Fleece Bomber Hat

Well it's certainly been a while since I posted! I wish it was because I was off in the Carribean for a long, sunny vacation like the rich and famous, but I'm afraid not. Other more important (albeit less fun) aspects of life have simply overridden my opportunities to craft. Thankfully, with the weather getting colder, I've had the opportunity to put together a couple of things, with tutorials to share. Watch for them in the next couple of days.

The first is this cozy bomber-style fleece hat that I made for the little neighbor boy.

I made a scarf to match, and you can find the tutorial for the scarf here. But now, let's get on with the hat!

You'll need 2 pieces of coordinating fleece. For my hat, I used solid black for the cuff, and a sports print for the body of the hat. I have an embroidery machine, so I stitched his name onto the black fleece before I started assembling the hat. You can do the same or something similar, or simply ignore the instructions about the embroidery.

The fleece for the body of the hat should measure about 22" wide by 12 inches tall. This will vary depending upon the size head you're trying to fit. I've found that 20-21" is about right for young children. If the head you want to fit is readily available, just measure it and add about 2" for working space.

The fleece for the cuff should measure about the same 22" wide, by 7 inches tall. If you're embroidering a name, the name should be stitched about 2-3 inches from the bottom edge of the fleece.

You'll also need two pads of fleece for the ear pads, measuring 3x5" each, and you'll need matching "fluff" for the ear-side of the cuff. I used a modern terrycloth, like what they often use sometimes for women's bathrobes. It's heavenly. I want to live in it.

Let's begin with the cuff. Fold the smaller piece of fleece to form a cuff the size you want the finished cuff on the hat. This step is especially important if you're stitching a name so that you have the name aligned properly; not so much if there's no name to align, but you still want a properly-sized cuff. To make a cuff, fold in half longways, and then fold again, so you have four layers of fleece. Secure the folded edge.

Next, flip the fleece over and trim both edges longways to a width about 2/3 as wide as the cuff. This will ultimately be the alignment of the seam (with stitch allowance) making the seam invisible behind the cuff.

This cut is also the edge to which you'll align the fabric for the body of the hat.

Set the cuff aside while we work on the ear pads.

Cut the shape you'd like for the earmuffs from a piece of scrap paper. I just rounded mine, but you you can make them any shape (triangular, square, etc.)

Trace the pattern onto the back of one of the earmuff fabrics. Either one will work, but for mine, the black was too dark so I went with the white. I used a disappearing marker so the lines wouldn't show after I stitched it.

Place the right side of the fleece and the right side of the fluff together, and stitch through both layers on the tracing line, leaving the top edge open.

Trim the fabric around the stitch line, leaving about 3/8" of fabric allowance.

Turn the earmuffs right-side-out.

Now it's time to assemble for stitching.

Unfold the cuff and place the cuff onto the wrong side of the body fleece. Honestly, most fleece is difficult to determine which is the right or wrong side, but if you happen to have one like mine that it does make a difference, you want to position the wrong side up. If you stitched the name, place the name down, facing the wrong side of the body fabric. Don't over-pin as you still need to place the earmuffs.

Next, place the earmuff between the cuff and the body fabric, with the fluff side facing down. The alignment of the earmuffs should centered on the cuff, with the center edges spaced about 6" from each other. Again, this will vary depending upon the size of the hat.

So you should have from bottom up: body fleece, wrong-side up; earmuffs, fluff-side down; cuff, with stitched name facing down. Also, if you have a body fleece that has a top and bottom (not right-side vs. wrong side), you want the bottom edge of the fabric aligned with the cuff.

Now stitch the raw edge of the fabric, with a 3/8" seam allowance.

When finished, remove the pins and open the project.

Fold back the body fabric, positioning the stitch line behind the cuff. Hand press to flatten.

Fold the cuff in half, aligning the earmuffs, right sides together.

Secure the edges of the cuff. Since this part will be visible on the finished project, it's important for these edges to align.

Then secure the rest of the raw edge. Stitch the edge with a 3/8-1/2" seam allowance. As with everything, you can always make the hat smaller, but it's hard to make it larger. So sew it once, try it on, then adjust as necessary. (**Hint: I find it difficult to fit the cuff end under the foot of my sewing machine. It's easier to start at the top of the hat where there's only 2 layers of fleece, sewing down toward the cuff.)

After you're content with the size of the body, trim the excess with pinking shears.

Turn the hat right-side-out.

Now it's time to finish the top. This can be done in any number of ways. The simplest is to just gather the fabric in a clump. For that effect, just gather the fabric and secure it with a rubberband and fleece tie (see below.)

Or you can trim the top into a tassel. For that, just measure the available excess at the top.

Then flatten the fabric and cut narrow strips to the length of the excess. With the original measurements, you should have about 3" for the tassel.

Gather the fabric at the end of the strips and secure with a rubberband.

Tie a strip of coordinating fleece over the rubberband.
And there you have it!

I'd love to see your version of this project! Let me know if you give it a try!

Thanks for visiting!

And be sure to check out the endless list of inspirational ideas at my home page childmade.com.

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