Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Minky Baby Hat

Yesterday was cold, really cold and windy - yuck. Gross weather for a walk, but we walked nonetheless. Our outing pressed the need for a new hat for Baby A. She's outgrown the many mini hats I knitted before she was born, leaving us with two light cotton options. Not good choices for freezing temperatures. So I endeavored to make a quick, warm hat out of super soft minky.

This pattern creates a double thick hat so that the soft right side of the fabric is against baby's head.  Even taking pictures for the tutorial, I only spent an hour on this project - perfect for last minute baby shower gifts or a quick evening sewing fix. This hat will fit an average 3 month old. If you want to adjust it for an infant, only change the width. You can always roll the brim more. For an older child, increase the width and length.

You will need:
At least 1/4 yard of minky or some other stretchy fabric - fleece, jersey, interlock, etc... Don't forget to iron first!
Coordinating thread
Sewing machine with zig zag stitch capabalities
Basic sewing supplies - scissors, iron, pins
Baby hat for use as pattern. I explain how to make a pattern if you don't have a baby hat.

Start by folding your fabric in half length wise. Then situate the baby hat on the fabric 3" from the fold. I didn't want the top knot, so I rounded off the top when I traced the hat.

Trace the hat extending the line from the side down to the edge of the fold. Cut out your fabric with 1/2" seam allowance. Repeat, creating two long oval pieces once unfolded. You can use your first cut piece as a pattern for the second as seen here:

If you don't have a baby hat, don't despair.  The basic shape can be created by drawing two parallel lines, 5" long and 9" apart, starting at the fold of the fabric. Connect the two lines with a half circle. The half circle can be drawn freehand or with a compass set at a radius of 4.5". Cut along the line; these measurements includes your seam allowance.

Next, lay the pieces flat and pin right sides together.

Minky is reputed as a difficult fabric to work with because it's slippery, stretchy and dense. In my experience, it needs two things: a sharp needle and lots of pins. Pin the fool out of this fabric. I practically basted mine with pins. If the fabric is pulling or snagging, you probably need a new needle. I don't suggest a ball point needle as this fabric is somewhat difficult to puncture.

Using your 1/2" seam allowance, sew the two pieces together, leaving a 1" opening.

Remove the pins and turn the fabric right side out, pulling it through the opening. Close up the opening then iron flat.

Not seeing a hat yet? Watch this. Use your hand to tuck the "prettier" curved end into the other (one of my curved pieces held the flat seam from the opening).

Iron flat. Pin the two rounded edges together then stitch around the top edge, picking up both layers of the hat. By doing so, you hold the two layers of the hat together.

Using a zigzag stitch, sew a flat seam around the bottom edge of your hat. The zigzag is important so the hat can stretch around baby's head.

Turn the hat right side out, roll the brim, and Ta Da! your hat is finished. 

If you want to embellish it, remember a few things. The brim is turned, so you need to add the embellishment to the inside bottom edge. It will show when you roll the brim. Also, if you use a static feature like ribbon, only add it to the front. Otherwise, your hat won't stretch around baby's head.

Baby A was pleased to model for us.


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