Introduction: BB8 Hat

Picture of BB8 Hat

Here's another hat, courtesy of the fact that I was snowed in all weekend. It is themed after the Star Wars BB-8 Droid. This project needs four colors of fleece, but only small amount of each, so keep a keen eye on the remnants bin, and you'll be fine.

It involves a bit of sewing, but it's not too bad. I think it would do well as a costume piece, maybe for example paired with my Toddling Pumpkin piece.

Materials:

  • Fleece in each color (gray, orange, white, and black)
  • Matching thread (exact shade is not necessary, just use the closest you have handy)
  • [Optional] Big black button, about 1" diameter (could just use fleece for this too)

Tools:

  • Cutter/scissors
  • Measuring tool
  • Sewing machine

Step 1: Cutting the Main Pieces

Picture of Cutting the Main Pieces

My reference head size is 20" (on a 4-year old). If your target head size is different, you should be able to pretty easily change the measurements to suit your needs. You could even just use the same heights, and only change the widths if you like the width of the bands as they are. It would be best to give yourself a little extra room, rather than cut it too close. Fleece is not particularly stretchy.

For the white piece, cut a 7" by 21" rectangle.

Orange, cut a 1 1/2" by 21" rectangle.

Gray, cut a 2 1/2" by 21" rectangle. Note - the gray part gets folded under later, so the gray band will actually be thinner than the orange band.

Fold the white piece in half twice (as shown), and you will have a smaller rectangle that is still 7" high. On the left and right sides, starting about an inch from the bottom, cut a curve up to the midpoint of the top.

Note on the shape: I freehanded this. If you want a curve to reference, grab an orange and cut it in half. Then, cut the half into quarters, so you have four little half-wedges of orange. Take the peel off one of those wedges, and flatten it. That's the shape you want. In retrospect, I could have made the height a bit shorter, and rounded off the bottom. It turned out good enough for me as it was, though.

Step 2: Sewing the Main Part

Picture of Sewing the Main Part
  • Thread Color: White
  • Stitch Setting: Straight

Unfold your white piece, you now have four hat quarters. Fold it over in half so the quarters match up, with the "good" side in the middle.

Sew the open edge up to the tip of the hat.

Then, sew the folded edge up to the tip of the hat.

Step 3: Sewing the Main Part (continued)

Picture of Sewing the Main Part (continued)
  • Thread Color: White
  • Stitch Setting: Straight

Spread the middle so the remaining open edges make a single arc across the top of the hat.

Flatten so the open edges are pressed together and the new seams are essentially lined up on op of each other.

Sew from one end of the arc over to the other end. Be careful at the tip, as there are a lot of layers of fleece right there. I usually fold the excess on the bottom towards me, and the excess on the top towards the machine.

Step 4: Preparing the Ear Bands

Picture of Preparing the Ear Bands
  • Thread Color: Orange
  • Stitch Setting: Straight

Place your orange and gray bands together, "good" sides in the middle, and sew along the long edge.

Spread the piece into one big rectangle, then fold in half, "good" sides in the middle, so the orange meets the orange, and the gray meets the gray. Sew the open edge.

Step 5: Attaching the Ear Bands

Picture of Attaching the Ear Bands
  • Thread Color: Orange
  • Stitch Setting: Straight

Fold the ear band so the "good" side is out, then place it around the white piece, "good" side to "good" side, open edge to open edge.

The "good" side of the orange stripe should be touching the "good" side of the white piece.

If you like, cut a 1" by 3" scrap of lightweight fabric like muslin to use as a tag. fold it over and insert the rough edges between the gray and orange fabric.

You can pin it all down if you want, but it works fine to just hold and feed.

Note before you start sewing: There is a seam on each layer of fabric your are sewing. I recommend offsetting the seams just enough so they don't overlap, as it can be tough getting through all that fleece. Start your sewing right before the seam area, so you can position it how you like.

When you sew all the way around, you have a white hat with a big orange strip and a little gray strip. Finish here if you want a minimalist interpretation of the BB-8 hat. :-)

Step 6: Preparing the Orange Ring

Picture of Preparing the Orange Ring

For this size hat, a typical dvd works well for the orange circle. I held the dvd and used a circular cutter to cut around it, but you could instead use a fabric pen to trace the shape and cut with scissors.

