As a new sewer, I am finding things to make that are challenging and functional as well. One project I thought up was to make my own watch bands out of fabric They are quite easy to make, and can save you a few bucks when it comes time to replace your old band.
Step 1: Items Needed
Some fabric of your choice, I found plain cotton to work fine. it's amazing how many designs there are for materials, so there is a theme cloth for just about any application. Minimal amounts are needed, and this would be a good use of any remnants from other projects. A sewing machine was used, and i don't think it would be worth the time to sew them by hand...but doable if wanted. A selection of elastic; I found a good size to use was 1 inch wide elastic, but 1/2 or 3/4 inch would suffice as well. Your old watch and especially the spring bars...you'll need them to re-attach the watch to the band.
Step 2: Cut Fabric to Size
Cut the fabric for the band it self, and also the "retainer" which is a smaller piece of cloth. See pictures for explanations and details. Sizes will vary, depending on the size of your wrist, or whoever's wrist you are making the band for. I cut my band cloth to 7 inches, and the elastic to 6. The retainer piece is smaller, of course, and needs to fit in the attaching "legs" of your old watch. I found that a 5/8 inch or slightly less would allow the watch to be secured with the spring bars very nicely.
Step 3: Sew Cloth Parts on Machine
To begin, I sewed the retainer piece of material to the band piece. It is secured on both ends so that you have a closed loop to which you will attach the watch with the spring bars. For the band itself, I folded the material over 1/4 inch on one edge. I folded the other edge over 1/4 inch as well. I did this so that no frazzeled edge would be showing, and would leave enough space to insert the elastic band thru the "tunnel" created by sewing on both sides of the band at just a little less than 1/4 inch on each side of the band to maintain balance.
Step 4: Insert Elastic Piece in Between Layers of the Watch Band
The elastic strip is "fished" through the watch band. Use a blunt dowel, or a dental pick tool as shown. The ends of the elastic are overlapped 1/4 in., then sewn by hand.
Step 5: Attach Watch to Band
To attach watch to the new band, place spring bars behind retainer cloth, then insert ends of bar into holes provided in watch "legs".
The bars are spring loaded and can be removed and installed by using your finger nail to compress spring. If bars are difficult to compress, use small tool such as a screwdriver, scalpel (be careful!) table knife, etc. Once done, it is easy to do more.
Step 6: Make Several!
I have shown several watches that I made bands for in a short period of time. These are old watchs I've had over the years, and I'm not sure they even would work. But I wanted to demonstrate the procedure by using actual watches. Good luck, and have fun!