According to epicsports.com, the first baseball caps came out in the 1800's and were made of straw. However, over the past two centuries baseball caps have evolved into all types and varieties. This Instructable will teach you how to make a leather baseball cap. To begin you will need:
- 1-2 oz leather.
- Sharp scissors
- Sewing machine that can sew through leather
- An old baseball cap that you are willing to part with
- Velcro that matches the leather color
- Seam ripper
Step 1: Making the Pattern
To begin, you will need to disassemble the old hat. Don't just tear it apart. The better shape the pieces are in the better the patterns will be in the end. You will want to salvage the top button and the bill of this old cap for later steps. After finishing disassembling it, iron the pieces flat. With my six panel hat, I saved three of the sides and just made mirror images. Take the old hat pieces and trace onto a piece(s) of paper. Next, cut out your patterns and mark where the pieces will go.
Step 2: Marking and Cutting the Leather Pieces
After making the patterns, trace onto the leather with a pencil. Important: Double check to make sure you're avoiding any blemishes or holes in the leather, and make sure to copy each pattern onto the leather, flip the pattern over, and copy again! Before you cut out the leather, imagine each piece and where it will go making sure it will be cut out correctly. Cut out your leather sections and move on to the next step.
Step 3: Sewing the Back Section of the Cap
To start, take your two back pieces, and lay (non-blemished sides together) them on top of each other so their sides are flush. Pin it, so it won't shift while you sew. Next, sew the side pointed out in the first picture. Unfold. This will be the back section of the cap.
Step 4: Sewing the Sides of the Cap
With the blemished side facing out, lay the side piece of leather onto the back piece that you just made . Pin it, and sew it. Repeat with the other side piece. Unfold it.
Step 5: Sewing the Front Pieces
To add the last two pieces, repeat the last step with the center pieces. Now, turn the hat so you see all the blemished sides and seams(second picture). Fold the piece in half so the blemished sides face out. Pin it, and sew together the front two pieces. Turn it right-side-to. The inside of your hat should now look like the last picture.
Step 6: Adding the Top Button
Guess at the center of your cap. Usually these pieces would click together, however, since these where salvaged form my old hat they refused to go back together. Because of this, I decided to glue them onto the center instead of buying a new button.
Step 7: Making the Bill
Take two 8x5" (this measurement will vary with different types of bills) pieces of leather and pin them together with the blemished side out. Take your bill, flatten it onto the leather, and trace around the cap with your chalk(see third picture). Once you reach the end of the bill insert's arch continue going straight to the end of the leather. Sew along this chalked line. Trim excess leather up to 1/4" away from the seam and turn inside out so the pretty side shows. Next, slide your bill into the pocket. Push it tight into the pocket and pin it. Now sew along the shape of the inside arch holding the bill in tight. Trim excess off, leaving 1/2" for attaching the bill to the cap.
Step 8: Attaching the Bill
This is a tricky step. Make sure the bill is centered. There is a notch in the middle of bill that you should be able to feel. Make sure this is lined up with the front crease of your top. Because the bill is stiff it will be hard to sew, so just start sewing it on. As you work your way around the arch of the bill readjust the leather so it you get a nice even seam across the front of the hat.
Step 9: Adjusting the Cap
Try on the cap. If it is too loose go to the back seam and take some more leather out and resew it. Play around with how much excess leather you have until you are comfortable with it. You can see in the picture that I added some seams until the hat was snug enough.
Step 10: Adding the Back Strap
Take the back strap from your old hat and copy it onto the leather and cut it out. Next, sew the strap into the inside of the back left side of the hat with an anchor of 1.5". Lastly, take a 2" piece of adhesive Velcro that matches your leather and sew it to the strap. Now sew a 2" piece of Velcro to the back of the hat. Adjust to your level of desired tightness.
Step 11: Finished!
Now you can go show of your full-grain leather baseball cap to all your friends! Enjoy!
Feel free to comment with constructive suggestions on how I can improve or modify this hat!
If you liked this Instructable please consider voting for me in the Tandy Leather Contest! Thanks!