Summer is here in Florida! For 2 weeks now, we’ve been seeing 90 or above every day. Even though it’s hot, we like to spend a lot of time outside – walking, going to the park, and playing in the back yard. But I’m a freak about us all wearing hats! Unfortunately, Peach has an incredibly small head, and it’s pretty much impossible for me to buy a hat that fits her. While I know that most kids don’t have this problem, I figured it would be nice to put together a simple tutorial for a girl’s sun hat that will fit your little one perfectly for this summer – that way you can make your own with some of the adorable fabrics out there!
- 1/4 yd cotton knit fabric
- 12 inches thin elastic (coordinating color if you want)
- Coordinating thread
Note: seam allowances are 1/4″ unless otherwise stated
Start off by taking a couple measurements of your kiddo’s head:
- The circumference, from the middle of the forehead, down around the back (the biggest part), and back up to the forehead
- The length from mid-forehead down to the bottom of the skull (where it meets the neck)
- From the top tip of the left ear, down under the chin, to the top tip of the right ear
To make the crown of your hat, you’re going to create a pattern piece. Draw a vertical line on a piece of paper the length of half of measurement (2) above, plus 1/2″. In my case, measurement (2) was 11″, so my vertical line was 11″/2, or 5.5″ + 1/2″, so 6″. Then draw a horizontal line centered at the bottom, with a length of measurement (1) divided by 4, plus 1/2″. For Peach, measurement (1) was 16″, so my horizontal line was 16″/4, or 4″ + 1/2″, so 4.5″. Then, on one side, draw a curve connecting the top and the side, as shown below. Fold the paper along the vertical line, and cut out the pattern piece along the bottom and the curve you drew.
You’ll need to cut out 4 of the above pieces from your fabric, with the stretch going side to side. While you’ve got your fabric out, go ahead and also cut the brim of your hat, which will be 2″ wide and measurement (1) x 1.5 long (in my case, 16″x1.5 = 24″ long by 2″ wide). Try to make the long part along the stretch, but if you can’t it’s not the end of the world.
Once you’ve cut your 4 pieces, put 2 of them right sides together and sew them together along one of the curves. Do the same with the remaining 2 pieces. Create the whole crown of the head by then putting the 2 halves you just created right sides together and sewing along the entire curved length. You can try it on your little girl now just to make sure it fits.
Now it’s time to work on the brim. You have two choices for finishing the outer edge: you can turn the long edge of the brim piece under 1/4″ and sew it, or you can use your serger to create a rolled edge, like I showed you in the ruffle shorts tutorial. Once you’ve finished the edge, you’ll need to gather the other long side of the brim piece, again using the method demonstrated in the ruffle shorts tutorial (turn the tension and stitch length both up as high as they can go on your sewing machine and sew 1/4″ from the edge). Measure the distance around the bottom edge of the crown of your hat, and adjust the gathered brim piece to the same length. Then, stitch the short ends of your brim piece together to make a circle, and use a zigzag stitch to attach it to the crown, lining the brim seam up with one of the crown seams.
I had to pause at this point to cook and feed the family dinner, so when I returned, I had an additional “tool” to enjoy with my sewing:
Lastly, I recommend adding a piece of elastic to go under the chin (especially if your little girl is as good at whipping hats off as Peach is). Subtract 2″ from measurement (3) and cut a piece of elastic this length. I measured 10″ from ear tip to ear tip, so I should have cut 8″ (you’ll see in the pictures below that my elastic is too loose, I actually cut 9″ which was too long). Attach the elastic pointing up into the hat on each of the side seams with a zigzag stitch (along the seam that attached the brim).
And that’s it! Your little girl has a cute, made-to-fit hat to wear this summer!
I have plans for more hat tutorials, so be on the lookout for those in the near future!