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"Hat Making Fun-Damentals"
by Bonnie B. Lewis and Mary Ann Kaahanui

© 2003 Lewis and Kaahanui

Lesson 3- A Hat For All Seasons

Now that you have learned all about millinery supplies and how to measure, you are ready to make your first hat. This simple cap has 5 variations and can be adapted to fit any doll. Begin by following the instructions to create a wedge shaped pattern piece. If you don't have a specific doll in mind, you can use the pattern we include at the end of this lesson. Directions are given for enlarging and reducing the pattern to fit any size head. But we strongly encourage you to try and draft a pattern FIRST before using the enclosed one. So get ready to have some fun!

This cap was originally worn by 18th century workmen in the printing industry to protect their hair while operating printing presses. It was made from scraps of inexpensive muslin. By altering the fabrics and trims you can make an exciting variety of hats suitable for both male and female dolls.

Goal - To devise a pattern piece for making a 4 sectioned soft hat

  • Recommended Fabric - see individual variations
  • Pattern pieces needed - 1 section. The pattern is available in 3 formats. Click on option below to print.


Note on Printing Correct Size Patterns... The straight line across the bottom of the hat pattern should measure close to 3-3/8". The Web Graphic will print the correct size for most students but some computer systems will print it either larger or smaller. The PDF and Word files should print correctly for everyone. When printing the PDF files make sure the options for "Shrink oversized pages to paper size" and "Expand small pages to paper size" are not selected (not checked) in the Print window that appears when you click to print page. If you need any help please contact support@craftycollege.com .


  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Tape measure
  • Doll head
  • Calculator


1. The first thing we need to know about the wedge is the height. Use a measuring tape to measure the doll's head (with hair) from CF (forehead) to CB (nape of neck.) Divide this measurement by 2 to determine height of wedge. Draw a vertical line this length on a piece of paper.

2. The next thing we need to find out is the width of the wedge at the bottom edge. To find this, measure around the largest part of the doll's head to find the circumference and divide by 4. Center a line this length at the bottom of the H line.

3. To shape the top of the wedge we need to place a horizontal line halfway down the H-line. This line should be 80% of the W-line. For example, if the W-line is 2.5" long, multiply by .8 and the centerline will be 2" long.

4. Now, all you have to do is connect the dots rounding the top edge to complete the wedge.

5. This hat has a turned up cuff that is about 1/3 the length of the H-line. Extend the sides of the wedge down below the W-line as shown.

6. To give this cap some ease because it is lined, we are going to add a 3/8" seam allowance all the way around the wedge, but when the pieces are sewn together a ¼" seam allowance will be used.

7. Label your finished pattern piece with the doll's name. Fold it in half along the H-line (to be sure it's symmetrical) and cut out.

General Construction:

1. Cut 4 pieces of hat fabric and 4 pieces of lining clipping the seam allowance at the top of the wedge as shown.

2. Sew 2 sections RST to form half of hat, and press seam open clipping as needed. Then sew 2 halves together, pressing seams open. Repeat for lining.

3. Put hat and lining RST and sew around bottom edge leaving 1" opening for turning.

4. Turn hat RSO, press lower edge if necessary, hand sew opening closed, then top stitch 1/8" from edge for a nice finish.

5. Turn lower edge up to form a brim.


Workman's Cap

Cut hat and lining out of muslin and follow directions above. On step 5 decide how wide turned up brim will be, and sew around hat (sample hat has line stitched at 1").


Ski Cap

  • 2 colors of lightweight velour
  • 10" of ¼" trim
  • 1-1/2" pompom

Follow directions using one color velour for lining and one for cap. After step 4, apply narrow trim to lining side of cap covering stitching line. When brim is folded up this will be on the right side. Stitch pompom to top of cap.


Canadian Cap

This cap was very popular in the 1700's, and was usually made from wool for warmth. Benjamin Franklin wore one to France as a diplomat. The brim can be folded down to cover ears in cold weather. Often a raccoon tail was added.

  • Black wool and lining
  • 16" of fake fur trim, 4" wide
    * When cutting fur, cut backing material only
  • Fabri-tac glue

Follow directions above. Cut a strip of fur about 1-1/2" wide and long enough to go around hat, with fur going down. Fold down top long edge of fur ¼" and glue in place to the back. Fold up brim, stitch fur to lining side, overlapping ends.


Optional tail: Cut a piece of fur 2" x 4" for tail. Bring 4" sides together and whip stitch closed. Gather bottom edge and sew to top of fur band so it hangs down.


Party Hat

  • Sparkly sequined fabric for hat and lining
  • Decorative button
  • 1" wide decorative trim which can be sewn or glued to bottom edge

Follow basic directions. Sew trim to lining side of hat along edge, fold hat up and sew hat and trim together along bottom folded edge.



King's Crown

  • Velvet, lining
  • 1" gold button
  • 12" of ¼" wired metallic trim
  • white fur 2"x10"
  • black permanent marker


1. Sew hat and lining together. Add fur band as for Canadian Cap. Tack brim to hat. Use black marker to make flecks in the white fur to look like ermine.

2. Cut metallic trim in half to make two 6" pieces. (This trim needs to be longer than finished hat so it can curve up and away from crown.) Tuck ends into brim at opposite sides, criss-crossing them at top of hat. Secure pieces at top of hat by hand stitching in place.

3. Cut shank off button and glue in place over metallic trim at top of hat.
The Sky is the Limit!

Dare to be different. Try cutting each wedge shape from a different color of fabric. Add a tiny propeller on top. Make hat from two contrasting cotton fabrics for a sunbonnet. This hat is as versatile as your imagination.

This course is the foundation for our next online hat class "From the Inside Out - Creating Hats With Structure", Click HERE for more information and to register.

This free introductory course is just that - an introduction. In "From the Inside Out" you will learn to create over 30 hats, along with trim techniques, variations, veils, etc. The class has 7 lessons, lots of patterns, projects, and step by step pictures to guide you. We'll look forward to having you join us on our hat making journey.

Bonnie and Mary Ann


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