February 23, 2011
I made a second hat in order to do this tutorial. I made the gray hat from a wool blazer and the second hat (shown above), I fashioned from a pair of wool pants.
To make the hat, you first have to felt the wool. Start with a 100% wool. If you use a blend, it may not shrink evenly. Check the label for a I remove all the buttons and such before felting.
Felting is easy. Toss the clothing into your washer with hot water and a bit of soap. Allow it to run through a heavy duty wash cycle. Check on it every now and again to see how it’s shrinking. Sometimes I need to let it run through the wash cycle to let it agitate longer. Once you take it out of the wash, toss it in the dryer and dry it on high.
When you take it out of the dryer, it will look like it may fit a 3 year old! Wool will shrink that much. It will also be all fuzzy looking.
Cutting and Sewing the Hat
Now that you have your felted wool, it’s time to cut out some pattern pieces.
Click the link above to print the pieces. The pattern will fit a 21 inch head. If you want the hat bigger, add a slight bit to the seam allowance on the triangular pieces, but keep in mind that the you need to multiply the amount you add by 12 to figure out the final size. For example, if you want the hat to fit a 24 inch head circumference, you only need to add 1/4 inch to the seam allowance on the triangular pieces. If you need a smaller hat, stitch the seam allowance a bit larger, but also keep in mind a bit off 12 sides equals a lot! I left about 2 inches of extra space in the brim to allow for expansion, if you need more, add a bit to the end labeled “back” on the brim pattern piece.
Cut 6 hat pieces and 1 brim piece from your felted wool.
Take 2 of the triangular hat pieces and place them with right sides together. Stitch from the top point to the base on one side using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Take a 3rd triangular piece and stitch it to the other two so you have half of the hat completed.
Repeat the process with the other three triangular pieces so now you have two halves of the hat. Place right sides together and stitch the two halves together. Turn right side out.
Figure out what you want you to be the front of the hat and pin the brim along the bottom edge. I usually make the front fall evenly between seam lines. Stitch the back seam.
If you have any remaining area from the end of the brim, just press it flat before stitching the brim to the hat.
Stitch the brim using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Finishing the Hat
After sewing on the brim, wet the hat in hot water. Take a stiff brush to scrub a bit at the seams on the hat to help blend them better. I like to squeeze the hat and remove the water so it’s no longer dripping and place it on your head to help form the rest of the shape. The cloche hat is pretty form fitting.
Place the hat on something to allow it to dry.
Embellish the hat and it’s ready to wear. I put a ribbon and fabric flower on one and a fabric band and clipped a flower on the other. The trim only needs to be tacked down in a few places. Wearing the hat can help determine the size of the trim. The trim may make the hat too tight otherwise.
What to make the coordinating fabric flower on the hat below? Click here for the free tutorial!
Let me know if you have any questions on this tutorial. I realize that sometimes my directions only make sense to me and my quirky brain.