Kufi-style Hat

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Introduction: Kufi-style Hat

About: I run Neal's CNC in Hayward, CA, an expert CNC cutting and fabrication service. Check out what we do at http://www.nealscnc.com/. I'm a founding member of Noisebridge, a hackerspace in San Francisco, and Ace …

It happens to everyone. You accidentally shave your head, and then your head is cold all the time.

Here's what to do about that! Make a fitted hat with a fur or velvet inside. It's about the fastest hat there is, much faster than making a Hex Hat or even knitting a toque.

Step 1: Cut the Sides and Crown

You'll need about a quarter yard of fabric; an eighth of fur or velvet or something else soft, and an eighth of outer fabric. These can be the same but I like contrast. I use scraps from other projects.

Measure your head at its largest circumference. We will call this measurement H. From each of your two fabrics, cut a rectangle that is H plus 1.5 inches long, and 6 or 7 inches wide (depending on how big your head is). These will be the sides of the hat.

For the crown, cut an oval shape that's H + 2 inches around, or thereabouts (don't go much smaller than this). I made a paper pattern by folding a piece of paper in quarters, then cutting a line about (H + 2) / 4 inches long (see pic). Cut this out of your outer fabric.

Step 2: Construct the Sides

Stitch each of your long strips together end to end to make two fabric rings. I zigzagged over the flattened seam of the outer one because I did not want to wait for the iron to heat up to iron it.

Turn one right-side out and place it inside the other so the right sides are together. It's tidy but not essential to match up the seams. Pin if you like, and stitch around the long edge.

Turn this right-side out now, so the seam is folded to the inside. I find it helpful to stitch the other long edge together at this point. This time the wrong sides are together.

Step 3: Attach the Crown

The final step is to attach the crown. This is the only tricky part, as you're stitching a fairly curved piece to a straight one. The trick is to line it up properly and go slow.

Find, and place pins to mark, the quarter distance around both edges. For the side piece, place a pin opposite to the seam, then fold so these two points meet and place a pin at the two fold points.

For the crown, fold the piece in half along each of the two axes in turn, and pin at the folds.

Now pin the two sections together at each of the marked quarter points. The sides should be inside out (soft fabric on the outside) and the crown should be upside down.

With the hat sides underneath and the crown on top, sew along the edge on approximately the line you sewed the two sides together along. Make sure the pieces remain matched up at the pins, and be careful not to get a fold of the piece underneath caught in the stitching. You may have to make a smaller or larger seam allowance on the crown depending on how well the lengths match up, or you may have to stretch the diagonal bits a little. All of this is fine, it won't show on the outside.

Step 4: Edgestitch and Turn

Finally, it's nice to run a zigzag stitch around the edge of the crown/side seam to keep it from ravelling. If you have a serger that is even better.

Turn the hat right side out and try it on!

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    16 Comments

    0
    wobbler
    wobbler

    4 years ago

    Thanks for this. I'm about to make one. How oval do you make the top?

    0
    merlin711oregon
    merlin711oregon

    Reply 5 months ago

    Most of the ones I’ve seen are round not oval, I’m not saying it’s not possible or a great idea. My husband has more of an oval head.

    0
    wobbler
    wobbler

    Reply 5 months ago

    Your comment got me thinking, aside from "what was I thinking?" 5 years ago- just what shape is my head? I did a bit of research online and apparently people have round, oval and long oval heads according to hat makers. It appears the oval head is the most common, but I couldn't find anything that actually said anything about what the ratios were for each version.
    https://www.charlesowen.com/guides/charles-owens-round-fit-helmets.html

    So, I first looked at my hats. All my soft hats and most of my baseball caps were round and probably just stretch to shape. However, my Fedora type and some of my shaped peaked caps were oval. So, I measured my head and measured my Fedora and also took a photo of it. I measured my head by making a rough caliper shape out of a wire coat hanger and then bent it to fit. Here's the results...

    The Fedora hat is a perfect oval 21cm x 18cm. I don't know if there is a proper mathematical curve for my cranium, but it's 19cm x 17cm-ish. Although the hat doesn't appear to be much different from a circle from the numbers, it looks a lot more oval than they suggest. The head image looked a bit conical so maybe I've got a bit of Neanderthal or alien DNA in there somewhere? Or maybe the hanger was alien technology? The hat is actually a loose fit but it definitely fits perfectly where it touches.

    Your post has now of course left me wondering if my head is slightly round, normal or a long oval. It would be good to be able to slice across it and then have a good look but, sadly, my garage MRI machine is only half built and there's no blade in my hacksaw. I think that might also be a little bit too drastic to see if a hat fits, so I might just go with my current technique of keeping on trying different ones until I get one close enough. Maybe I'll leave my cranium to science when I leave this mortal coil or am beamed back up to the mother ship?

    I'm not sure any of this really matters though because I have the sartorial ability to make anything look like it doesn't quite fit and it was really meant for someone else, even if measured using a laser micrometer.

    And in case you were wondering, no hats died in the making of this comment, but sadly the clothes hanger is toast.

    Wobblers Hat Head 1.png
    0
    rachel
    rachel

    Reply 4 years ago

    It doesn't have to be at all precise. Any oval that looks reasonably like the pictures will work fine. I usually make it by folding a piece of paper in quarters then cutting a quarter oval, opening it up, and trimming until it looks about right and has about the right circumference.

    Post a pic when you've made yours!

    0
    wobbler
    wobbler

    Reply 4 years ago

    Thanks, will do. I play in a music group for old folk and our outfit is unusual hats I just hope it looks as good as yours!

    0
    crystalestuart
    crystalestuart

    11 years ago on Step 2

    I'm so  happy to have found this pattern! Although i'm still finding it a bit hard when I have to sew the crown to the band. Also I'm doing a size 21 5/8, which is about a small or really the average ladies size head. How do i make a bigger size eg. 23inch or 24inch for example? I want to make at least three different sizes but don't know how to do that. I would appreciate some ideas. Again, so excited about this online help.
    Thanks 
    Crystal x

    0
    Amberkitten131
    Amberkitten131

    Reply 3 years ago

    As someone that makes fabric hats for a living, Measure the circumference of your head. Add at least 3cm/ 1.5in PLUS seam allowance. This will give you your hat band. Any 20cm/ 4in radius circle will sew on nicely to a medium size (59-62cm) head.

    If you need a larger headband fit, only increase the crown by 1cm radius per extra 4cm of headband.

    0
    rachel
    rachel

    Reply 11 years ago on Step 2

    Sewing a straight line to a curved line does require a little skill.  It gets easier as you do it more, of course!

    To increase the size of the hat, make the band longer by the amount you want to make it bigger.  Increase the size of the crown pattern so that the seam line (not the cutting line) is the same length as the new length of the band.  You can use a regular cloth measuring tape to get a sense of the new larger crown shape; and it doesn't have to be EXACT, because there's some bias in the oval so you can stretch or ease it a little as you sew.

    I'd love to see pictures of your results!

    0
    gmjhowe
    gmjhowe

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    wait! now its a definitely russian hat!

    FEE0176FM2KBX2Q copy.jpg
    0
    rachel
    rachel

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    pffff (spits out water all over keyboard) how did i miss this first time around? that's hysterical.

    0
    gmjhowe
    gmjhowe

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    haha! i kno, i miss some comments occasionally, i just couldnt understand how it could be russian without vodka, so, with my good friend photoshop i went about sorting that out.

    0
    gmjhowe
    gmjhowe

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    thanks! i do like a little play around in photoshop.