|Posted on November 25, 2011 at 6:00 AM|
Is it just me, or does it seem like animals hats are everywhere now? I must have passed three kiosks selling them in the mall yesterday. Why buy when you can sew your own from leftover scraps of fleece? I designed this simple hat pattern with ear flaps for my two year old, but it can be easily adjusted to accomodate just about anyone. It has a folded brim that stays put and with only one layer of fleece on the top of the hat, junior's head won't get too hot. It can be finished in less than an hour and, it's free! You'll find it under templates on our Freebies page.
Materials to make the frog hat shown above:
Fleece (1/8th of a yard is plenty)
2 large white buttons
4 small black buttons
A handful of polyester fiberfill
Paper and printer for the pattern
First step, print the pattern and cut out the pieces. You'll also need to make your own rectangle template (20.5 inches by 3 inches) for the brim. Sorry, the paper just wasn't big enough for that one.
* You can find directions for how to adjust the hat size at the bottom of the post.
Trace the templates onto fleece and cut out the pieces. You should cut just one rectangle of fleece and four of everything else.
Begin by sewing the ear flaps. Put two pieces right sides together and sew around the edge. (I'm not too precise on my seam allowance, about 3/8ths to 1/2 inch.) Turn the ear flap inside out and sew about 1/2 inch from the edge to keep the ear flap flat. Repeat for the other two pieces.
Next, you'll do the eyes. (Ears if you're making a different kind of animal.) Sew the pieces right sides together. Turn them inside out and fill with a small amount of polyester fiberfill.
Time to work on the actual head of the hat. Place two pieces right sides together and sew along only one curved side. Repeat for the other two pieces. Open one of the head pieces up and position the eyes upside down along the curved edge of the right side of the fleece. (I have them about 1.5 inches from the center seam.) Pin in place. Open the other sewn head piece and place it on top so that the right sides of the head pieces are together, with the eyes sandwiched between them. Pin the edge and sew around it. Turn it right side out and it should like like the picture on the right.
I really think hats are more comfortable if the seams are flat, especially since this one doesn't have a liner. So, I sew the seams down. You do not have to do this step, but if you want to, you can simply line up the existing seam with the edge of the foot and sew away. This will keep that excess bit of fabric inside the hat flattened.
Fold your rectangle piece of fleece in half so the right sides are together. Sew the short sides together.
Now, people, this is the really confusing part. You are going to think that this is totally wrong, but trust me! It will work! Okay. Turn the hat back inside out. Pin the ear flaps upside down to the outside. They should be centered on the seam lines that have the eyes on them. Now, put the inside-out rectangle loop of fabric on the outside of this. It will look like the picture on the right. Make sure the seam from the rectangle loop of fabric llines up with what will be the back of the hat.
Okay, now, when you turn the hat right side out, it should look like this. Does it?... I'll take that as a yes!
By now, you know I like flat seams! I sew again around the bottom of the brim of the hat, about 1/2 inch away from the edge.
Time to sew on the nostrils and eyes. Why not save this for the end? I like to sew the black buttons on the for nostrils at this point because you can just sew them to the outer brim of the hat. No annoying knots of thread rubbing against your forehead. You can see how I've positioned them below on the left. (In hindsight, I wish I put them a little lower.) Overlap a black and white button and sew them to the eye flaps to make eyes.
Last step, turn the top edge of the brim under. Pin in place and sew close to the edge. (This is why I wish my nostril buttons were lower, they got in the way of this seam and I had to sew around them. C'est la vie.)
Tada! Your hat is done. Once you know how to do this one, the possibilities are endless. How about a black and white panda hat? A little brown bear heat? Cut the ear flaps into triangular shapes and make a grey kittten with a pink nose! Or keep it simple with a little pom-pom on top. Now get your munchkin outside and enjoy some cold weather fun!
*To adjust the template size:
Measure around the crown of your hat wearer. Add about 1/2 inch to this. This will be the length of the rectangular piece of fabric.
Divide this number by four. Add one inch. This will be the width of the head pieces.
Measure from the brow of your hat wearer to the top of his head. Add a half inch. This will be the height of the head piece.
For the ear flaps I just used a large tin can for a template. Pick a round object that is proportional to your hat wearer's ears.
Categories: Crafty Creations