How to Make a French Beret

Written by cyndee kromminga
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Round, flat French berets are trendy and stylish hats that have been around for ages and never seem to lose their appeal. Making a French beret requires few pattern pieces and is a wonderful project for a sewing beginner. Recycle your own old sweatshirts or visit your local second-hand store for a variety of soft fabrics with a stretch. Sew several berets in different colours to match all your outfits or keep some handy for quick gifts.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Newspaper
  • Compass
  • Scissors
  • Adult sweatshirt
  • Straight pins
  • Measuring tape
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron

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  1. 1

    Lay a sheet of newspaper on your work table. Draw a circle 12 inches in diameter, using a compass. Cut out the circle. Draw a 6-inch circle in the centre of the 12-inch circle. Cut out the 6-inch circle from the centre. Discard the 6-inch circle. You will have a pattern that looks like a doughnut.

  2. 2

    Cut off the ribbing from the bottom of an adult size sweatshirt and set it aside. Lay the sweatshirt flat and place the doughnut shaped pattern in it. Pin the shape through both layers. Cut out the circle around the large 12-inch edge. Unpin the pattern and set one circle aside. This circle is the crown of the beret. Repin the pattern to the other shape and cut out the 6-inch centre. Discard the 6-inch circle. The doughnut shape remaining is the brim of the beret. Cut one length of the sweatshirt ribbing, 24 inches long.

  3. 3

    Lay the beret crown right side up on your work table. Note: If the sweatshirt has writing on it, use this side of the shirt as the wrong side. Place the brim on top with the wrong side up. Match the outer edges and pin. Sew the pinned edge using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Turn the beret right side out.

  4. 4

    Fold the length of the ribbing in half, matching the two long edges and press. Do not sew or pin the long raw edges. If the original waistband ribbing is already two layers thick, then you will now have four layers; otherwise, two layers are fine. Match the two short ends of the long folded ribbing and pin. Sew the pinned ends using 1/4-inch seam allowance. Place a pin in the folded short end, opposite the seam. Fold the beret in half with the brim circle on the outside. Place a pin in the inside open edge of the brim, on each opposite fold. Open the beret and lay it flat with the brim on top.

  5. 5

    Place the ribbing ring around the inside opening of the brim with the wrong side up. The exposed seam edges on the sewn short ends are the wrong side of the ribbing ring. Match the raw edges of the ring to the inside edge of the brim. Pin the sewn end seam of the ring to one of the pins marking the inside edge of the brim. Match the other pin on the ribbing to the other pin on the inside edge of the brim. Using a 1/2-inch seam allowance and starting at one pinned point, sew the raw ribbing edges to the inside edge of the brim, stretching and easing it to fit. Fold the sewn seam to the inside of the brim and topstitch it as close to the sewn stitch line as possible.

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