Cloche Hat Tutorial

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.

Felting Wool

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.

Cloche Hat Pattern

Open the pattern and 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.

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41 Responses to “Cloche Hat Tutorial”

  1. Mandy said:

    So cute! I’d been waiting for this tutorial – -

  2. Alyssa said:

    Thank you so much for the pattern! Just printed it out and the 2″ control squares make me SOOOO happy! I already have the perfect piece of felt. Can’t wait to start!

  3. Della said:

    Where do I find the pattern? I would love to make this hat for my granddaughter.

  4. meredith said:

    Hi Della. You can find the pattern under the Cutting and Sewing the Hat section in the post. I made it blue and underlined it so it is easier for people to find. Thanks!

  5. Wendy said:

    I’m curious about how the unfinished edges look. I’ve never worked with felted wool before, but I understand that it doesn’t unravel. Still I think I might try adding a bias tape edge to it.

  6. meredith said:

    That’s correct that the wool doesn’t require a finished edge, but adding bias tape anyway could be cute!

  7. mixie said:

    Hey, I just wanted to say thanks for the pattern! I made a really cute version, complete with silk lining from the same scavenged blazer =)

  8. Make a cloche hat — Sweet Living Online Magazine said:

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  9. Cloche Hat | My Magic Mom said:

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  10. rika said:

    This is just the perfect cloche I have been wanting.

    Can I make this using a ready made felt? It’s on sale on my local fabric shop. Will it be more difficult to work on felt (considering it will be quite stiff compare to wool)?

  11. meredith said:

    I’m not sure how felt would work. It may if it wasn’t that thick, difficult to bend craft felt. But, when using felt you would end up with a thinner thickness for the hat and you may need to use different seam allowance because it won’t shrink/stretch to fit your head like the wool will when it is wet.

  12. Analil said:

    I understand you’ll probably find this question silly, but what is a 2” control square and how do you use it? Thanks!

  13. meredith said:

    No questions are silly! The 2″ control square is for you to make sure your pattern printed the correct size. That square should measure 2×2 inches when it’s printed out. If it is bigger or smaller than 2 inches, your pattern pieces will not be the correct size either.

  14. Kari said:

    I am always so thankful for people who are willing to share their crafty knowledge with others! Is this a child-sized hat? Thanks!

  15. meredith said:

    The hat fits my school age kids and my head, but I have a little head. By the pattern, it will fit a 21 inch head. If you need it smaller, you can always use a bigger seam allowance.

  16. Norma said:

    Thank you for such good instructions and for the pattern. I will be giving this cloche hat a go as soon as I make a short trip to my Goodwill store in search of old wool jackets :-)

  17. Mags said:

    I love the pattern and can’t wait to use it. I found a leather skirt at Goodwill and am going to try it on that as well. Dork question? How do you do a lining? I “rescued” a maid of honor dress that would look lovely as the lining but do I follow the same pattern? :-)

  18. kathleen said:

    Thank you i’ve been look for a amazing pattern thanks, OLD HARBOR, KODIAK,Alaskan girl

  19. danuta morris said:

    you don’t need to use old garments to make hat buy some wool felt from your fabric shop, that what i will be doing.
    if you want to put a lining in the hat, just make the same as top, them sew right side together leave an opening for turning, turn then stitch the opening and you will have a lined hat.

  20. Paola said:

    Thank you for the pattern and the good instructions, you are very kind.
    Greetings from Italy!

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  22. Maria said:

    Thank you for sharing.

  23. meredith said:

    You’re welcome, Maria.

  24. Cornelia said:

    Hi, thanks for this great tutorial! :D
    The thing is, I dream about a hat with the brim folded up, like this: http://www.etsy.com/listing/122788849/millinery-classdownton-abbey-hatfebruary
    Is it possible to use this tutorial, and then simply fold up the brim when the hat is finished?
    Again, thanks! :)

  25. Cornelia said:

    Oh, and one more thing! The grey hat looks very nice and stiff, did you use anything in particular to make it that stiff?
    Sorry many questions 0:)

  26. meredith said:

    Hi Cornelia, The gray hat came out much stiffer than the brown one I made. It’s just the wool and how well it felts when you wash it as to how thick and stiff it gets. As for folding up the hat, I’m not sure how that would turn out. We have our house for sale so I’ve packed away all things we don’t need for the next few months and that would include wool hats. They are being stored somewhere so I can’t get them out and try to turn the brim up and test it out for you. If you could wait until about September, I could try then! I’m sorry I can’t be more help with that.

  27. Kassandra said:

    I am making the Cloche hats in the ‘All I do is Dream of You’ number in ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ and am going to try and use this pattern and just cut the front into the right shape. The only problem is they have to be a bubblegum pink, and I have to make twenty and where on earth am I going to find 20 bubblegum pink woolen suits… Can you think of a fabric other than acrylic felt that could work? Some sort of woolen fabric instead? Thank you for this pattern can’t wait to try it’s exactly what I have been looking for! xx

  28. meredith said:

    I think I’ve seen pink woolen fabric at Joann’s before. You may have to try some online fabric stores to find it, but I’m pretty sure it exists. If I see any while I’m out in the next few days, I’ll let you know where I found it. Sounds like a cute number you are working on!

  29. Linda said:

    Thanks for this pattern. We made 7 of them in a thick grey felt for a 1930′s/AG Kit doll party. I did enlarge the pattern by 108% …..guess we grow girls bigger in Minnesota. The sample I made using the pattern was too tight for our 7 to 11 year olds. We had a pile of ribbons and pin on flowers so each girl could “design” her own hat. I was amazed how long they left them on!!! Easy to make. I modified a baseball hat pattern for a matching doll hat. Fun day, Fun pictures. Worked out great. Again, thank you for sharing this pattern.

  30. sara said:

    Hi Meredith,

    Firstly many thanks for the pattern and tutorial. They are both fab. Just one question please, what is the control square for and when is it used?

  31. meredith said:

    The control square is used for you to measure after you print the pattern. If the square measures the correct size on your printed pattern, you know the pattern printed the correct size. I hope that makes sense!

  32. meredith said:

    I’m glad you were able to enlarge the pattern to fit your needs. The size I made fits my head, but maybe I’ve just got a tiny head! That’s a really cute idea for an AG party. I’d love to see pictures!

  33. Amelia said:

    I made one of these on a whim this afternoon and it turned out fantastic! My fabric came from a felted cashmere sweater and I plan to put some bias tape around the edge.
    As for being able to fold the brim up, I found that it works well even though my hat is not very stiff. What I think looks best is turning the hat sideways and folding up the widest part of the brim. Either way the effect is just what I wanted in a cloche. Thank you for a great tutorial!

  34. Sara said:

    Hi Meredith,

    Thank you for your response about the control square. Yes it makes perfect sense. I having a big head had to enlarge my cloche, but it was a hit at the party!

    Thanks a million again. Couldn’t have done it without you!

    Sara.

  35. Linda said:

    Not sure how to send you a photo of the seven girls….but would be glad to. Really don’t want it posted either. Could you email me, and I’ll reply?

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