Sew a Hat – How to Make a Custom Hat in 5 Easy Steps

Sew a Hat – How to Make a Custom Hat in 5 Easy Steps


Learn how to sew a hat with this DIY tutorial. Free sewing pattern template included to make a hat customized for you.

Make a hat for anyone in any size with this tutorial

Hey y’all – today I’m going to show you how to sew a hat. I’ll be sharing how to make a hat like this particular one, but also share a template that will help you draft any kind of hat you want and then sew a hat. Using the tools and information in this post, you can sew up any kind of non-stretchy hat you’d like, from a top hat to a bucket hat to a baseball cap. If you’d like a stretchy beanie hat, check out this post instead.

If you prefer a video tutorial, check out how to make a hat below or on YouTube here. Note that I make the black bucket hat in the video, and the gray sun hat in the photo tutorial in this post. There are slight differences between the construction of the two hats, so I’d suggest both watching and reading to get all the info about your options when drafting and sewing a hat pattern. For the written step-by-step tutorial and so much more useful information, see below the video.

Parts of a Hat

Let’s start by talking about the parts of a hat, as shown below. There are really only 3 main parts – the crown, the side band, and the brim.

Parts of a Hat - http://mellysews.com

The crown of the hat is the very top. Depending on the style of the hat, it can be the same size as the head circumference, smaller or larger.

The band is the side of the hat. It connects the brim and the crown together. It can be a rectangle if the crown is the same circumference as the head, or more of a trapezoid shape to connect a crown and opening of different sizes.

The brim is the part of the hat that sticks out and provides shade to the face and neck. A hat brim can be the same width all around, or can be wider in some parts than others. For example, the brim of a cowboy hat might be wider on the sides to allow the sides to be shaped upwards and give it that characteristic silhouette.

Brunette woman wearing a black twill bucket hat shew sewed

How to Use the Crown Template

One main measurement is needed to make a hat, and that is the head circumference. You measure around the head where the hat will sit – usually just above the ears. Keep the measuring tape level all the way around. Then you’ll use that measurement to determine both the head opening of the hat in the brim and the size of the crown, and from the brim and crown you’ll make the band.

So, here I have a crown template pattern. When you download the pdf and print it, it looks like this:

Hat crown template - how to sew a hat - mellysews.com

It has crown sizes 24 1/2″ all the way down to 19 1/2″. Which means that you could use it for babies up to grown men. But first let’s talk about how to use it.

Depending on the hat style, you may want the crown about the same size as the head circumference (like the flat brim hat shown in this post), slightly smaller (like this rain bucket hat was) or larger (like how you gather in the crown of a chef’s hat).

In general, you’ll want to measure the person’s head and add 1/2″ (this is for the thickness the brim seams will add), then choose the size of the crown based on that. For example, my husband’s head measured 22 1/4″, so adding 1/2″ that gave me 22 3/4″, so I went with the 23″ template to start.

How to Draft Your Hat Sewing Pattern

Once you know what size head circumference you’re drafting for, you can make your pattern. Start by deciding if you want the crown to be the same size as the head circumference or smaller or bigger.

I decided that I wanted the crown on the hat in this post slightly smaller than the head opening. So I used the 23″ template and measured in 1/2″ (the seam allowance I used).  You can see this in the image below. You need to know the length of that dashed line in order to draft the top of your band.

Hat crown - How to sew a hat - http://mellysews.com

But here’s a trick you can use on the template for some sizes: measure in 1/2″ (or whatever seam allowance you’re using) on the template and then look at which circumference that is. In this case, measuring in got me to the 21″ circumference. So I didn’t have to measure my dashed line, because the template tells me it’s 21″ around. Obviously this doesn’t work with smaller hat sizes. So for those you’d need to draw the seam allowance line and measure it.

Use a hat template - How to sew a hat - http://mellysews.com

Once you have your crown determined, you can easily draft the rest of the hat. Let’s start with the side band. First, determine the side band height you want. In this case I used a height of 4 inches – which would put the hat above my husband’s ears with the crow resting on top of his head. If I wanted to make a top hat, I’d make a taller band, maybe 6-8 inches tall.

