With an old wool sweater and fleece hoodie you can make a warm pill box hat in less than a day. This sweater has several moth holes but is 100% lambswool so it's very soft. Even though it is soft, line the hat with a complementary or contrasting colored fleece to prevent any itchy ears. The stripes are about 2 inches before the sweater is felted.
Step 1: Materials Needed to Make Warm Hat
You will need to make this warm hat you will need:
- 100% wool sweater ready to be discarded
(This sweater has 2 moth holes and the stripes are about 2 inches
- a fleece or velour jacket or hoodie ready to be discarded
- paper to make pattern and a pencil
- an 8 inch plate
- a ruler
- pins to attach pattern to sweater
- washing machine and detergent
- pair of flip flops or rubber balls
- sewing machine able to sew through thick material
Step 2: Put Sweater, Detergent and Pair of Flip Flops Into Washing Machine
Set the machine on regular wash cycle with a Hot Wash and Cold Rinse; or a Cold Wash and Hot Rinse. The detergent and flip flops are necessary to felt the wool and the wool needs agitation and extremes in temperatures to shrink.
How many times have you done this to a good sweater? Now you have a way to reuse it.
Step 3: Repeat Wash Cycles If Necessary
If necessary, repeat the washing cycle more than once to get the sweater to feel thick felt . This sweater took two washings to make the stripes only 1 1/4 inches and to felt the wools fibers. ( The yarn will not be able to unravel when cut and the stitches are not clearly defined.)
Step 4: Make Paper Pattern
Making the paper pattern:
For an average woman's size hat, for a head circumference of about 22 inches,
To make the top of the hat:
Place an 8 inch plate on the paper and outline it with a pencil. Cut out the circle.
To make the brim:
Make a rectangle 13" X 6" with the ruler. Cut out the rectangle.
Step 5: Rectangle: 13 X 7 1/2 Pattern Piece for Finished Hat With Rolled Brim
* If a longer brim that can be rolled up is desired, make the rectangle 13" X 7 1/2" and keep the 8" circle piece for the top.
Step 6: Cut Sweater Seams and Lay Out Pattern Pieces
Once the sweater is dry, cut along the seams to obtain pieces of material. (It's easier if you turn the sweater inside out and cut up the center of the seam.)
Lay the sweater pieces flat and decide which pieces will be large enough for the each piece of the paper pattern. One of the sleeves, the front and the back of this sweater will be used. The round top piece is placed on the upper part of the sleeve; and the 13 1/4" X 6" rectangle is placed on both the front and the back sections up across the line from underarm to underarm.
Step 7: Lay Pattern on Fleece and Cut Out Pieces
Repeat this with fleece material, so you will end up with
2 circles; 1 sweater and 1 fleece
4 rectangles; 2 sweater and 2 fleece
Step 8: Place Right Sides of the Two Rectangles Together
Sew the short sides on both the sweater's and the fleece's rectangles making circular pieces for the sides of the hat.
Step 9: Pin the Circle, Right Side Down, to the Edges of the Circular Sides
If the circle piece is a little too small, try to stretch the circle piece's edges a little to fit the sides.
If the circle piece is much too small, take in the side seams by the appropriate amount.
If the circle piece is a little too large, take out the side seams and resew with smaller seams.
Repeat with the fleece lining pieces.
Step 10: Place the Pinned Hat With the Sides of the Hat Facing You.
It is easier to ease the sides to the circle (top) piece if you place the top down and have the side facing you. You can pull a little on the bottom piece to stretch the material.
Repeat with the fleece lining pieces.
Step 11: Turn the Fleece Lining Hat Right Side Out
Leave the sweater hat inside out.
Step 12: Fit the Fleece Lining Hat Into the Sweater Hat
Pin the sides together at the bottom of the hat.
Step 13: Sew the Edge Leaving a 4 Inch Strip Unsewn
Reach into the 4 inch opening and pull the lining through the sweater side.
Step 14: Fit the Lining Back Into the Hat
Fold in the seam salvages in the 4 inch opening. Pin the edges together and slip stitch the seam making a completed finished bottom edge.
Step 15: Put on Head Before Going Out on a Cold Day
It's done. Warm, non itchy, virtually free and saved 2 pieces of unwanted clothing from the landfill.