How to Make a One-Piece Reversible Sun Hat

comments (34) June 1st, 2016     

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CalPatch cal patch, contributor
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You can make a shady hat like this, from start to finish!
Plot out the length and the half-width of the hat on folded paper.
Draw a line straight up for half the length of the hat.
You can make a shady hat like this, from start to finish!

You can make a shady hat like this, from start to finish!

Photo: Cal Patch
1 | 2 | 3 > View all

I'm a big fan of sun hats; they keep my face from becoming one giant freckle. I like to make them in all different fabrics so there's one for every occasion, and they're even better if they're reversible! This is a very simple style that you can whip up the pattern for in a few minutes, and it works for any head size from baby to adult.

Supplies you'll need:

  • A piece of paper, any kind will do (8-1/2 x 11 inches is plenty big enough; I used a scrap)
  • A pencil
  • A ruler (ideally one you can use for squaring)
  • Scissors
  • A tape measure
  • Remnants of two different light- to medium-weight woven fabrics


Make the Pattern

1. Take some measurements. Measure the circumference of your head at its widest; just above the ears should work. Jot this number down, then divide it by 6 (it's a six-panel hat). Then divide that number in half because we're going to make this pattern on a fold, so we'll only draw half of it. This is the number you'll need. My head measures 22 inches around, a sixth of that is 3.66 inches, and half of that is 1.83, or 1-7/8 inches. (You could just divide the circumference by 12, but I want you to understand what you're doing and why.) Then measure the height, from the top of your head to the middle of your ear. Mine is 7 inches. Jot this down, too.

2. Let's draft! Fold your paper in half lengthwise, and orient it so the fold is at left, as shown. Near the top of the paper, make a mark on the fold to indicate the topmost point of the hat. Measure down from this point the height you measured from your head, and mark. From this point, square a line out from the fold. Along this line, measure out your (half of) one-sixth head circumference measurement, and mark.

make a one-piece sun hat   Plot out the length and the half-width of the hat on folded paper.

Now find the halfway point between the top of the hat and the bottom. Draw a line straight up from the head circumference point to here.

make a one-piece sun hat   Draw a line straight up for half the length of the hat.

Then curve the line to meet the top point (at the fold) as shown.

make a one-piece sun hat   Curve the top half of the hat.


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posted in: fabric, seasonal, sewstylish feature, scissors, hat, sunhat, woven fabric, tape measure

Comments (34)

bradbates11 writes: nice hat
Posted: 6:32 am on July 26th
lyunmoss writes: Lol! It's not useful in rainy days
Posted: 5:34 am on July 26th
annaescort90 writes: again good article. see my article
Posted: 2:42 pm on April 13th
Mooree writes: gi
Posted: 9:36 am on January 26th
ChristabelBenoitUK writes: Thanks for this wonderful tutorial. Several days ago the wind blew my hat away while I was working in my garden. Now I'll just make myself a new hat instead of going to a store.
Posted: 12:28 am on August 5th
ThomasJameson writes: Very nice project! It will be very helpful for the upcoming hot summer days. Thanks for sharing!
Posted: 7:29 am on June 10th
genalorainne writes: I've actually thought of this one before. Now it's clear... Thanks for the great tutorial, my nephew will love this! :)
Posted: 4:53 pm on April 5th
belleeven writes: what a gorgeous hat design!!! Thank you for posting this. :)
Posted: 5:54 am on September 6th
chelosunny writes: I have made five hats now. I found out that for me I prefer one that is an inch bigger than the size of my head. The last one I made was with fabric that I upcycled from a yard sale dress. The more challenging the fabric, be it stripes, motifs etc. the better looking the hat.
Posted: 1:12 pm on May 10th
craftdiane writes: This is exactly what I was looking for. What an excellent presentation! Your instructions are great. It is a pity that your comments got clogged up by that disgusting spam.......
Posted: 11:49 pm on April 29th
chelosunny writes: Sorry, I did not see the Next. Duh!
Posted: 9:30 pm on April 26th
chelosunny writes: Ok, this tutorial is incomplete. What do you do after you have drafted the pattern?
Posted: 9:30 pm on April 26th
Gift_wrapping_ideas writes: lovely hat and very shady too! It looks very simple to do. I always looking for new hat patterns for the summer. Here's a summer hat I've made last week,

