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Ruffled Beanie Hat Tutorial

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Does your little girl love hats as much as mine does?  If there is a hat (or crown) within sight, she will be wearing it.

I have seen these little ruffled beanie hats being used as photography props around blog-land lately.  I am in love with how they look!  Such a simple project for such dramatic results!

Tutorial on how to make a ruffled beanie hat.


There are so many looks you could get with this hat, depending on your fabric choices, size and number of ruffled strips you use.  To make mine, I just used some t-shirts and scraps from my recycle bin.

Would you like to make one too?  It is so easy!  Here is how to make a ruffled beanie hat from recycled knits for your little one.
What you need:
-Knit t-shirt (or several depending on the look you are going for.  I used a pink tee for the base and scraps from five different shirts for the ruffles.)
-Ruler/tape measure)
-Fabric marker

First, measure your little darling’s head circumference.  Then measure from top of the head to where you want the hat to stop.   Add 1/4 inch to both measurements for seam allowance, plus an additional 1/2 inch to the circumference measurement.  Divide the circumference measurement in half.

Clear as mud?  As an example, my measurements were 8 tall by 20 around.
My final measurement was 8 1/4 x 10 3/8.


Lay out the fabric you will use for the hat base.  Cut two squares to your measurement.

Draw a half circle shape at the top of your cut pieces.  (I used a bowl to help get the shape.)  Sew up the side seams and along the line you drew.  Trim the excess fabric away.

For a more customized fit, I had my daughter try on the hat inside out.  With my marker, I made some marks where the hat could be taken in just a little.  I sewed a new seam along this mark.

Next, cut 5 1.5 inch wide strips of fabric from the bottom of several t-shirts.  You will have big circles.   Cut one side of each circle open, so it is a long strip.  Sew the strips end to end.

To ruffle the strips, set your sewing machine to the longest stitch length.  (Mine is 7.)  Sew a straight stitch all the way down the middle of your long fabric strip.

Once you have sewn the straight stich down the middle, hold the strip in one hand and pull on the top thread.  Move the fabric down the tread and watch it ruffle up!

Keep ruffling until the entire strip looks like this:

Sometimes, when I am gathering ruffles, the thread gets stuck.  If this happens to you, don’t pull too hard, the thread could break.  What I do, is just move past the stuck part and use a pin to pull up and grasp the top thread and keep pulling from that string  Here is a picture to illustrate what I mean.  See where I pulled up the thread and just kept ruffling?  (To see any picture bigger, left click and open in a new tab.)

Starting at one of the bottom side seams, start pinning the ruffle around the hat, use your judgement on how you want your ruffle to look.

The length of the fabric strip should be long enough to wrap all the way around the hat to the top.  Once you start pinning, you may need to adjust how tightly your strips are ruffled to make the strip fit, it is a bit of trial and error.

Once the ruffle is pinned on, sew right over the gathering stitch to attach the ruffle to the hat.


Trim your strings and you are done!

Now at this point you can start adding embellishments.  I decided to add 3 different sized fabric flowers for an accent.  After I made the flowers, I hot glued them to a bar pin so I could remove them if I ever needed to wash the hat.  To learn how to make these flower embellishments, go here: No Sew Fabric Flowers.



Sorry, picture overload, I know.  I just can’t help myself!!!

Like this tutorial?  Be sure to pin it for later!

I hope this tutorial inspires someone to make a pretty little ruffle hat.  I would love to see it if you do!   I have created a new Flickr Group for you to share your creations.  Here is the link: Creations inspired by Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom.  (Please share, you might get featured!)

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  1. Appreciating the time and effort you put into your site, it’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same outdated rehashed information.
    I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  2. Love the hat. so cute. How can I make something like that using cotton sheets. I have so much cotton that I would like to make a hat. I have grandsons.

    1. I’m not sure a sheet would work unless it was a sheet made out of knit fabric. (this hat needs stretch.)

  3. Featuring you today – please come by to see! Thanks for linkming up such awesome projects!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  4. Adorable hat and cute models as well – thanks so much for sharing at the party! Will you please come back this Thursday to link again? I love your creations!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  5. Charlene@APinchofJoy says:

    So cute . . and you daughter is an adorable model!!! Thanks for linking to Busy Monday at A Pinch of Joy! Hope to see you again this next week!