Well here it is! I finally put together a tutorial for the bucket hats I have been working on for Laura. These reversible hats are given to cancer patients, and they area really easy to sew up. Once you’ve made one you might as well make a dozen. If you want to make some and send them to me, I’ll pass them along to Laura to bring to the hospital.
I left out any ironing in this tutorial until the very end, because when I make these I tend to make them several at a time and it’s just faster to skip ironing until they are finished. Of course, feel free to iron out the seems between each step if you are just making one.
1. Cut out your fabric in this basic shape. Mine are about 8 inches tall and 5 inches wide at the base. You’ll need to cut 6 pieces for the outside (x3 each in coordinating fabrics), 6 pieces for the inside (x3 each in coordinating fabrics), and 6 pieces of fusible interfacing.
2. Take the 6 pieces of fabric you are using for the outside and iron the interfacing onto the wrong side of the fabric.
3. Stack the fabric, right sides together, with fabric #1 on the bottom and fabric #2 on the top. It’s important that all three stacks are the same.
4. Sew down the right side of each stack, lining up the edge of the fabric with the edge of the presser foot. You can sew down the left side if you prefer, just do the same on all three.
5. Here is what you will have once all three stacks are sewn.
6. Snip the top off of each section to help keep the bulk down.
7. Next you’ll be sewing each of the three sections together. Notice how the pattern will alternate.
8. Line up two of the pieces, right sides together. You can pin them if you want. Then stitch down one side, leaving the same seem allowance you used for the three stacks.
9. Repeat step 8 to add the third section.
10. Once you’ve stitched down all of the edges, you’ll have the basic shape finished. Feel free to stick in on your head and feel accomplished!
11. Repeat steps 2-9 to sew together the pieces for the inside of the hat. Once you have both side finished, flip one over and slide it inside of the other side so the right sides are together.
12. Line up and pin each section at the seam, pushing the seams in opposite directions to help keep the bulk down. (See the end of this post for a little tip for if you run into trouble lining them up.)
13. Once you’ve got it all lined up and pinned, sew around the brim of the hat.
14. Leave one section open so you can flip it inside out.
15. Flip the hat inside out (or outside in I guess). It will look sort of like a ball at this point… In fact, now I kind of want to sew some balls for the kids.
16. Pull the edge nice and tight and pin all the way around. I like to use one pin at each section seam and one in the middle of each section, and three or four pins holding the hole closed.
17. Top stitch along the brim, sewing as close to the edge as you can.
18. I like to add some decorative stitches, I think it adds a nice personal touch. Trim up your loose strings, give it a good once over with the iron and you are done!
So Flynn probably isn’t the best model for the finished hat, but isn’t he adorable?! I suppose you could make a more precise pattern by measuring the circumference of the intended head and divided by 6. (Shaun would be proud of my math term usage.) Then you would make the pattern pieces that wide at the base, adding a bit of a seam allowance of course. I played around with the basic pattern shape a little bit and got some fun results! BUT that is a project for another day. (I’ll share as soon as I get the gift in the mail! Don’t want to ruin any surprises after all.)
Here is what you do if you are having trouble getting the inside and outside to line up just right. Say one side of the hat is slight bigger than the other side. Just unpin the two sides, and stitch up the seam a tiny bit. I ended up doing this a lot with the fabric I got from Laura, because the pieces were very unevenly cut. If you cut carefully and always use the same seam allowance, you shouldn’t have much trouble.
I hope that all makes sense! If you have any questions, just let me know.