Introduction: Fleece Pirate Owl Hat

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My daughter asked if we could make a fleece hat together, an owl design.
"Sure! That'll be cute!"

So I searched online for some ideas and got a cute attack when I saw a Pirate Owl Hat. A few different girls have knitted or crocheted their own versions, but knitting is kind of a solo activity, and she wanted fleece anyways, so I implemented the trial and error method to translate it into fleece. If you are not a knitter/crochet, this project is doable for you!

Step 1: Fabrics and Measurements

Fleece is a great choice as it is 1.easy to work with 2. doesn't fray 3. Cozy and warm to wear

These are the colors that we got. The only one that she wasn't too crazy about was the light yellow; they just didn't have anything darker, but this was close enough.

I figured it made most sense to start from the top, which was the red pirate cap. I measured about 11" from mid-forehead to lower crown.

I folded a 13" square in half, then half again, and cut a quarter circle, to make a 12" circle.

Step 2: Darts and Trimming

I placed it on her head and determined that 4 darts would cinch it in symmetrically. I folded the four corners and she chalked the darts at 1" deep, or wide, with a length of 4". Sewed the darts, using 80/12 ball point needle.

When she tried it on we discovered it needed to be more snug, so I sewed each of the darts a little wider, then cut the excess off. Now it fit nicely.

Then I trimmed the bottom between the darts to make it circular again. (the darts distort it)

The finished top.

Naturally you will have to adjust all this accordingly if you are making one for a baby or a granddad. : )

Step 3: Body Layer

The circumference of the bottom of the red cap tells me I need a strip of the beige to measure about 24" long.

I made it about 3" wide, as well.

I serged the ends together, making a continuous band. (4 thread cones/2 needle)

I then serged the band to the bottom of the cap, lining up edges.

Press seam towards top.

Step 4: The Shirt

Every pirate needs a blue and white shirt, right matey?

I cut 2 strips of blue and 2 of the white, 2" x 24". There is only one white stripe, but the white fleece was thin so I wanted to double it up.

I then serged all three pieces together and trimmed the edges even.

Joined the ends together and matched up the back seams of that and the beige layer above it.

Right sides together, I serged the beige and blue/white bands, cutting a good 1/2" off of the blue. You'll see as you build each layer how thick or high each layer should be as you do fittings on the hat recipient, or an approximate model. : )

Press seams nice and flat.

Step 5: Facing

This blue section is to face/line the shirt and body all at once. This is where you want to finalize the size.

The strip is about 5" x 25". I believe I removed another inch or so to snug it up.

Join ends and pin to bottom of hat.

Serge to hat bottom.

This is what it looks like, right-side out.

Turn hat inside out. The seam between the bottom blue stripe and blue facing should be slightly facing the inside. You don't want to see that on the outside. Meet up with red edge and trim any excess.

Serge all three(red/beige/blue) layers together.

Step 6: Ear Flaps/body Bottom

Sure is colorful!

Check the fit to make sure all is good.

This super-soft brown fabric is thin, frays, and needs to be doubled up. I cut 4 of them. The triangular part is the ear flap, the square above will go up the sides of the hat to reach the red/beige seam.

Place right sides together and serge sides only, leaving top open for turning and bottom open for ties.

What it should look like.

Step 7: Ties

Red black and white look sharp together, so I cut 2 strips of each color. Make sure you cut along the grain, not against it. They were 1" x 18".

I pinned them together and attached to a drapery to make for easy braiding. Malena enjoyed that part!

You could just sew the bottoms, or add buttons like I did later. Gives them a nice weight.

Step 8: Ear Flap Tails

Now feed the tops of braids through the ear flaps, just beyond top about 1/2".

Serge end, being sure to catch everything in nice and strong.

Turn right-side out. Cool!

Step 9: Looks Rastafarian!

Find exact sides of hat and center ear flaps to red/beige/blue serged seam. Extend brown flaps a bit beyond, ensuring that everything is caught in the seam. Serge.

This is what it looks like.

Turn right-side out.

Top stitch along white stripe, catching all layers. Make sure there is a slight slack with the flap as you don't want it tugging the top of the hat down. I used a heavy duty machine/needle.

Step 10: Look at Those Big Eyes!

I made 4 circles with the beige, about 3.5" in diameter.

Cut x's in two of them for turning.

Sew, right sides together, and trim seam.

Turn. Looks like a button!

Step 11: The Whites of His Eyes

Cut 4 more circles, this time with the white. Cut a little smaller than the finished beige.

Sew, trim and turn right side out. Place over beige to see if size looks good. You may need to sew a slightly smaller circle, or leave it as is if you like it.

I stitched mine to the beige using a zigzag stitch. You might go slowly for control, so you may skip some stitches. Go around again at a slightly faster speed and it should be great.

Pin to front of hat, centering as shown, nearly touching at the center.

I sewed that to the hat using a straight stitch, very close to the edge. I sewed huge buttons on; you could as well or just use felt.

Step 12: Ears to Hear You With

I cut 4 curved triangles from the beige, then thin strips using all of the colors.

The strips were maybe 4-5". Make sure you cut along the grain and not against, or they will break apart.

Sew as shown, ears right sides together, strips sticking out to ensure that everything gets locked in the seam. Make sure they don't get caught in the sides of the triangle, though.

Turn right-side out for instant party!

Step 13: Slit, Stuff and Smile

Cut slits in top of hat, 1" less than bottom width of ear. Be sure of placement and size before you cut the slits.

Stuff ears lightly with some batting.

Turn hat inside-out and feed ear bottoms up through slits, extending just beyond. Sew a continuous seam, catching everything in.

Turn right side out and check for cuteness!

Step 14: Wings

Owls fly so.....

I cut 4 wings from the beige, sewed together, leaving tops open for turning.

Pin to hat and stitch on, as wing faces up.

This gives it nice flapability!

Can't forget the nose! Two layers of the yellow, hand-sewn on with thick gold thread.

Step 15: Cap Tie

The Pirate's doo-rag needs to be tied, so I created one.

Just two strips, folded in half lengthwise, sewn, and turned out.

Tie a square knot, adjusting to make a nice shape.

Using a seam ripper, open up part of the serged seam where it will be pulled through to the inside and sewn. Do not do this from the outside, only break all of the threads from the inside. The fleece is very easy to rip with a seam ripper because the seam is so tight.

Feed wrong ends of tails all the way through to the inside. Stitch, cut off extra, making sure that it lines up with old seam. I just used a straight stitch.

Turn inside out and admire the tie!

Step 16: Argh! the Patch

I cut a shape as shown, looks like mitosis.

Fold in half and sew from top to top, stopping 1/2" before each edge. Cut x for turning.

Turn and press for a nice, contoured shape. Feed a black shoelace through the tunnel at top. You may want to iron it first if it is all bendy from being packaged.

After you decide the proper length that it should be, cut, sharpie, and lightly burn. You may have to practice a couple of times before you just melt it enough without burning through the black layer, exposing the white. The proper length of shoelace is determined by pinning patch over eye and tying around and behind ears, and tying a square knot.

I tacked the patch over the eye just at the top, defining the tunnel and allowing it to be flipped up. I also tacked the lace at the outside corner of each ear.

Step 17: I Just Had a Cute Attack!

She Loves her new hat!!

It's VERY warm, adorable, and sure to get lots of attention.

Hope this inspires you to make your own...

if you have any questions, just ask!