Draw a rectangle that is the height you want by the head circumference plus 1/2″ measurement. Use scissors to cut this rectangle into 8 pieces, starting from the top of the band and cutting to but not through the bottom edge. Then overlap the top edges enough to equal the seam measurement from the crown of the hat. This will create a curved piece.

For example, I started with a 4″ x 23″ rectangle. Do a bit of math: 23 (crown) – 21 (head circumference) = 2, 2 divided by 8 (number of cuts in band) = 0.25 or 1/4. I overlapped each piece 1/4″ so that the top of my side band was 21″ and the bottom was still 23″. Add seam allowances all around the side band, and you’ve got your side band piece.

Draft the side band - How to sew a hat - http://mellysews.com

To draft the brim, first you need to decide if you want a flat brim or a shaped brim. In this case I went with flat, and drafting that is as easy as determining the brim width (in this case I started with 5 1/2″ because the hubs said he wanted a really wide brim, but after showing it to him, ended up doing 4 inches as the brim, including the seam allowances. Don’t forget to add a seam allowance to the inside of the brim when you cut that circle out.

Draft the brim - How to sew a hat - http://mellysews.com

If you wanted a shaped brim, you would take a pie shaped wedge out of the brim and then close the gap – this would create a brim that would either flip up or flip down, depending on how you sew it in. The bigger the pie slice, the more the brim would angle. The idea is illustrated below, but note that you may wish to take your pie slice out of a different piece or you might want

Drafting a hat brim - how to sew a hat - mellysews.com

For hats like baseball caps, you combine the crown and the band, then sew up darts and add a brim only to the front edge of the pattern. The images below show how you’d do that. For reference 5 1/2 inches is a good starting number for the diameter of your crown piece for an adult baseball cap, and 3 3/4 inches is a good starting height. Here is an example of how you’d draft the pattern for a baseball cap or trucker hat; the trucker hat would have the sides squared up higher than I show for the baseball cap for a slightly wider in diameter crown.

How to make a pattern for a baseball cap or trucker hat

Before you cut your fabric, it’s a great idea to test your pattern with paper. Cut your pattern pieces out of a sheet of printer paper or use construction paper. Cut off the seam allowances or fold them down. Then you can tape or glue the pieces together to get a good idea of shape and fit before cutting your fabric. When I used to teach theatre, we often did this to make temporary costumes while we worked on the final hat.

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. All affiliate links are identified with (affiliate link) after the link or a commissions earned statement above the link(s).

Materials to Sew a Hat

For this hat I used cotton twill, quilting cotton for lining, and heavy weight sew in interfacing. For the bucket hat in the video I used fusible interfacing (affiliate link) Other materials you might use for hatmaking are wool felt, particularly if you’re trying to shape a brim, and buckram (affiliate link) for stiffening the brim. You’ll also need your sewing machine, needle, thread, etc.

Once your pattern is drafted, here’s your cut list:

  • Two brims of main fabric and at least 2 of interfacing or 1 of buckram
  • 1 side band of each fabric – main, lining and interfacing
  • 1 crown of each fabric – main, lining and interfacing
  • Grosgrain ribbon to finish the lining

Heavy duty sew in interfacing can give hats body and I find it easier to work with than buckram because it’s not as stiff. For this brim I used 4 pieces, sandwiched on top and bottom of the two brim pieces. Sew around the outside edge.

Sew the brim - How to sew a hat - http://mellysews.com

Trim the seam down to 1/4″ or less, then turn the brim right side out.

Trim seams - How to sew a hat - http://mellysews.com

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. All affiliate links are identified with (affiliate link) after the link or a commissions earned statement above the link(s).

Press the brim. A point turner (affiliate link) is helpful for this.

Press brim - How to sew a hat - http://mellysews.com

To reinforce the brim even more, I sewed a bunch of lines about 1/2″ apart (except for the two closest to the outside edge  those are 1/4″ apart)

Topstitching on brim - How to sew a hat - http://mellysews.com

Next, sew the side band together at the side seam. I sew the interfacing with the main fabric, and the lining separately.

