Friday, November 18, 2011

Adjustable Fleece Hat Tutorial

When my four year old was about a year and a half old, my mother bought her an adjustable winter hat with a cord stop on the back to tighten or loosen the fit. She wore that hat all the time and was very sad when she outgrew it. For a couple of years I have been wanting to figure out a way to recreate that hat, and this month's Point of View theme, "gifts", finally gave me the motivation to sit down and get it done. The hat turned out to be very much like the original, but I added my own twist to dress it up :) Here is my project for the November Point of View reveal...


My girls love them. They have been wearing them around the house for the last three days :)


These are fun to put together, and they are a relatively quick sew, too. The basic hat is super simple, then you just add a strip of patchwork, some elastic, and voila! My oldest likes that it can be adjusted to accommodate whatever hairstyle she has chosen that day.
These would make a great Christmas gift for your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends. They are a great scrapbuster, too!
Here's how to make your own...

Materials:
  • fleece (about 1/3 yd)
  • scraps of cotton (must be at least 2.5" wide)
  • thick elastic cord (6")
  • cord stop
  • fabric pen
  • scissors
  • coordinating thread
Instructions:

Step 1: Choose which size hat you are making and print out the corresponding template at 100% (no scaling, do not "fit to page"). The small template makes a hat that will fit a head that is about 18-20" around. The large template will fit a head that is about 21-23"+ around.



Step 2: For a small hat you will need a piece of fleece that is 9.5 x 24". For a large hat you will need a piece of fleece that is 11 x 26". Fleece stretches from selvage to selvage, but not in the other direction. It is important to make sure that you cut your fleece so that it stretches along the longer measurement. Also, fleece does have a "wrong" side. To find out which is which, slightly stretch one of the long edges of your piece of fleece. The fleece will curl toward the "wrong" side. Start with your fleece wrong side up. Lay your template on the left edge of your fleece, aligning it with the bottom edge (position 1)...


Use a fabric pen to trace from the bottom left corner of the template up and around to the bottom of the curve on the right side...


Move your template over to the right (position 2) so that the bottom of the curve on the left side of the template lines up with where you just left off tracing. You don't need the dashed line portion of the template for this trace...


Use your fabric pen to trace from the bottom of the curve on the left side of the template up and around to the bottom of the curve on the right side...


Move your template over to the right (position 3) so that the bottom of the curve on the left side of the template lines up with where you just left off tracing. Again, you don't need the dashed line portion of the template for this trace...


Use your fabric pen to trace from the bottom of the curve on the left side of the template up and around to the bottom of the curve on the right side...


This time, flip your template over before moving it to the right (position 4). Line it up so that the bottom of the curve on the left side of the template lines up with where you just left off tracing. Use your fabric pen to trace from the bottom of the curve on the left side of the template all the way up and around to the bottom right corner of the template. This time you are tracing the dashed line portion of the template...


Your template tracing should look like this...


Cut out your hat along the lines you just traced...


Step 3: Time to start sewing your hat together. Fold your hat in half right sides together...


Pin along the open right side all the way up to the point. Pin along the curve on the left side up to the point...


Using a 3/8" seam allowance, sew along the right side all the way up to the point. Then sew along the curve on the left side up to the point...


The right side should look like this...


Don't use a full 3/8" seam allowance at the bottom of the curve on the left side. Taper it off a bit, like this...


Open your hat up...


Fold your hat in half the other way, matching up your raw edges and the points you just sewed together. Pin together...


Using a 3/8" seam allowance, sew from the bottom of the curve on the left side up and around to the bottom of the curve on the right side...


Again, don't use a full 3/8" seam allowance at the bottom of the curves. Taper it off a bit, like this...


Step 4: On to hemming. Leaving your hat wrong side out, turn the bottom edge of the hat up 1" to 1.25". Pin in place. You won't need to worry about finishing the edge since fleece doesn't fray.


Sew all the way around, about 1/8"-1/4" down from the raw edge...


Turn it right side out. Your basic hat is done!


