Radar’s crew in his old squadron was very tight. They love flying together, and all got along really well. They also tracked several subs under rainbows… so that became their crew symbol. Radar asked me during deployment if I could make his crew skull caps to wear on their missions – in rainbow colors! It took me a while to figure out how to make them, but I think they turned out pretty well, and the crew ended up wearing them on all their missions!
My inspiration came from this website, but I had to stew on the project for a bit before I decided exactly how I wanted to put my own together. These caps would work well for under a helmet (such as for a pilot or riding a motorcycle) or as a cap for a nurse in the OR, and they’re relatively simple to put together.
The trickiest part of making something like this is sewing on a curve. I found a great tutorial here, but unfortunately it only works with a perfect circle, which this is not! But I found that with a lot of pinning, I could make it work pretty well. I also opted to use my serger so that all the internal seams were finished, but I’ll include instructions for using a sewing machine as well.
The directions below are to make the whole cap out of one fabric – but you’ll see, I used different colors for the bands so that each crew member would have their own. You could use different fabric for any of the pieces, or keep it all the same… whatever strikes your fancy.
- 1/4 yd (or fat quarter) of fabric
- Coordinating thread
- Skull Cap Pattern
Start by cutting out all of your pieces. Cut 2 of the pattern above, but cut them as mirror images (either cut one with the pattern right side up and one with it upside down, or fold your fabric and cut both out at once). Cut a piece 5″x18″ for the top of the cap. The last cut is a 2.5″x35″ piece, but you can also make it out of two 2.5″x18″ pieces sewn together; press this piece in half lengthwise. You can make the band the same color or a different color if you want it to be more whimsical.
Serge the short straight edges of the side pieces. If you don’t have a serger, you can fold the edge to the wrong side 1/4″ and stitch in place.
The next step is the hardest. Pin the 5″x18″ piece along the curve of one of the side pieces, right sides together. Repeat for the other side. Then start at the front of one of the pinned curves, serge from front to back on the side piece, curve around the tail of the top piece, and go back up towards the front on the other side – but be CAREFUL! You definitely cannot let those pins go through your serger! If you don’t have a serger you sew in the same order (front of one side, around the back, and back up the other side), but turn the edges in on the top piece as you go around it.
The last step is adding the band to tie it! Turn the cap right side out and pin the pressed band seam raw edges together, lining up the center of the band with the center of the cap. Serge from the tip of one side of the band around to the tip of the other, curving at the ends to make them a point; tie a knot in the tail on each side and trim the threads. On a sewing machine, turn the edges of the band in and stitch all the way around.
I made 12 for Radar’s crew, in all different colors so they would know whose is whose.
These caps whip together in about 10 minutes, so you can make a bunch!