How to make a round sailor hat

Written by river lin
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How to make a round sailor hat
A round sailor hat is cool and comfortable. (sailor 18 image by Paul Moore from

A round sailor hat is comfortable to wear and easy to make. Because the hat is not adjustable to fit different sizes, it is important to measure your head accurately and sew exact quarter-inch seams. You can make a traditional white sailor hat or choose whimsical fabric prints to express your own personal style. You can also decorate the hat brim with ribbons or trims.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Half-yard hat fabric
  • Half-yard lining fabric
  • Compass
  • Ruler
  • Fabric marker (one or two different colours)
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Iron and ironing board

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  1. 1

    Measure around your head where you want the hat to rest. Add 2 inches.

  2. 2

    Draw a circle on the back side of your fabric according to the measurement you got in Step 1. Use the compass to make sure your circle is perfectly round.

  3. 3

    Draw the same size circle on the back side of the lining fabric.

  4. 4

    Divide both circles into quarters. Use the ruler to mark straight lines on the back of the hat fabric and the lining fabric. These will be your cutting lines.

  5. 5

    Mark your sewing lines a quarter-inch on either side of the cutting lines. Either use a different colour of fabric marker to mark the sewing lines or draw broken lines to distinguish the difference between the cutting lines and the sewing lines. Use the ruler for accuracy.

  6. 6

    Draw a rectangle on the back side of the hat fabric that is a half-inch longer than your basic head measurement and 4 inches to 5 inches wide depending on how deep you want the brim to be.

  7. 7

    Cut out the triangle and the two circles.

  8. 8

    Cut the two circles into quarters along your cut lines. Note that you can round off the tips of the quartered pieces if you want to or keep them straight. Either will result in a rounded hat top.

  9. 9

    Pin two hat triangles together, right sides together, making sure the sewing lines are perfectly aligned. Machine stitch.

  10. 10

    Repeat the above step with all four parts of the hat fabric. Press the seams open.

  11. 11

    Repeat Step 9 and Step 10 with the lining pieces as well.

  12. 12

    Trim the excess fabric from the tops of both the hat and the lining where the four quartered pieces meet.

  13. 13

    Sew the two ends of the brim together. Make a quarter-inch seam. Press the seam open.

  14. 14

    Pin the brim to the hat, right sides together. Machine stitch. Press the seam toward the hat.

  15. 15

    Turn under the raw edge of the hat brim by a quarter-inch and press.

  16. 16

    Place the lining inside the hat, wrong sides together. Match all seams and pin in place.

  17. 17

    Fold the hat brim in half, wrong sides together. Align the pressed edge with the hat/brim seam, sandwiching the hat lining in between. Pin in place.

  18. 18

    Machine stitch. Remove pins.

  19. 19

    Make several rows of top stitching around the brim approximately a quarter-inch apart.

  20. 20

    Trim all loose threads.

  21. 21

    Turn the hat brim up along the seam and press.

Tips and warnings

  • To curve the tops of the hat and lining quarter sections to give a rounder shape to the top of the hat, begin a quarter of the way down from the tips and make slightly curved lines toward the points of each piece. Do only one piece first, then use that as a pattern for the others so that they are all exactly the same.
  • When pinning the quartered hat and lining pieces together, stick the pin into one side at the sewing line and then make sure the insertion point on the second piece of fabric is also at the sewing line.

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