Instructables

Beginner Sewing - Make a summer hat pattern from scratch

A beginner can complete this project in one day.

Things you will learn:
  • How to visualize and create a simple pattern.
  • How to pin fabric for sewing.
  • When not to pin.
Materials:
  • About 1.5 yards of one fabric (or .75 yards of two fabrics)
  • .5 yards of medium weight, double sided, fusible interfacing (optional for a stiff brim)
  • complimentary colored thread

Tools:
  • seam ripper (for inevitable mistakes)
  • scissors
  • marker or pen
  • basic sewing machine with straight stitch and zigzag stitch
  • measuring tape
  • paper for sketching

Construction Basics:
  • The hat featured in this Instructable is constructed of three parts: a flat oval top, an elongated rectangular band for the sides, and a flat donut for the brim.
  • In order to hide the raw edges and make the hat reversible, there are two of each piece.  Basically, you make two raw hats and then sew them together into a cleanly finished end-product.
 
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Step 1: Sketch

Picture of Sketch
The first step of creating a pattern is simply sketching the object that you would like to create.  These sketches need not be full size - we will use them to determine the full dimensions that we will need later.

Sketch an oval to represent the top, a long rectangle to represent the sides, and a donut shape to represent the flat brim.

Now that the pieces have been determined, it is time to figure out how big to make the pattern pieces. 

Measure the distance around your head, at a place where you feel that a hat brim would be the most comfortable.

Measure the distance vertically from the front of the line you just measured to the very top or crown of your head.  To do this, hold the end of the measuring tape on your forehead at the location where you would like the brim of the hat to sit.  Pull the measuring tape straight up in the air.  Set your hand or a ruler on the top of your head so that it sticks out straight across the measuring tape.

Measure the distance vertically from the back of the line for the brim to the crown of your head.  Most people want the brim to sit lower on their head in the back than in the front.

My measurements were 22 1/4" circumference of my head for the brim, 3" high in front, and 4" high in back.  Throughout these instructions, I will use the word inches and the symbol " interchangeably.  For example 3 inches is the same as 3"

Write the circumference on the outside of the oval that represents the top.  (For me that was 22 1/4")  Write the larger number for the height on the long rectangle that represents the sides.  (For me that was 4")  Write the circumference inside of the donut that represents the brim.  (For me, 22 1/4")

lscott23 years ago
Hey, thats where my sewing machine went.;)
I'll be making one of these for summer, DH wants to keep his nose instead of burning it off when working in the garden, Cant ever find one big enough, now he'll have one.
grooooovy4 years ago
I REALLY like this idea. i'll vote for this!
izzyinsf4 years ago
thanks for the hats! they both fit and i love em! now if only we could get some sun in san francisco. :)
weiblen.c (author)  izzyinsf4 years ago
Haha! I can't help you with that. 

I'm glad they fit. I made the tapestry hat really big and floppy, just to make sure.  I used my husband's head to measure it.  :)

I'm going to make a different Instructable for that one, with a pattern included so it's an easier project.