30 July 2017

Sewing an easy wide brimmed sun hat

UV rays damage your skin and a sun hat is a fashionable way of preventing that. And it is very easy to make one yourself!

Tutorial how to sew easy wide brimmed black gothic summer sum hats

Maybe you have noticed the wide brimmed sun hat I was wearing at my last post - where I shared my first The Orla Dress with you. I just took the opportunity to get two selfmade items into my camera at one shoot.

Being naturally pale makes me prone to sunburn. Plus to fight my acne I use several ingredients in my skincare, that weaken my skins own defense against UV rays even more. I try to stay out of strong sunlight as much as I can and I use sunscreen every day, but sometimes I still feel the need of more protection - here comes the sun hat.
The wide brim gives me shade down most of my chest. I probably should have made photos showing that. Well, you just have to imagine the "sun part"!

How to make this wide-brimmed sun hat

First, the materials needed: 
  • A Pattern - see below
  • Fabric: won't need much, but you'll need fabric for the outside and interfacing to stabilize it
  • Sewing machine, tape measure, thread, scissors,... - the usual

The sun hat pattern 

There are quite a few tutorials to draft a hat pattern out there. I think I saw the most of them, but still open questions remained, things I had to figure out the "hard way" - by just doing it. 
Maybe this helps someone like me or at least it's for myself, when I make my next hat (I actually plan on making many more hats with different styles). 

This type of hat has three pieces: 
  • The top / crown
  • The side band
  • The brim

Tutorial how to make your own easy wide brimmed summer sun hats crown template pattern
Please notice that this is not round but oval

First make the crown pattern. 

Important note: The crown is not round - it is oval. A round crown maybe could be used for certain fashion looks, but not for a normal sun hat. Make it oval. Seriously. 
Melly Sews offers a free crown template, which is the one I used for my hat. Well, at least kind of used. I wanted to, but had wrong settings on my printer, so the sizes didn't work. 

You need to measure your head circumference at the line your hat is supposed to sit. Then use the template above and cut out your size. Don't forget to add seam allowance! 
Just to be sure: The actual circumference of the crown should be slightly smaller than your measured head circumference. 

Tutorial how to make your own easy wide brimmed summer sun hats side band pattern
Also please notice that this is not straight

Now to the side band

Important note: The side band is not straight - it is slightly rounded. 

How to make that slightly rounded side band the easy way: 
  1. Cut out a straight rectangle with the measurements your head circumference x side band height (Find out how high your side band should be by putting your crown template on top of your head and measuring straight down towards your ear, until you think this is it)
  2. Now cut it into several smaller rectangles - I'd say 8 is a nice number
  3. Calculate how much you need to make it smaller at the top: The difference between head circumference and crown circumference, then divided by number of rectangles minus one.
    Example: Head 55cm - crown 51,5cm = difference 3,5cm divided by 7 = 0,5cm
    So between each pair of rectangles you'll need to remove 0,5cm at the top - leaving the bottom as is. 
Don't forget to add seam allowance on every side! 

Tutorial how to sew easy black gothic summer sun hats wide brimmed sewing side band
How to make the side band
Tutorial how to sew easy black gothic summer sun hats wide brimmed the brim
Pattern for the brim

At last you'll need the brim for your hat. 
You'll need to decide how wide that should be - you can make it short or very long, depending on your style. Here I went for 11cm. 

How to make the brim: 
  1. Copy your crown pattern - make sure this includes the seam allowance
  2. Starting at the crown, measure your desired brim length (again, seam allowance!) and mark it (let the ruler go throught the center of the circle) 
  3. Connect the marks to create an oval - with so many marks I think it is very easy to do it only by eye 
  4. Now you can cut the inside out and the outer line and your brim pattern is finished

Tutorial How to sew easy summer sun hats black gothic wide brimmed pattern templates
The whole pattern

Now you have three pattern pieces. As seam allowance is included, just trace and cut it.
You'll need:

  • Crown: 2x your visible fabric, 1x interfacing
  • Side: 2x your visible fabric, 1x interfacing
  • Brim: 2x your visible fabric, (at least) 1 or more interfacing

The fabric I used

For fabric I used cheap leftovers from when I sewed fabric phone covers.
A thin black woven cotton was used for the visible parts. Instead of proper interfacing I decided to use felt fabric - because I thought this would get a bit stiff too and I have to use it up at some point.
Yes, felt works. But as it is thick sewing is a little tricky. And also, the hat gets quite heavy and looks kind of bulky. 

Sewing the sun hat

I did as this How to sew a hat tutorial from Melly Sews says, so go over there and check it out :-)
Just remember, every seam allowance needs to be cut to the smallest possible. 

Well, no I did not everything like this tutorial says. I sewed no additional lines at the brim to make it more stiff. And instead of the ribbon I used leftover bias binding, which works too. 

Tutorial how to sew easy wide brimmed black gothic summer sum hats

Tutorial how to sew easy wide brimmed black gothic summer sum hats

Other hat ideas

A wax/oil finish to make it waterproof as Upcycled Design Lab did is a nice idea. 
And I think of making more hats with different brims and styles. Still collecting ideas on my Pinterest

Do you make hats? Tell me about your projects and feel free to post a link if you've blogged about it! 



  1. Nice hat!
    I'm more of a baseball cap myself, but this looks way more classy.
    *looks at near infinite "to-sew"-list and shakes head: 'that's not gonna happen before the sun starts to hibernate'*

    1. I like baseball caps, but think they don't look good on me (probably shouldn't care about that). Did you actually make a cap or are you buying them? I consider those to be wayyy more difficult to make.
      Hehe, my to-make list is also infinite! Poor us :D

  2. I can see this type of hat transitioning from summer to fall. I actually need a hat now it is so hot... it will be in the upper 90’s (Fahrenheit). I really like your hat, though. I will try it out!! Thanks for sharing

    1. So sorry Diana, I did not get any notification of your comment :(
      I made another one for this hot summer, with felt only in the brim - this version is wayyy lighter and nicer to wear (and make). I'd love to see yours, I'm trying to keep up reading other blogs (like yours) :)