I made a whole bunch before Christmas, and can easily make 2 or 3 in an evening after work!
First things first, find your equipment.....
- Your choice of fleece - I like microfibre, but you can choose anything warm and cosy.Either go for a single colour for the simplest version, or a selection for a stripey hat or one with decoration (I'll explain how much in the next step - it varies!)
- A tape measure
- Tailors chalk, or a felt tip that will show up on your fleece
- Sewing Machine (or needles, if you're doing it the old fashioned way...)
- Thread, in a similar colour, or contrasting if you want the detail to show up
- Anything you want to decorate it with - buttons, beads, pretty bits of ribbon, pom poms.....
Ready? Off we go....
Step 1: Measuring and Marking
Ok! Grab your tape measure. You need to measure around the head of the person wearing it, just above the ears, a little like the diagram below (the red line) - don't pull tightly! Got your measurement? Add 3cm (or 1 inch, if working in imperial) to this number.
Heres mine: 60cm (24") round the head, which, with the 3cm (1") add on, gives me a length of 63cm or 25". This is the first of your measurements...
You're now going to mark out the rectangle you need to make your hat.
Lay your fleece out flat on a table. Grab your tape measure, and your chalk or felt tip.
Start by measuring out the length (the head measurement we just took). Work from an edge, and measure the length of the line before marking. If in doubt, add a little, don't take it away!
You're now going to add the height. Your rectangle needs to be 30cm tall.
Once it's all marked out, and you've checked your measurements, cut it out.
Step 2: Cutting & Shaping
Right.... Take your newly cut out rectangle of fleece, and lay it out in front of you.
You're going to make a zig-zag line at the top, a little like a Christmas cracker hat.... You'll end up with 7 points (5 full ones and 2 halves), and each one should be 1/6th of your length apart - round the numbers though, accuracy isn't essential, just make it close enough. For my 63cm length, I'd do 3 at 10cm and 3 at 11cm. They should each be around a third of the depth of the hat.
You need to sew the zig zags together - in pairs, like the coloured image, and try to use a 15mm (1/2") hem.
If you're using a sewing machine, use a zig-zag stitch setting, on a medium width setting. If sewing by hand, use an overcast stitch (looping over the edge).
You'll find it gets a bit tricky towards the end of the row, but be patient and keep going!
Save the outside edges for last, and then sew these up in exactly the same way - do the zig zag part at the top,
When you've done all the zig zags, and your hat is starting to look nice and round, sew up the rest of the outside edge.
Step 3: The Final Parts...
At this point, your hat should be almost complete, apart from the bottom hem. You've sewn up all the top parts, and completed the side seam. It's wearable, but not quite right...
We're going to make a rolled hem at the bottom, to give it a bit of weight, and add a little elasticity. Fold the bottom edge up around 3cm/1", and then fold it over again. It's up to you whether you fold it forward, and create a band on the front of the hat, or backwards and hide it - I like the detail it adds, but not everybody does.
You need to sew along the folded line you've just made, around 5mm (around 1/4") away from the top of the folded hem (the red line on the diagram)
Tie of any loose threads, and cut away excess bits. You might find it helps to trim away parts of the hems inside the hat, to make it more comfortable and look less bumpy...
Step 4: Make It Pretty!
You're done! It's time to add buttons, ribbons, flowers, bows.....
And then wear, be warm, and enjoy!