Mother Earth Living

Homemade Clothing: A Recycled Sweater Hat Pattern

This quick and cozy homemade clothing project will have you making a recycled sweater hat in no time.
By Amanda Blake Soule
February 2012 Web
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In “Handmade Home,” Amanda Blake Soule offers simple sewing and craft projects for the home that reflect the needs, activities and personalities of today’s families. Filled with thirty-three projects made by reusing and repurposing materials, all of the items here offer a practical use in the home.
Photo Courtesy Roost Books

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Winter hats can be playful and personalized when you make them yourself. You can add unique homemade clothing to your family’s closets, starting with this simple recycled sweater hat from Handmade Home (Roost Books, 2009). This excerpt is from the chapter “Family Sweater Hats.” 

The sweater hat is one of my favorite quick and cozy sewing projects because it’s made entirely from repurposed materials and solely for the purpose of keeping someone cozy and warm. Creating a sweater hat is one of my favorite ways to extend the life of a sweater and to keep my little ones warm during the cooler months of fall and winter. Completed with just a few seams, these comfy hats are the perfect project for days when you only have a few moments to create and want immediate results.

Pattern Details

• Beginner
• A half-day project
• Finished size: Infant/toddler (child’s medium, child’s large/women’s, men’s)

Use What You Have

This project calls for the use of an adult-sized sweater, slightly felted. If the sweater is not already felted, you can do so by washing it by itself in hot soapy water. Wash the sweater repeatedly until it has properly shrunk and the knit fibers of the sweater are tight and close together. Felting will only work with sweaters that have a 90 to 100 percent wool content.


• Fabric 1: (1) adult-sized or large child-sized sweater, made with 90 to 100 percent wool
• Pattern pieces H, I, J or K depending on size
• Optional: Felt, wool, embroidery floss and needle, or buttons for embellishments

1. Prepare Pattern 
Gather all materials. Lay the sweater flat on a cutting surface, making sure the front and back of the sweater are correctly aligned and free of wrinkles. Place the pattern piece on the bottom hem of the sweater. Pin the pattern in place. Cut around the pattern piece, through both the front and back of the sweater. Follow the instructions on the pattern piece for the desired size.

2. Shape Crown 
Transfer the bottom point of the V on the pattern piece to the front and back pieces of the hat by marking it with a pin. Fold each piece in half, right sides together, side to side. Make a mark 1” from the center fold. Working with one piece at a time, stitch a straight line from the pin mark to the 1” mark. Repeat this process with the second piece.

3. Add Embellishment 
If your desired embellishments require sewing, do that now. Be sure to leave room close to the edge of your piece for a seam allowance.

4. Finish Hat 
Placing both pieces right sides together, stitch from one side of the hat across the top and down to the other side, stitching down the “flap” you created in step 2 as you go. Repeat the line of stitching 1/8” closer to the center of the hat. Trim away the excess fabric. Clip the curves, being careful to avoid cutting the stitching. Turn the hat right side out.

This excerpt has been reprinted with permission from Handmade Home, published by Roost Books, 2009. 

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Post a comment below.


Allison Mackay
2/15/2013 1:36:26 PM
to Liz King-Just follow the directions on the templates-enlarge 50%

Liz King
2/14/2013 7:16:49 PM
Hum, pattern gets smaller as the size gets larger. Could you just give inches instead of pattern, would be easier to follow? Please, and thank you. I remember on Christmas when I was little my mom and Aunt Margie made all of us kids teddy bears from old coat linings. They picked up the coats at Salvation army. Poor but great Christmas, fondly remembered.

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