Step 5: Let's move on to the patchwork band. I took a bunch of cotton scraps and cut them all to 2.5" wide. On the purple hat, I cut all of the 2.5" wide pieces to different lengths. On the pink hat, I cut all of the 2.5" wide scraps to the same length. It depends on your preference. Once you have all of your scraps cut to size, piece them together using a 1/4" seam allowance. Press the seams open. For a small hat, you want a strip that is 2.5" wide by 18.5" long. For a large hat, you want a strip that is 2.5" wide by 21.5" long.


Lay your strip down wrong side up. Take the two short ends of your strip and press them 1/2" toward the wrong side...


Take the bottom long edge of your strip and press it up to the center of the strip...


Take the top long edge of your strip and press it to the center of the strip...


Your band is ready to be attached to your hat!

Step 6: Next you need to pin the patchwork band to your fleece hat. Turn your hat so that the long center seam at the back of the hat is facing you. You want to make sure that the ends of the band are an equal distance from this seam when you pin it on. You will need about 1.25" to 1.5" from the seam to each end of the band. It may take you a couple of tries to get it pinned on so that this measurement is equal on both sides...


You also want to make sure that the bottom of the band is 3/4" from the bottom of the hat. Measure every couple of inches as you are pinning it on to make sure that you are maintaining that 3/4"...


Sew around the top and bottom of the band about 1/8" from the edges. DO NOT sew vertically along the ends of the band!



Step 7: Now for the adjustable part of this hat. Take one end of your 6" elastic cord and insert it about 3/4" into one end of the band...


Sew back and forth over the end of the band a few times in two places: 1/8" from the end of the band and 1/2" from the end of the band. Insert the other end of the elastic about 3/4" into the other end of the band and repeat the stitching...


Pinch the cord between your fingers...


Insert the cord into the cord stop...


Done! Now enjoy watching their little faces light up when they get their hands on a cool new winter hat :)


Now it's your turn... Check out this month's Point of View collage and link up your past or present gift projects at the Point of View Gifts Link Party!




I'm linking up...

monogram

15 comments:

chris said...

Gwen, this is absolutely adorable. I think I may need to add this to my ever-growing to-do list!

Impera_Magna said...

Oh, how perfect! And just in time for the holidays! Another project added to my "to do" list... thanks so much!!!

Amy at Ameroonie Designs said...

Very awesome! I love that it adjusts! I have a little one who loves hats, and this will be a fun one to add to her collection. :)
xoxo,
Amy

Jonie Marie said...

Love this! I am always trying to find cute hats for the winter to put on my little girl, and this would be perfect! I love that it is adjustable.

Jen @ My Own Road said...

They're so cute! I love that the hat is adjustable so the kids can still wear it after one winter (I hate making something only to know it will only last a short time)

Michelle said...

Really cute and great that they can grow with them. I probably have most of the stuff to make them too.

gill said...

What a great idea! we all have large heads and have trouble finding hats big enough!!

Cook Clean Craft said...

That is so cute! The patchwork strip makes the hat something special, and being adjustable is so practical. I just wish it got hot enough here to wear fleece hats.

Lorene (just Lu) said...

How timely! I was just lamenting that a cute mascot hat (for our alma mater) I made for Paul doesn't fit anymore and wondering how I could make another that would last longer - this is perfect! You win yet again, Gwen :)

KJ@letsgoflyakite said...

This looks quite comfy and could be stitched up for boys as well. Ingenious use of the cord stop. Great gift idea.

Michelle L. said...

Love this! such a clever adjustable detail!

Hele said...

adjustable!, what a nice idea!

Michele Pacey said...

This hat pattern is great Gwen! I could use one of these (for myself) big time. I have a very strange head and can never find a hat to fit properly. Last winter, my husband and I fought over the same hat (it was his though, really) because it was the only one that I liked. It's still a sore point at our house. :)

m hoch drei said...

Thanks for the pattern. The hat looks great !

Heidi Szczepanski said...

These hats are so cute. Great idea.
Thanks for sharing.
Nice photos and instructions also.

Heidi
Exede

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