Posted: 9:02 am on April 23rd
susan72 writes: WOW im just started learning more the a straight stitch, reading pattern etc. This will be a good start. I can use 1 for me out in the garden I have some cut material for that, maybe another one. Thank you
Posted: 9:37 pm on April 20th
KJRas writes: My mother worked with my sister, neighbor and me to make these one summer about 45 years ago! We loved them. Glad to see they've come back.
Posted: 3:05 pm on June 20th
mamasmiles writes: I used your tutorial to make a hat, and it turned out great! You can see the hat here:

Thanks so much!
Posted: 12:56 pm on November 12th
Miranne writes: Thank you for a very instructive tutorial. I made seven last year, and one so far this year. Addictive, and you get to show off those cool quilt fabrics. Photos here:

Posted: 4:54 am on August 16th
sunnyc writes: I am definitely going to make this. I usually wear a straw cowboy hat to do gardening, but this is even better! I might also try putting a small piece of elastic (1/4" elastic) in the back to make the brim fit tighter so the wind does not blow it away!
Posted: 12:43 pm on June 4th
WoodPondDesigns writes: Great project - I need a stylish and easy to make hat. Thanks for sharing!
Posted: 9:43 am on June 3rd
sewold writes: Forgot to add, in using old denim, leave the bottom edge unfinished. Sew layers together about 1/2 inch from edge with raw edge exposed. Fraying adds to character of the hat.
Posted: 9:22 am on June 3rd
CalPatch writes: JennieC: yes! this is the reversible tulip hat. good eye!
Posted: 10:49 pm on July 28th
JennieC writes: Is this the same as the reversible tulip hat you're selling on Etsy? I really want to try this. Maybe I can get my teen to make a hat and quit baking her face. She will SO regret it some day.
Posted: 10:54 pm on July 20th
Flippincool writes: Thanks so much for a great tutorial! I've linked to this in a summer tutorials post on my blog, The Handmade Experiment. Check it out at

Thanks and have a great summer!
Posted: 1:34 pm on June 15th
MrsMessy writes: Your tutorial came at the perfect time. I was looking for a red hat for my baby and was not happy with what I found in the stores. Your directions made this project a snap. Thanks so much! You can see the hat I made on my blog, here.
Posted: 10:20 pm on June 2nd
sewold writes: I haven't made this one yet but I like the shape. I've made other anti-sun hats and use old jeans denim a lot for projects like this. Cutting from different pairs or different parts of a pair gives you a lot of variation in color but it all blends well. I use old denim a lot (I've kept a stash) for hats and purses. Incorporating details like pockets makes it fun, too.
Posted: 9:06 am on June 2nd
cherylzone writes: I can't wait to make this....and can't wait to buy your book. I noticed the fence in the background of the photos....did you make it too?
Posted: 12:23 pm on May 31st
goddessmichellev writes: Love it! can't wait to try this! Thank you so much!
Posted: 3:41 pm on May 30th
SweetbriarStudio writes: What a great tutorial on a cute and, dare I day, practical hat! Thanks for making it easy.
Posted: 10:30 am on May 30th
CynRed writes: Living in the Southwest I'm always looking for comfortable hats. I can hardly wait to make this!
Posted: 10:00 am on May 30th
TheStylishStudent writes: A nice, quick design. I'm looking forward to purchasing your book.
Posted: 9:53 am on May 30th
subloke writes: I love this and can't wait to try it out when i get home!
Posted: 11:52 am on May 28th
mommaviv writes: I think I can do this! Can't wait to try.
Posted: 3:30 pm on May 27th
garnetnm writes: Good tutorial. Thanks. A few years ago I said no more pattern drafting. This may make me change my mind. :)
Posted: 9:35 pm on May 26th
LindaPermann writes: Very cool Cal! I'm looking forward to your book, and I'll probably whip up this hat in the meantime.
Posted: 12:45 pm on May 26th
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