Simple one-piece hats you can make: How to sew yourself some style! (1955)

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Simple one-piece hats you can make

Easygoing headgear: Hats you can make

How to sew some style! Cut in one piece and make in minutes

One little piece of bright felt by the yard, cut in a simple shape, a few quick stitches, no blocking at all — and, presto! — a hat.

Gustavo, brilliant young millinery designer, makes headlines this season with his backswept, windblown styles. Here are five versions, simplified for easy success by amateurs. They’re crushproof for packing or tucking in a pocket — a traveler’s or part-time hat wearer’s dream.

Easygoing headgear To cut in one piece and make in minutes

Vintage-style hats you can make

Another pocket-size edition — this one with no crown at all / A tiny head shawl, securely anchored by a bicycle clip

Backswept with pleats — just enough to keep your hair in place /  The Egyptian influence for a close-fitting hat / Softly draped beret that tilts to suit your hairstyle

Simple one-piece hats you can make Sew some style! (1955)

Easygoing headgear: Diagrams for hats you can make

SIZES: All hat diagrams are for a 22″ head size, but because felt has so much give, finished hats may be stretched slightly larger before adding ribbon band. Adjust back seam for smaller sizes.


Make all seams by bringing edges together so that they just meet (not overlap) and whipstitch. When hemming, loosely catch only a small amount of felt so that hem does not pucker and thread does not show on right side of hat.

It more shaping is desired, mold hat to head with hands or steam slightly and then mold to fit. Grosgrain ribbon, 3/4″ wide and 1″ longer than head size, may be sewed inside hat over hem edge.

Scroll down to see larger versions of the diagrams

Diagrams - vintage hats you can make - Headwear styles from 1955 (3)

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Vintage hats you can make: Diagram for style 1


MATERIAL: Felt, 11″ x 23″

Enlarge Diagram 1 for pattern (each square equals 1″ square) and cut hat and bow.

Pleat hat at A and B, following diagram; fold A to C, then B to A, and sew. Seam from C to D. Seam ends B; hem lower edge of hat. Pull point D over back seam B and 1/4″ below hemmed edge; tack.

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Fold bow in half lengthwise, and over-cast edges together. Wrap center with 1/4″-wide felt strip, and sew bow about 1-1/2″ above point D.

Diagrams - vintage hats you can make - Headwear styles from 1955 (1)

Vintage headwear: Diagram for style 2


MATERIALS: Felt, 12″ x 23″; grosgrain ribbon, 3/8 yard each 5/8″ width and 1″ width.

Enlarge Diagram 2 for pattern (each square equals 1″ square) and cut hat.

Topstitch 5/8″ grosgrain to each edge marked on diagram. Hem long front edge. Seam from hemmed edge to A. Ribbon side out. tack each point C to B; fold edge B down to hemmed edge. Try on hat and drape side folds. Tightly shirr center back, edge B, taking 1/4″ stitches; then sew to hemmed edge.

Fold 17″ of 1″ ribbon into flat bow. Cover center of bow with one end of 2-1/2″ strip of ribbon. and sew over shirring. Sew other end to inside of bat over seam.

Diagrams - vintage hats you can make - Headwear styles from 1955 (5)

Vintage hats to sew: Diagrams for styles 3 & 4


MATERIALS: Felt, 11″ x 15″; six l/z” pearl buttons.

Enlarge Diagram 3 for pattern (each square equals 1″ square), and cut hat.

Hem front and back edges. Matching A’s. tack a pleat at each side. Taking 1/4″ stitches. shirr each curved edge. Pull tight and join at hemmed edges, securing the tiny shirred pleats. Sew three buttons to each side of hat over shirring (see photograph).


MATERIAL: Felt. 12″ x 15″

Enlarge Diagram 4 for pattern (each square equals 1″ square), and cut hat.

Turn under front and side edges along solid lines and hem. Seam back edges. On each side of hat bring edges A-A and B-B together, and whipstitch for side fold. Make front fold, and catchstitch line C to line D on inside of hat. Loop ends of each side fold to inside of hat and sew.

Turn under edge of crown opening 1/4″, and sew. Cut 1-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ felt strip. Turn under long edges 1/4″ and tack. Wrap strip over back seam. and whipstitch ends.

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Diagrams - vintage hats you can make - Headwear styles from 1955 (4)

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Vintage hats you can sew yourself: Diagram for style 5


MATERIALS: Felt, 12-1/2″ x 13″; Lucite bicycle clip; 1-1/8 yards ball fringe.

Enlarge Diagram 5 for pattern (each square equals 1″ square), and cut hat.

With old scissors, cut clip to 11-1/2. Fold felt over clip along dotted line on diagram, and tack close to clip. Sew fringe around outside edges. Pleat sides by bringing A to A and tacking.

Diagrams - vintage hats you can make - Headwear styles from 1955 (2)

Simple one-piece hats you can make

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5 Responses

  1. This is a great post. Do you have the original and scanned it? If so, could you please post the directions the article says are on page 107? Thanks.

  2. Thank you so much. I can’t wait to try some. And I should mention I adore your page. So much cool American stuff from the different decades.

    1. Hi! Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have that page – and the magazine itself is boxed up and among hundreds of others. I hope to re-scan a few things one day, but for the moment, unfortunately, I don’t have access to anything that may be missing. I’m sorry!

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