How to Make a Custom Hat (5 Steps to Sew a Hat)

How to Make a Custom Hat (5 Steps to Sew a Hat)

Last updated by Ori Adler on

If you’re like many people, you may view the process of creating your own custom hat as something completely impossible. However, the process is a lot easier than you may initially believe. In fact, it is something easy enough for anyone to do. 

So, what are the steps in how to make a hat? Keep reading, and you’ll discover the five steps for doing so. 

Related: Best Hats for Men to Be in Style 

1. Pick Your Materials and Shape

The first step in creating a custom hat is to decide what kind you want. This means deciding on your materials and overall hat shape.

You’ll want to pick materials that you can work with. Leather looks incredible in a hat but may not be something you have the tools to work with. Consider going with something like cotton or linen instead. 

The shape of the hat will decide what kind of hat you are making. Do you want a straightforward trucker hat? Or would you prefer a fun bucket hat? Whatever type of hat you want needs to be decided upon early, as it will guide the rest of the process.

2. Take Your Measurements

For a hat, you don’t have to worry about many measurements. However, you still need to take at least one to make a hat that will fit you. 

Specifically, you need to measure your head circumference. This is the area around your head where the hat will sit. This is the section of your head running around the area just above your ears.

You can use a flexible measuring tape like those specifically designed for taking clothing measurements to take this measurement. Measuring with one of these makes the job very easy.

If you don’t have one of these, don’t worry. Instead, you can take the same measurement with a length of string. Just wrap the string around your head in the same way and make a mark at the point where it fully wraps around your head.

Then, measure the length of the string with a ruler or tape measure. This will give you the same measurement.

This measurement tells you what size you will need to make the hat’s opening and the hat’s crown size. You generally want to take this measurement and add 1/2″.

Are you trying to make a custom hat because it’s hard to find one that fits? Take a look at American Hat Makers’ selection of hats for big heads and find one that works for you!

3. Draft Your Pattern

Once you have your measurements and know what kind of hat you want, you can work on the pattern. The pattern will be a series of shapes showing you what to cut from your materials. These will include your hat’s crown, the side band, and the brim.

The crown will be based on the measurement you took earlier. Use a crown pattern to help you draft something based on this measurement.

The side band will also depend on this measurement but will also depend on how high you want your hat. This height should be high enough that the hat extends slightly above your ears to the top of your head. However, it can be higher if you want a tall hat, like what you see with top hats.

Use this information to draw a rectangle. The rectangle should be as long as your head circumference (with 1/2″ added) and as wide as you want your hat height to be.

Finally, you’ll need to draft the hat’s brim. This will change depending on what kind of brim you want and how large you want it to be. Obviously, a wide-brim sun hat will require a different pattern than a baseball cap.

A flat-brim circling the hat is easy. Just make an oval the size of your head circumference, and make another one encircling it, with the distance between them set to your desired brim width.

For a shaped brim, do the exact same thing but take a wedge out. A larger wedge will cause the brim to make a more intense angle with the rest of the hat.

Finally, for hats with a brim only on one side, like a baseball cap, you’ll have to sketch out the brim you want. The part connecting the brim with the rest of the hat should be slightly wider on the brim piece, allowing it to bend and still fit the rest of the hat. 

Related: How to Stretch a Hat: Easy Hat Hacks

4. Cut Your Materials

Next, you’ll use the pattern you just drafted to cut your materials. You may need fabric scissors for this step if you don’t already have them.

Cutting the crown is the easiest part. All you have to do with this is cut a few ovals using the pattern you drew. You should cut pieces for the main material, lining, and interfacing.

Cutting the side band is a little more difficult. You’ll cut a rectangle using the pattern you drew. However, you’ll need to make eight cuts in this rectangle. Start these cuts at the top of the band and stop just before the bottom edge. You shouldn’t cut all the way through.

Once you’ve done this, you can overlap the pieces at the top until they come together in an oval. Adjust it until the size of this oval equals the crown measurement. In the end, you should do this for the main material, lining, and interfacing. 

Cutting the brim is also relatively easy. Simply follow the pattern you decided upon earlier, and you should be good. With this, you should have two pieces of main fabric plus the lining and interfacing.

Finally, you can also cut a piece of material for a sweatband. This would go alongside the interior of the side band.

Would you love a custom-made hat but are finding the steps to make one a bit daunting? Check out our men’s leather hats and customize yours based on size and color!

5. Sew the Pieces Together

Your final step is to sew the hat together. As you do so, the hat will take on its final form. 

Start by sewing each piece individually. You’ll want to sew together the main fabric, the lining, and the interfacing so that they form one cohesive piece. For a piece like the brim, you may want to reinforce it further by sewing circles in the middle. This is especially true if you have a very wide brim.

Then, you can work on putting it all together. You can start with some stitching to get a structure. After this, you can move it over to a sewing machine. The last thing you’ll do is sew in the sweatband.

Making Your Own Hat

While the process of how to make a hat sounds intimidating, it actually isn’t that difficult. Just take the process step by step, and you’ll be fine. In the end, you have a cool new piece of clothing that has been custom-made for you.

Related: Best Online Hat Stores: Best Places to Buy Hats Online

← Older Post Newer Post →

Leave a comment