Sew side band - How to sew a hat - http://mellysews.com

Pin the side band to the crown. As you can see, the crown is flat at the seam line, but not at the edges. This is OK as long as your seamlines match. Stitch. Repeat with main fabric crown/side band. Trim down seam allowances after stitching.

Attach crown to side band - How to sew a hat - http://mellysews.com

Notch the brim in the seam allowance all around the inside edge.

Clip curves on brim - How to sew a hat - http://mellysews.com

Pin the brim to the crown/side band assembly. Stitch.

Attach crown & side band to brim - How to sew a hat - http://mellysews.com

Add the lining into the hat, wrong sides together.

Insert lining - How to sew a hat - http://mellysews.com

To finish the inside, add ribbon. 1 1/2″ or wider grosgrain or satin ribbon cut to the head circumference plus 1/2″ and seam allowance works best. Sew the ribbon into a loop. Then, pin it over the raw edge of the hat and lining, so that the ribbon is against the brim. Stitch, then flip the ribbon to the inside of the hat.

Finish fat with ribbon - How to sew a hat - http://mellysews.com

Topstitch around the bottom edge of the side band to hold the ribbon in place and you’re done.

hat-14
Topstitch - How to sew a hat - http://mellysews.com

And there we have it – a new hat perfect for mowing the lawn and other outdoor work. I hope this tutorial is helpful for you to create the custom hat of your imagination.

Men's hat - How to sew a hat - http://mellysews.com

And since I think the hat makes the Halloween costume, check out some other hats I’ve made for my kids in this post.

Halloween Hats are the easiest way to make or break a costume. Find 10 great tutorials here - Melly Sews
How to sew a hat - detailed tutorial and free template for all head sizes - shows you how to draft/sew any kind of hat.





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A Detailed Guide To Sew A Free Peasant Top Pattern

A Detailed Guide To Sew A Free Peasant Top Pattern


Learn to sew a peasant top pattern for women. This free peasant blouse sewing pattern is easy to make and wear.

How to sew a peasant top with a free sewing pattern for women

Hey y’all, today I’m going to show you how to sew a peasant top pattern. I’m also sharing a free pattern, video tutorial and a couple of variations of this peasant top pattern. It was bound to happen eventually…kind of like the Pillowcase Dress, how to sew a peasant blouse is another of the most searched for and requested tutorials on sewing blogs, including this one.

Belted Women's Peasant Top Pattern - Sew a Peasant Top - Melly Sews

I think peasant blouses are popular because they’re loose and fit a lot of figures without having to do bust adjustments or other fitting. So, today I’m sharing a free pattern for my women’s peasant top. I even used this pattern to make the cropped and off the shoulder version below.

Cropped peasant top pattern

Best Peasant Top Fabrics

Fabrics with a lot of drape work best for this style of top. Otherwise it can look rather tent like. The examples in this post are sewn from cotton voile (white cropped version) rayon challis (red waist length version) and polyester crepe (navy blue version). Stretch fabrics can also work well, just be careful of the weight. Lightweight knits are best. Other suitable fabrics include gauze, lawn, batiste, silk charmeuse, lightweight linen, etc.

The versions of the pattern in this post have an elastic neck. But you can also do a drawstring neck like I did in the blue short sleeve version featured in this Reel (it’s the dark blue geometric print) or elastic shirring like I did in the dress version I made featured in this post.

Woman in a waist length peasant top

Materials to Sew a Peasant Top

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. All affiliate links are identified with (affiliate link) after the link or a commissions earned statement above the link(s).

To make your top, you’ll need:

  • 2 yards of 60″ wide fabric. Make it 2 1/2 yards if your fabric is 45″ wide.
  • 1 yard of 1/2″ wide single fold bias tape
  • 1 yard of 3/8″ or 1/4″ inch wide elastic
  • Safety pin or bodkin (affiliate link) to pull the elastic through the casings. Note that while I love my bodkin, mine is too wide to pull through the narrow casing on this pattern. Other bodkin styles might work better.
  • optional – elastic thread (affiliate link)
  • The pdf pattern, see below
Woman in a peasant top and jeans outfit

How to Get the Free Downloadable PDF Pattern

The pattern is in a women’s size 36″ hips. The hip measurement is actually the most important here, since there’s lots of gathering and ease around the bust.  If you need to make the pattern bigger or smaller, check out this post.
To get this pattern, click your preferred option from the buttons below as a newsletter subscriber or gallery access pass purchaser. Note that the free version of the pattern does not have printable instructions.