Fold the resulting circle in half, then cut off the outer 3/4". Keep the inner circle, it will come in handy later.

Set it on the top of the hat, "good" side facing out.

Step 7: Attaching the Orange Ring

Picture of Attaching the Orange Ring
  • Thread Color: Orange
  • Stitch Setting: Zigzag

Center the orange ring on the top of your hat, "good" side out. I pinned this, because it moves around too easily.

Starting with the bottom edge, carefully sew right on the edge of the ring with a zigzag stitch, going twice around the length of the edge for each edge.. I find this keeps the unfinished edge tacked down better than using just a straight stitch along the side. I'm open to suggestions and your experiences.

Sew along the around the top edge of the ring as well, again making two passes.

My orange ring turned out a bit wonky, but not too bad. I find people are more forgiving when it comes to homemade stuff.

Step 8: Preparing the Gray Band

Picture of Preparing the Gray Band

Use the inside circle from when you cut the orange ring to cut a circle from your gray fleece that is the same size.

Fold your gray circle in half and cut a 1" diameter semicircle out of it to make your gray ring.

Place it on the top of your hat, "good" side facing out.

Step 9: Attaching the Gray Band

Picture of Attaching the Gray Band
  • Thread Color: Gray
  • Stitch Setting: Zigzag

To center this one, pay more attention to the distance between the gray and orange rings, rather than the distance to the tip of the hat to the the gray ring. I think it would be more noticeable if the rings were not parallel to each other, rather than if the rings were not quite centered on the tip of the hat.

Like with the orange ring, I pinned this down before sewing because the ring moves easily.

Just like with the orange ring, sew right on the edge of the bottom of the gray ring first, keeping a consistent distance between the gray and orange rings.

Make two passes along the bottom of the gray ring, then make two passes along the top of the gray ring.

Step 10: Black Dots

Picture of Black Dots
  • Thread Color: Gray
  • Stitch Setting: First pass Straight, second pass Zigzag

For the main circle, I cut a 2" diameter piece of black fleece. That is just about the same as the lip of a soda can, so you can use that for a template if you like.

Place the circle "good" side out so the top of the circle is flush with the top of the orange ring. I pinned this in place with a single pin right in the middle.

Use a straight stitch once around the ring, because it is easier to control. Start sewing at the top of the circle. I didn't, but the top is where to position is important, so you don't want to find out halfway through the circle that the alignment is off.

Then, finish with a zigzag stitch around the edge of the black circle.

Hand-sew on a large black button (about 1" diameter) to be the second circle, positioned as shown in the pictures. Alternately, you could cut out another black fleece circle and machine sew it on just like the larger circle. I just thought the button looked neat there.

All done, I would love to see pictures when you finish!

Comments

WrenMeiser made it! (author)2016-02-20

Really simple project to do, especially for a beginner like myself. The only other difference is I stitched everything by hand. What brand of machines do you recommend? I'm wanting to go deeper into clothing, costume, and plushie design.

Phydeaux (author)WrenMeiser2016-02-27

Very nice!

My sewing machine brand is "White" and has held up for over 10 years now, bought because it was a floor model that had been discontinued and was on sale. I think as long as you avoid anything marketed as a travel/portable machine or marketed to kids, you should be okay. For the stuff I've done, I really only use the straight stitch and the zigzag stitch, so it doesn't need to be fancy.

I took my machine to my local sewing machine repair shop to have it cleaned, and the proprietor swore by Janome machines, for what it's worth.

I'm not a professional at this, but for Halloween costumes and kids' toys, my simple machine works well. I would like to get a serger eventually to speed/clean things up, but that might be another 10 years. :-)

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2016-01-25

This looks great and there is something about that button being on there that I just love :)

Thanks! It's nice to actually pull something -out- of the button jar, too.

Also, my daughter is now demanding that we add a little red dot be added to the black fleece circle, because that will make it look like the pictures. She's a stickler for detail. :-)

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