headwear pattern and tutorial so you can make that essential accessory to help her feel more beautiful during recovery.

Today is Mother's Day in most parts of the world, so Happy Mothers Day!  To all of you that have experienced the privilege of raising children and the immense love and fear of being responsible for a little one, I salute you and my wish for you is that you are remembered today.

Today is also the beginning of a few styles I will be dedicating to the woman that I admire the most.  I should start with my mother and grandmother, but this is not in a particular order.  These are the woman that for some reason or another have touched my heart because their resilience, strength, dedication, sacrifice, and love for the people around them and themselves have let them take the “road less traveled”, the one thing they have in common: they are strong.

I begin with the story of my Aunt Rossi.  My Aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer at the edge of 61.  She thought she would never have to worry about checking her breast anymore, but one morning she rolled on her bed and felt a sharp pain on her side.  She touched the source of the pain and discovered a lump.  Worried booked an appointment and was found to have stage 3 breast cancer.

Recently at her hospital, she rang the bell for those that have finished the treatment and are free from cancer cells.  The amazing part about my Aunt is that no one can say she was upset, depressed or that she complained about the treatment or her bad luck –not even once.  She got out of bed and went about her day as usual working when the treatment allowed her and never giving up.

When I asked her what kept her going, she said it was her children.  “I can't give up.  I want to see them married with children of their own”.   Below is a picture of my aunt ringing the bell and with her children. chemo headwear pattern

Her hair is not out yet, so she is wearing a wig, but wigs are quite warm.  So here is a head scarf to make the wait for her hair to re-grow less difficult.  This headscarf pattern is also been requested by a few other readers that are going through chemo.  We've also seen a lot of readers make these as part of their sewing for charity initiatives.  We hope this free pattern and tutorial will help.



  • sewing machine
  • scissors
  • size 70 needle
  • serger or overlocker (optional)
  • loop turner

Pattern download:

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Download the Free Pattern

You can download the pattern for this Chemo Headwear from our account at Craftsy.

For help downloading and printing PDF patterns, please CLICK HERE.

Layout of the easy headscarf pattern:

chemo headwear pattern

How to print your chemo headwear pattern

Print the pattern in Actual Size and Landscape format using the latest Adobe Reader version.

Skill Level:  Intermediate

Although this is a simple chemo headwear pattern, a thorough understanding of pleats is essential and necessary.  IF you have never worked with pleats, and do not know how to follow instructions this is not the project for you. Read all the instructions and watch the video before attempting this project.

Cutting the fabric

If you are using silk, the best way is to lay a piece of cotton fabric on your work table then lay out the silk and place the pattern on the silk fabric.  The cotton underneath will prevent the silk fabric from moving around too much.  You can also spray a thin coat of hairspray over the silk, but test this first!   The hairspray will make it easier to hem.  Pin the pattern and cut while marking the pleats with tailor's chalk.  If using cotton or rayon you can mark using a notch.

Step One: Making the pleats

Following the pattern make the pleats from the top to the bottom.  The pleats are very close to each other.  Topstitch on the sides at 1/4″ to keep the pleats from coming apart.

chemo headwear pattern Zigzag or use your serger on both left and right sides of the chemo headwear.

If you are using silk or voile hemming might be a bit more difficult.  Here is a tutorial that will show you a few ways to hem delicates fabrics.

How to hem sheer or lightweight fabrics

Step Two:  Making the elastic band

Cut the rectangle and sew on the longest side at 3/8″.  I am using a different fabric because it will be easier for you to see but I think it is better to use the same fabric. chemo headwear patternTurn the rectangle inside out using your loop turner. Iron.

Insert the elastic and sew at 1/4″.  Pin the elastic on the other side and sew at 1/4″.  chemo headwear patternYou should now have an elastic band.chemo headwear pattern

Step Three: Attaching the band and thin elastic

Pin this elastic band  2 1/4″ from the 1″ hem side.  chemo headwear pattern Fold over the band until the edge is at the end of the pleats.  chemo headwear patternSew at the 1/2″.chemo headwear patternPull the band across to the other side and line it up in the same spot. chemo headwear pattern

Fold over the band and sew at 1/2″.chemo headwear pattern

Step Four: Sewing the top and bottom edge

Make a small zigzag on the hem fold and iron. chemo headwear pattern

Fold the hem 1″.chemo headwear pattern

Sew at 1/8″.  Iron.

Repeat the zigzag on the lower edge, fold 1/8″ and fold again then sew. chemo headwear pattern

If you are using silk or voile hemming might be a bit more difficult.  Here is a tutorial that will show you a few ways to hem delicates fabrics.