Please note that all my free patterns are licensed for personal use only (no selling items made from this unless you purchase it) and by downloading you are agreeing to this license.

Women's Peasant Top Pattern - Sew a Peasant Top - Melly Sews

How to Sew a Peasant Top Sewing Pattern

To sew your peasant blouse, watch the video below or on YouTube here if it won’t load below for some reason. Or scroll below the video for written instructions.

So, print and cut out your pattern pieces. Need help with printing? Check this post.

In the video above, I used French seam finishes. This post has more details on French seaming.

To assemble the shirt, first pin the front edge of the sleeve piece to the bodice front, right sides together. Repeat with the other sleeve on the other side of the front. Stitch and finish the seams. I used French seams to sew mine.

Step 1 - Women's Peasant Top Pattern - Sew a Peasant Top - Melly Sews
Step 1 finished - Women's Peasant Top Pattern - Sew a Peasant Top - Melly Sews

Then pin the back sleeve edges to the bodice back right sides together. Stitch and finish the seams.

Step 2 - Women's Peasant Top Pattern - Sew a Peasant Top - Melly Sews

Fold the shirt in half, right sides together, matching the underarm seams. Stitch down the sleeve and side seams in one long seam and finish the seams.

Step 3 - Women's Peasant Top Pattern - Sew a Peasant Top - Melly Sews

Unfold bias tape and pin right sides together to the neck edge of the shirt. Start at center back, and fold the short raw edge of the bias tape up 1/4″. Pin around the neckline until you get back to your starting point, fold the bias tape so it meets the fold you made to begin with, and then cut off the excess. Stitch around the neckline in the fold closest to the raw edge.

Step 4 - Women's Peasant Top Pattern - Sew a Peasant Top - Melly Sews
Close up of step 4 - Women's Peasant Top Pattern - Sew a Peasant Top - Melly Sews

Turn the bias tape to the inside of the neckline and press. Stitch as close as possible to the free edge of the tape to secure it in place.

Step 5 - Women's Peasant Top Pattern - Sew a Peasant Top - Melly Sews

Cut 23 -26″ of elastic – the longer your elastic, the lower cut and/or wider in the shoulders your shirt will hang. Thread the elastic through the casing made by the bias tape.

peasant-top-4-2

Hem the bottom and sleeves by folding fabric to the wrong side 1/4″ twice.

To gather the sleeves, you can either sew in a bias tape casing like you did for the neckline, or use elastic thread. If you choose to do a casing, sew 1″ from the sleeve hems. If you want to use elastic thread, wind it on your bobbin (hand wind if you have a side loading bobbin, machine wind if you have a drop in bobbin) and use a long stitch length, then sew 2-3 rows 1/2″ in from the sleeve hem. This post shows how you shirr with elastic thread if you’ve never done it before.

peasant-top-5

MORE PEASANT TOP STYLING CAVEATS

  • Peasant tops often look best with a belt.  So you look like you have a waist. You can play with both skinny and wide belts, but definitely try one
  • Since this top has a lot of volume, keep the bottoms slim. Skinny jeans, leggings, a pencil skirt – all of these work well with a peasant top.
  • Play with sleeve length. Since we’re going into fall, I wanted an elbow sleeve, but short or long sleeves can also look nice. You might not even want to gather the sleeves – bell sleeves in both long and short lengths can be fun too.
  • If you’re up for it, you can even try wearing this top off the shoulder. Opt for longer elastic if that’s your plan.
  • Consider adding a  placket – you can do it like this tutorial, and then add a drawstring instead of elastic to tie it in front. You don’t even have to do buttonholes if you make the placket fairly short.
  • But please, please, don’t add ruffles to the neckline. You run the risk of looking clownish. Especially if the ruffles are wide.
Red print peasant blouse and custom embroidered jeans outfit
Women's Peasant Top Pattern - Sew a Peasant Top - Melly Sews





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