Wednesday, October 21, 2009

How to Make a Simple Fleece Hat

For my halloween costume I needed to make a simple fleece hat so I would have something to connect the felt hair to (you'll see what I'm talking about when I post my costume). I also made this kind of hat for my fiance for valentines day, embroidered with Batman and he loved it. It's super easy to make, warm, and depending on the kind of fleece and embellishments you use it can be super chic as well. (I'm assuming that you have a sewing machine and know how to use the basic stitches)
Here is my finished product:

(I didn't do any treatment to the bottom hem because it's going to be covered for mine, but I will explain different options of what to do)
First of all you need the supplies:

1. Sewing Machine*
2. About 1/2 of fleece
3. Matching thread
4. Measuring Tape
5. Fabric Pencil
6. Scissors
Step 1
First you need to get some measurements. First measure around your head at the part where the hat is going to rest (in other words measure more around your hairline than going across the forehead). Now take this measurement and divide it by 4. This hat is comprised of four parts so this will be the length of the bottom of each piece.
Now measure from in front of your ear to the crown of your head. This will be the height of each of the pieces. Measuring in front of your ear ensures that the hat will be large enough to cover your ears. What good is a hat if you have cold ears?
Step 2
Now you will draw out the pieces using your measurements. Make a straight line the length of measurement 1. Now find the middle of that line and draw a straight line the length of measurement 2 perpendicular to it. Then draw curved lines from the top of the second line to the ends of the first line. You'll have a shape that looks like this:

Step 3
Cut out this piece and use it to create three more. Now you have all of the pieces of your hat!
Step 4
The sewing. First of all take two pieces of scraps of the fleece and practice sewing on it. Fleece can be a little bit tricky to sew on.
Now for the real ones. Take two of the pieces and lay them down, with the right sides facing each other. With fleece it's hard to tell which is the right side and which is the wrong side, so if you're having a lot of difficulty it means it doesn't matter since no one will ever notice.
Start at the bottom of the hat. Make sure to sew back and forth when you start so the seam doesn't come undone and slowly and carefully sew along the curve, leaving about a 1/4 inch seam allowance. When you get to the point stop and sew back and forth a few times again.
Do this with the next piece and one of the pieces you just sewed on. Do the exact same thing.
Now do the same thing with the last piece. The only difference with the last piece is that when you sew the final seam you will be closing the hat. When you do this turn it inside out and you'll have a hat!
Step 5
Try it on. If it's too loose just sew the seams again leaving a larger seam allowance this time and cut off the excess. If it's too small you'll have to start over (I've done this many times, it sucks but luckily the hat doesn't take too long to make).
Now for the hem the easiest option is to just fold the hem underneath to the length you want. Another option is to use a stretch stitch to hold the hem in place. Don't use a straight stitch or you won't be able to stretch the hat to get it on your head. The fanciest way is to use a decorative stretch stitch to hold the hem in place. But really, with this hat just folding it works fine and it stays while you're wearing it. And if it ever gets really cold you can unfold it and try to cover as much of your face as possible :-).
Step 6
Now you can embellish the hat. You could glue on rhinestones or sequins. In the past I've made batman ears out of the left over fleece and sewed them on. I've also embroidered a batman (my fiance really likes Batman if you couldn't already tell). Really it's up to you. This is a great base to put your creativity onto.
Congratulations! You now have your very own hat!

*This can be done with hand stitching it will just take a bit longer. Exact same process though.

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