Pin the elastic under the last pleat on both sides about 1/4″ from the stitching line. chemo headwear patternDo the same on the other side.chemo headwear patternPin and pull the elastic in a few places.chemo headwear pattern Sew the elastic using a medium zigzag.  Match the top thread to the elastic, in my case it is white. chemo headwear patternZigzag or use the serger on the sides.  Turn and sew the sides at 1/4″. chemo headwear patternchemo headwear pattern

And you're done!  This is a very easy and functional chemo headwear pattern.  Used with a different type of fabric will become a great accent for any wardrobe and will ease the wait for the hair to come out after chemo and most importantly make her feel more beautiful during recovery.

Hope you make a few for a special someone or make many for charity and donate to hospitals and churches. Do send me a copy of your take on this Chemo headwear pattern I would love to see what fabrics you have chosen.  Until next time, happy sewing!

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94 Responses to Free Chemo Headwear Pattern and Tutorial-Special Request

  1. Guylaine says:

    I made two for a friend : one with regular cotton from my stash and one using a Levi’s bandana someone gave me long time ago. Both fit her very well and she is very happy. She doesn’t have treatment anymore and her hair just began to grow. As she’s going on vacation in Mexico, it will be appropriate on the beach and she will wear her wig at night. Thanks a lot for this pattern!

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Thank you for using the pattern, with so many negative feedback I am happy to find one person that has been able to make the scarf.

  2. Gwyneth says:

    When I went through cancer treatment and lost my hair, I used head wraps my sister made for me. I was wearing them so others would not be nervous about my baldness. The up side was I got to let them know how awesome my sister is! My journey taught me more about what is more important in life and it is not hair or the lack of it.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      HI Gwyneth, only one who has gone through it could write these words, I thank you for your comment and indeed you are very lucky you have someone who cared. So many are not so lucky. When my Aunt was going through the same, she too did not want pity or make people uncomfortable hence the scarf. In a way, the headwrap is really for us who watch feeling unqualified and unable to do more.

  3. Marjet says:

    Thank you so much for the pattern! Sadly I need to make this for a six year old. Can you give me a tip on how to adjust the size?

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      HI Marjet, can you send me the head measurement, please? Measure above eyebrow level al around the head, and form the eyebrow level over the head to where the hair stops. Then I can tell you how much you need to reduce the pattern by.

  4. Sally says:

    I’ve looked out for a long time for a pattern somthank you for sharing!

  5. il says:

    Thank you! Happy Mother’s Day and healing thoughts for loved ones in recovery.

  6. Belinda says:

    When you featured this pattern two years ago, I made two of them for my niece with pancreatic cancer. She said they were comfy and breezy during the hot summers. She beat the averages and hung in there for 20 months after diagnosis. Her daughter-in-law put together a video of photos of our sweet niece and I was honored to see so many photos of her wearing the head wraps that I had made. Without your pattern, I wouldn’t have had a clue where to start. Thank you for facilitating the heartfelt wishes that many of us have to help someone.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      I am so sorry for your loss, but I am so happy for you to have made her more comfortable. Blessings to you…

  7. Birgit A. says:

    Thank you for this pattern! I just began chemotherapy because of breast cancer. I hope I could try your pattern next weak for my “no wig”-days.

  8. Adele says:

    Thanks so much. So far I’ve been sewing basic cotton knit hats for the leukemia ward where my mother was treated but this could be a nice addition as well. Almost three years with leukemia and it keeps on coming back so she needs a lot of these… thank you! BTW I’m from Czech and love your site 🙂

  9. sglld22 says:

    Looking forward to making some for our local cancer clinic. I can’t find the link to the tutorial. Please help.

  10. Maggie Drafts says:

    Thank you for reminding me to get busy making these head coverings! I am a retired oncology certified R.N. with breast cancer myself! Since I also do machine embroidery, I have a few “uh oh” tshirts that I am going to use for these in the beginning! Iwant to embroider a little pink ribbon on the outside of the band. Hopefully I can get these made before my next check up with my oncologist!

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Dear Maggie, my thoughts are with you, I hope you have someone to be to help you through this journey as you have done with so many. Kind Regards,

  11. Sue Whaples says:

    I love this. I wish I had it when my daughter was going through chemo. That was 10 years ago and she is now cancer free.

  12. Yvonne Jinks says:

    Thank you for this pattern. If each of us could make one and donate it to the Cancer Society for distribution, we could make a huge impact on so many lives. Thank you again.

  13. Nancy Wenstrand says:

    Don’t see my original comment but when I changed the printer to landscape, it came out much closer to the 2 inch square. There is no way this would fit on a fat quarter. Main piece measures 19 3/4 by 17 1/4 inches.

What do you think?