Chemo Patient Turban

My grandmother was diagnosed with cancer about a month after Peach was born.  Since then, she has been on chemotherapy, and as a result, has lost her hair (not an easy thing for the fiery red-head she is!).  I’ve learned that many chemo patients like to wear a hat similar to a turban, as it’s comfortable and stretchy and warm, so I decided to go ahead and make one for her.  Then I thought, this wasn’t too hard, why don’t I make some to donate some to my local hospital?  Like the scrap quilts, it’s a great way for me to use up some knits that I already had, and what a great cause!

So, I challenge you all to give this tutorial a try, and make a turban for a loved one who needs it, and then make a few more to donate to your local hospital or cancer center!

Supplies needed:

  • 1/2 yd knit (you can actually make 3 turbans if you’re using 60″ wide knit, which it standard)
  • Coordinating thread

Cut from your knit:

  • 13″x20″ rectangle, with the 20″ along the stretchy direction (if you’ve bought 1/2 yd, this is the only way it will fit)
  • 5″x4″ rectangle (if you want to make 3 from your fabric, cut this from the “scraps” from your first rectangle)

Note: use 1/4″ seam allowance unless otherwise specified

Fold your large rectangle along the 13″ side, right sides together, and stitch a curve from the bottom open edge up, leaving 3/4″ unstitched at the top (it will make a 1.5″ opening when it’s unfolded).  I am terrible at drawing, as I’ve admitted before, so I used my pins to mark where I would sew, and adjusted them until I was happy with the shape.


Fold is on the left, and I used my pins to “draw” the curve I planned to sew

Next, turn 2 inches of the bottom upward, and use a zigzag stitch to hold in place (the zigzag allows the hat to stretch as the user puts it on her head; always remember to test your stitching on a piece of scrap material to make sure you have what you want!).  Trim off the extra fabric around the curve of the hat.


The “hem” of the turban – don’t forget to use your zigzag stitch!

Then, turn the turban right side out and pin 3 pleats in the back, perpendicular to the seam.  Sew along the seam to secure in place.


If you have trouble seeing the 3 pleats, there’s a picture at the end of this post that shows me wearing it, and it is a little easier to see there

To make the tab at the front, fold your 5″x4″ rectangle along the 5″ side, right sides together, and stitch along the open edge (it will make a 5″x2″ tube); turn right side out.  Insert the tab through the opening you left in the top of the hat and form a loop with it; stitch the open ends of the tab together.  Then, rotate the tab so all seams are hidden, and tack in place to the bottom of the front center of the hat.


Not so bad, was it?

Voila!  You have created a lovely, cozy turban for a patient undergoing chemotherapy.  Just so you know what it looks like on…


I am clearly not an experienced selfie-taker…  IMG_2407You can see the pleats better when it’s on a head

Now, I challenge you to go make one (or two or three) for a patient in need!  If you do, please leave a comment on this post – I’d love to hear about it!


Credit: This turban was made by adjusting patterns found at and


2 thoughts on “Chemo Patient Turban

  1. Pingback: Christmas (Ornaments) in July | Project Mama

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