Introduction: How to Make a Cadet-style Cap
It's been my experience that finding a good fitting Cadet style hat is difficult and even if you can find one that fits correctly, I've found that there is usually some other problem either with the quality of the manufacturing or something else won't be quite right (crooked bill, uneven tops, etc.) This lead me to create my own, and since it's winter time here I made it out of fleece.
Step 1: Layout of the Main Part of the Cap
first you need to lay out the fabric and mark it for cutting. Because I created a hat with a special logo on the front my cutting is a bit more complicated, but the basics are as follows:
1. Measure around your head where you want the cap's bottom to be. Write this down somewhere you can get to it later because if you ever want to make more hats you'll appreciate not having to remeasure. For my hats I normally create one strip of fabric 23" long by 5.5" tall (I wear a size Small-Medium hat normally).
2. Using a ruler and a marker or pencil mark your cutting lines on the fabric
3. Cut out the strip(s) of fabric (in my case I made 3 pieces: two 10"x5.5" and one 4"x5.5" but normally I would only make one 23"x5.5" strip)
Step 2: Sew the Top Band Together
Sew the fabric band together making sure to leave the good side of the fleece / fabric facing out (so basically you'll sew with the fabric laid inside-out).
If you're following what I did and using three pieces of fabric you'll get what's in the photos below, otherwise you'll have only one stitched area that will be the back of your hat.
Step 3: Finish the Bottom Edge of the Hat
at this point it's easiest to finish the bottom edge of the hat and give it a nice looking / professional edge.
I fold and pin approximately 1" of the bottom of the band of fabric and then sew it twice; once around the upper part of the fold and once around the lower part of the fold. This gives a nice double stitch that looks good.
Step 4: Make the Top of the Hat
To make the top of the hat I found that a large plastic canister of coffee was approximately the same circumference as the band of fabric I created in the previous step. I use the coffee canister to give me a good circular shape but the actual circle I draw is about 1/2" larger than the canister. Additionally I used a kids marker (which doesn't dry on the fleece so it will wash off later) to draw the circle because the chalk pencil pulls the fabric too much.
Cut out the circle of fabric.
Step 5: Pin and Sew the Top to the Hat-band
flip the hat-band inside out (if not already so) and pin the circle of fabric to the edge all the way around.
I've had best results by starting with a pin at the back and then pinning the front and then each side followed by a pin in between each location. For me this ensures that the pinning is even all the way around.
Sew the top on and flip the hat back right-side-out and try it on. Hopefully if everything has gone ok it will fit exactly where you want
Step 6: Make a Brim (the Threadbanger Way)
To make the brim I follow a tutorial created by Threadbanger and found here. Because their tutorial is so great I won't go into too much detail here, but basically I traced the brim of another hat onto some construction paper (which gives a nice flexible brim). To get the depth of the brim I measured my other hat which was a little over 1.5" and freehand drew the inside shape. I then folded the paper at the midpoint and cut it to ensure both sides are the same.
After cutting out the shape I covered both sides in duct tape and then traced out and cut two pieces of fabric 1/2" larger than the brim. When cutting out the fabric make sure to cut straight across the back edge (don't follow the inner curvature of the brim pattern).
Pin and sew the two pieces of fabric together along the curved front edge and flip it around so the stitches are inside of what is now a pocket.
Place the paper brim inside the pocket and pin and sew along the back curve of the brim making sure that the fabric is pulled tight from front to back before pinning.
Step 7: Sew on the Brim
Now it's time to sew the brim to the hat. I simply measured to the center of the brim and marked the fabric along the back curve and then measured to the centerpoint of the front of the hat and matched up the points.
The bottom edge of the hat-band should follow exactly along the sewed back curvature edge of the brim.
After sewing I cut the extra fabric off of the brim pocket so that it doesn't interfere with how the hat fits (though you could also leave it if you like).
That's it! If you're really feeling confident you can try to create a liner, but I don't like my hat to get too hot so I tend to leave that out. Thanks for reading and I hope this helps someone!
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