Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Making a Baby Hat

This is Matty:
We picked him up at the church rummage sale for 50 cents. At the time, he was grungy and wearing a little cap, so I had no idea that when I cleaned him up, he could easily be mistaken for this:

People stop us all the time and ask us if he's a Chucky doll. This isn't always bad. A few people have asked if they can buy him from us, since having your own murder doll is apparently a thing. This really upsets Amelia, who wants the world to know that Matty's a nice doll who would never hurt anyone and is definitely not for sale. It's gotten so bad that she's started insisting that he needs to wear a hat whenever he's outside. 
I sunburn easily. Also, I look evil.
Because she's entering a fashion-conscious, baby-doll-loving phase, Amelia wants Matty to wear different hats every day, to match his outfits and his mood. As a result, I've learned to make a quick baby hat in about 20 minutes without a commercial pattern. Here's how:

First, you need to measure your baby's head from the forehead to the nape of the neck and around the circumference of the head where a hat would sit. (If you're making hats for a gift and don't have a baby handy, or if you have a wiggly baby who doesn't like being measured, Matty wears a newborn-sized cap and his head measures 16" around and 12" top to bottom).
Next you'll need to make your pattern. Fold a piece of tissue paper in half and mark half the measurement of your baby's head from top to bottom and 1/4 of the measurement around. Add a quarter inch or so to each side to give your baby a little room in his cap and add an inch or so to the bottom if you'd like to fold the hat over when you're done with it. So, for Matty's hat, I've measured 7" top to bottom and 4.5" across: 

Next, draw an arc from the top measurement out to the farthest circumference measurement and draw a straight line from the farthest circumference measurement to the bottom: 

Outside of those lines, draw 5/8" inches all the way around for your seam allowance: 

Turn the tissue paper to the other side and trace your lines, so you have a full hat pattern when you open up the paper: 
Cut four of these out on a piece of stretchy knit fabric. (I used one print here, but you can use a coordinating print for the lining). 
Match two of these pieces up, right sides together for the outside of the hat. Do the same with the remaining two pieces for the lining. Stitch together, using a 5/8" seam allowance. Trim the seam allowance and clip the curved part of the hat to the seam allowance. Turn the hat right side out and keep the lining inside out. 
Put the lining inside the hat, right sides together. Stitch the hat and lining together along the bottom of the hat, leaving a few inches open to turn: 

Turn the hat right-side out through the opening and slip-stitch the opening together. Turn up the bottom of the hat and it's ready to wear!

Now, Matty has a wardrobe full of hats, and Amelia's very happy! I've made these in fleece for warmer months, and I've started experimenting with embroidering them and stitching on flowers for Amelia's girlier dolls, too. 

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