How to Make a Night Hat Like on "Little House on the Prairie"

Written by camela bryan
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How to Make a Night Hat Like on "Little House on the Prairie"
A ruffled nightcap is a charming way to keep your head warm and your hair in place. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Laura and Mary looked so sweet in their ruffled night hats on "Little House on the Prairie." Night hats, also called night caps, were practical garments that kept the wearer's head warm. Wearing a nightcap might allow you to turn down your thermostat without being uncomfortable. Even if the weather is warm, they are a charming accessory for a little girl. The ruffled edge provides a soft frame for a little girl's face.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Fabric
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Iron
  • Compass (optional)
  • Fabric marker
  • Single-fold bias tape
  • Cord
  • Safety pin

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure the distance over the wearer's head from ear to ear. Add 1 inch to this measurement for seam allowances. Cut two fabric circles with this diameter.

  2. 2

    Pin the circles together with the right sides of the fabric touching. Sew around the edge of the circle with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Leave a 2-inch opening for turning.

  3. 3

    Clip the curve by snipping the seam allowance every 1/4 inch. The cuts should be perpendicular to the seam and come very close to it, but be careful not to cut the thread of the seam.

  4. 4

    Turn the hat right side out and press it. Sew the opening closed.

  5. 5

    Draw a circle on the inside of the hat with a fabric marker so that the edge of the circle is 2 1/2 inches from the edge of the hat. You may use a compass or your tape measure.

  6. 6

    Sew single-fold bias tape over the circle. Fold under 1/2 inch on each end of then tape and leave a 1/2-inch gap between the ends of the tape for inserting the cord.

  7. 7

    Cut a yard of cord and knot both ends. Use a safety pin to insert the cord into the bias tape casing.

  8. 8

    Pull the ends of the cord until they are even. Loosely knot the ends of the cord and pull them to gather the hat to fit the wearer's head. Tie the ends of the cord to hold the gathers in place and distribute the gathers evenly.

Tips and warnings

  • Elastic was not available on the prairie, but you can substitute a band of elastic for the drawstring. Cut the elastic to the diameter of the wearer's head and sew the ends together.
  • Avoid damaging the casing by always crossing, or loosely knotting, the ends of the cord before you pull them to tighten the hat.

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