How to Sew Your Own Kippot

Updated March 23, 2017

Kippot, or yarmulkes, are the small skullcaps worn by Jewish men. Jewish families can either buy their kippot for Shabbat and special occasions or they can make their kippot for family members. When you decide to make the kippot for your family members, you have some options for crafting these skullcaps. If you decide to sew your own kippot, you need to be comfortable working with small pattern pieces, fabric, a sewing machine, straight stitches and zigzag stitching. These kippot are made using felt, but you can choose to make your own using any fabric of your choice, from cotton to silk or velvet.

Cut out the pattern piece for the kippot. Pin the pattern piece to each piece of felt and cut one pattern piece from each colour.

Put the blue felt on top of the green felt, wrong sides together.

Stitch the pieces together along one long side, using a regular stitch. Align the edges of the pieces with the edge of the sewing machine presser foot -- this gives the kippah a 1/4-inch seam allowance.

Sew the remaining pattern pieces together in this order: yellow, orange, red and purple. Sew the two edges of the blue and purple pieces together.

Sew a zigzag stitch over each seam you just sewn. This helps "curve" the kippah and avoid a "pyramid" shape.

Cut out a pattern piece with a short flat top. The pattern should be 3 1/2-inches high and 4 5/8-inches wide.

Pin the pattern to the felt and cut a piece out. Repeat three more times.

Pin two pieces, right sides together and stitch only one side together. Repeat with the two remaining pattern pieces.

Unfold both stitched pieces -- each is 1/2 of the kippah. Put the right sides together, with the points facing up.

Sew a gently curved line across the sides that were pointed before you sewn them together. You are sewing the two pieces together at the point that becomes the top of the kippah. Stitch from one end to the other or start in the centre and stitch to one end, cut the thread, then start in the centre and stitch to the opposite end.

Zigzag over all four seams to give the kippah its curved shape.

Cut out two pattern pieces, each 6 1/2-inches wide.

Pin the pattern pieces to your fabric.

Cut two pattern pieces from the fabric of your choice. Before removing the pattern pieces, place the dressmaker's carbon and trace the dart markings to the fabric. Pin and cut two pieces for the decorative lining. Place the dressmaker's carbon and trace the dart markings to the lining. Pin and cut out two pattern pieces from the kippah interfacing. Mark the interfacing darts as well.

Stitch the darts on the two pieces of fabric, the two pieces of decorative lining and two pieces of fusible interfacing. Press the darts open or press them to one side. Press the interfacing to the fabric, matching the darts on the fabric and interfacing.

Pin the two halves of fabric together, then stitch with a 3/8-inch or 1/2-inch seam allowance. Add a decorative zigzag stitch across the seams on top of the kippah, if desired.

Place the right sides of the kippah and decorative lining together. Sew a 3/8-inch or 1/2-inch seam around the outer edge of the kippah. Leave a small opening so you can turn the kippah right side out. Stitch the opening closed by hand. You can also sew a bias binding around the edge of the kippah if you prefer.

Things You'll Need

  • Crest-shaped pattern piece for kippah
  • Pattern piece with a short flat top or two-piece pattern with darts
  • 6 pieces of felt, red, yellow, orange, blue, green and purple,
  • 4 pieces of felt in the colour of your choice or a fabric in the colour of your choice
  • Fusible interfacing
  • Fabric for decorative lining
  • Dressmaker's carbon
  • Tracing wheel
  • Scissors
  • Black thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Straight pins
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Sewing needle
  • Bias binding (optional)
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About the Author

Genevieve Van Wyden began writing in 2007. She has written for “Tu Revista Latina” and owns three blogs. She has worked as a CPS social worker, gaining experience in the mental-health system. Van Wyden earned her Bachelor of Arts in journalism from New Mexico State University in 2006.