Bucket Hat Theory

Girls' Bucket Hat

I finished a project yesterday!  Miss E has been BEGGING for a new hat…since last fall!  Adding Baby E to our family eliminated all sewing for 9 months, but I found a little time to get this project finished.  With spring here and summer coming, it’s the perfect time to get these hats made!

Miss E had a hat before that I made, but we lost it somewhere along the way.  Maybe we’ll find it when we move…that is one benefit of a big move!

IMG_2123    Child Children's Kid's Reversible Bucket Hat

I made this bucket hat for Mr. G about a year and a half ago, using a free tutorial I found at Sew Much Ado.  I enlarged the pattern pieces she used (see my pattern pieces below).  I felt like the sides were taller than I wanted, and the brim shorter than I wanted, so I adjusted the pattern to use for Miss E.

I still left the sides too tall, though.  I’ll make a note on the pattern for the next time I make a bucket hat!

If you’re looking to make your own bucket hat, here are some things you should know:

1.  There are three pattern pieces: the crown, the sides, and the brim.

2.  The crown can be an oval or a circle.  I used a circle for both of these.  This excellent Oliver + S pattern (free) uses an oval.

3.  You can adjust the height of the side and brim pieces however you want to.  The red hat has taller side pieces and shorter brim than the flowerd hat.  The crown pieces are the same.

4.  You can change the size of the hat by changing the diameter of the crown piece, and adjusting the side pieces accordingly.

5.  I think the easiest way to make a hat is to make it reversible.  It needs to be lined anyway, so this works well.  Just make two hats of the same pattern (same size).  Put one inside the other with right sides facing (wrong side out).  Sew around the brim, leaving a 1.5-2″ hole for turning.  Turn it right side out, topstitch around the brim to close the hole and leave the stitching lines in the brim.  On these hats, I only went around once.  You often see multiple stitching lines around the brim.

6.  I used cotton duck fabric from Hancock’s for both of these hats.  I did not need interfacing.  If you want a super-wide brim, you will want interfacing, or you won’t be able to see!

7.  You can add a hat band at the seam of the sides and brim.   It’s a nice touch.

8.  Sew in straps.  You could do this when stitching the brims to the sides, or after the hat is finished.  You do not want your hard work to go blowing off of your child’s head and into the ocean!  You can make fabric straps, or use ribbon.

9.  Plan on a couple of hours to sew a bucket hat.  Most of that time will be cutting, pinning, and ironing.  Do NOT skip the ironing, unless you’re desperate for a hat right now and have no iron and don’t mind it being very wonky looking.  Iron all of  your seams flat after you sew them, before going on to the next step.  Iron it after you sew the inside to the outside.

10.  If you want a great free pattern, use this Oliver + S pattern.  It’s a sample from their book, in PDF form.  If you want to make your own pattern, here’s what my pattern pieces looked like.  On the left are the pattern pieces from Sew Much Ado, which I enlarged for my 6-year old, which is the red/white hat above.  On the right (notebook paper) are the pieces for my 4-year old, which is the black/red flowered hat above.  I actually made the sides shorter than this pattern piece for hers, and will make them still shorter next time.

Bucket Hat Pattern Pieces

11.  Save your pattern pieces!  Hats get lost.  Make notes on your pieces about size and anything you’ll change the next time you make it.

12.  Let your children pick their own fabric.  Do not worry about it matching.  They’ll be much more likely to wear it and keep track of it if they choose their fabric.  And if it doesn’t match, everyone will know it’s homemade and believe you’re Super Mom (even though we know it’s really just a good excuse to sew…possibly alone 🙂 ).

If you have any more questions, ask away!  And feel free to leave a link to your own bucket hat creations too!


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