Easygoing headgear: Vintage-style 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.
A pocket-size edition — this one with no crown at all
A tiny head shawl
This hat is 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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.