How to sew hats for cancer patients

Written by rebecca gilbert
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How to sew hats for cancer patients
A chemo cap offers style and flair for cancer patients suffering hair loss. (plastic head image by Ludovic LAN from

Chemotherapy patients often endure the embarrassment of hair loss during treatment they must undergo to survive. Not only does hair loss affect their self-esteem, but it may also cause them to suffer an uncomfortable, cold head. With a simple pattern, sew chemo caps to help ease these issues. Due to the sensitivity of a cancer patient's head, minimise seams and use polar fleece.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Fabric scissors or rotary cutter
  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric pencil or marker
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread
  • Straight pins
  • Polar fleece, 1/2 yard (45 inches wide)

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  1. 1

    Place the fabric on a flat surface. Measure and mark eight rectangles, 6 inches wide and 6.5 inches high, anywhere on your fabric. The direction of the fleece's stretch should be right to left for all the pieces.

  2. 2

    Measure and mark a point at the centre of one of the 6-inch lines, or 3 inches from either side. Measure and mark a point 3.25 inches up from the centre mark drawing diagonal lines down to the corners of the rectangle. You will now have drawn a triangle on top of each rectangle.

  3. 3

    Cut out each triangle, setting aside four sections for later. The remaining four triangles create the first crown. Lay the first four pieces out on the table with the points at the top.

  4. 4

    Pin two of the four pieces together along the 9.75-inch side and sew together 1/4 inch from the edge. If there is a wrong side to your fleece, be sure that it faces the side you sew. Not all fleece has a wrong or right side.

  5. 5

    Pin and sew the third piece to either side of the section just sewn with all the points meeting at the top. Repeat with the fourth piece and sew on both sides to complete and close the crown of the hat. It almost looks like a completed hat at this point. Finish the second crown, repeating these steps.

  6. 6

    Insert one finished crown into the other crown with the seams, or wrong sides, facing each other. Set aside.

  1. 1

    Cut a piece of fabric 22 inches long and 6 inches high. The stretch of the fleece should be along the 22-inch length.

  2. 2

    Pin and sew the short ends of the band together, wrong sides together, creating a circle. Fold the circle in half lengthwise, bringing the wrong sides together (if there is a wrong side) so the cut ends meet each other. One edge of the band is now two open edges and the other edge is a fold. Your circle of fabric, the band, will be about 21 1/2 inches in diameter and 3 inches wide.

  3. 3

    Pin the band to the inside of the crown of the hat, where your head will go, with all of the unfinished edges in the same direction. The band is hidden from view at this point, but will be visible when turned out later.

  4. 4

    Sew the band and crowns together, and then fold the band outward to hide the sewn seam.

Tips and warnings

  • Embellishments are stylish, but some cancer patients do not want to draw attention to their hair-free heads and prefer solid colours.
  • If you choose a fleece with a right and wrong side, mark one side with the fabric marker to avoid confusing them.
  • Ironing or drying on high heat can discolour or melt the fleece.

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