I've made three Chefs / Bakers hats as gifts so far, and the kiddies seem to love them, so I thought I'd share my technique so that everyone else can join in the fun. It's a quick and easy project that you should be able to whip up in less than 1.5 hours.
Today I'm making a hat for my 10 year old nephew, so I've chosen fabrics that he likes (not necessarily what I like).
There are three different sections of the hat - Puffy Top, Headband, and Binding.
Lets begin with a list of things that you will need:
- Three fabrics (you won't need much so you can probably rummage through your scraps)
- Iron on interfacing for the headband
- For the closure - Snaps or Velcro or Ribbon or Buttons
- Sewing supplies - sewing machine, tape measure, fabric marker, rotary cutter, mat etc.
Step 1 - Cutting the Puffy Top
- Make sure that your folded edges are at the left hand side and at the bottom.
- Grab a dinnerplate, and place it on top of the fabric, and trace an arc onto the square, or just cut around the plate using your rotary cutter (you could also use scissors).
- Open out the fabric and you should have a fairly neat squarish circle (don't worry too much about perfection as it will be all gathered anyway).
Note: the smaller the original cut square of fabric, the smaller the puffy top will be. If you would like a really large and puffy chefs hat, just make the fabric square larger.
Step 2 - Cutting the Headband
- If possible, measure the head circumference of your intended
victimrecipient - my nephew is approximately 54 cm.
- If you're making this for a child, then it's best to add a couple of centimetres and the make the hat a little larger so that it will fit for longer (we're going to make the closure adjustable for different sizes later on).
- Cut two strips of fabric 8 cm wide x head size in length - I'm cutting mine 8 cm wide x 56 cm in length.
- Cut two strips of interfacing in the exact same size, and iron them onto the back of the headband strips.
Step 3 - Cutting the Binding
- I'm using a piece of straight cut binding for this project, so it's just a basic straight cut strip of fabric which I've turned into binding using my trusty Clover 25mm Bias Tape Maker.
- The width of the strip will be determined by the bias tape maker - I've cut my strip approximately 2.5 cm wide.
- The length is determined by the headband measurement plus an additional 30 cm.
- Therefore the strip of fabric will be 86 cm long x 2.5 cm wide.
- Run the strip through the bias tape maker - check this fab tutorial if you're not sure.
- Once I've done this, I then fold my strip in half again and iron it (turn the steam off beforehand or you'll burn your fingies).
Step 4 - The fun part (Construction)
- Place your two headband pieces wrong sides together (the interfacing on the inside).
- Sew around the four sides very close to the edges (the edges will be hidden later).
- Place your sewing machine on the longest stitch selection and sew a simple stitch line right around the circle, taking care to leave long threads at the ends (do not backstitch / backtack at beginning or end).
- Pull the bottom thread slowly and carefully (to ensure that it doesn't break) from either side to begin gathering the puffy top.
- Keep gathering until the gathered bottom circumference of the puffy top is the same length as your headband strips (in my case 56 cm).
- Tie off your threads so that the gathering cannot undo, and so that the size cannot be changed.
- Place your headband piece and the puffy top right sides together, and either sew or overlock the entire way around the hat.
- I find it easier to use clips rather than pins as the gathered puffy top and the interfaced headband are quite thick.
- Turn right sides out, and topstitch around the top of the headband (as you're topstitching, fold the overlocked or stitched seam from the inside, down towards the bottom of the hat, so that the topstitching is going through lots of layers and providing extra stability and support).
Step 5 - The binding
Now that the hat has been constructed, the binding will finish everything nice and neatly.
- Turn the hat to the back where the ends of the headband meet up.
- Using sharp scissors, make a slit up into the puffy top approximately 5 cm (this will help to form the adjustable closure).
- Start stitching the binding at the bottom corner edge of the headband (you can start with a raw binding edge as this will be covered later)
- When you get the corner, you will need to swivel 90 degrees and fold your binding and then continue stitching up along the edge of the headband, and onto the puffy top where you previously made a slit with the scissors.
- When you reach the top of the slit, swivel and turn and keep stitching the binding back down until you are approximately 5 cm from the end.
- At this point, you'll need to trim your binding to the correct length.
- Before trimming, ensure that you leave enough length to fold inside and under, so that you are not left with a raw binding edge.
Step 6 - The closure
When it comes to the closure, you could use buttons, velcro, or even ribbon, but I like to use snaps (probably just because I get to play with the hammer).
- Follow the directions that come with your snaps - I use a Snapsetter.
- I place the snaps at various intervals to allow for different head sizes.
For an alternative closure idea, check out this fabulous Chefs Hat by Lara from Thornberry.
Step 7 - Go forth and Cook or Bake to your hearts delight!