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Child's Reversible Flap Hat

by Victoria White, The Secret Workshop

hat.gif (40893 bytes)



Sizes -- Small, Medium and Large
Small -- newborn to 8 months
Medium -- 9 months to 2 years
Large -- 2 years to 8 years


Fabric A: 0.2m (1/4yd.) 0.2m (1/4yd.) 0.3m (3/8yd.)
Fabric B: 0.2m (1/4yd.) 0.2m (1/4yd.) 0.3m (3/8yd.)
Suggested Fabrics: Cotton and cotton blends, twills, medium and light-weight wovens, nylon, water-proof fabric and corduroy. Allow extra fabric for matching stripes and designs.
1/4" elastic: 15cm (6 in.) 17cm (6 3/4") 19cm (7 1/2")
Interfacing: Medium or heavy-weight: two 18x25 cm (7x10") scraps
Notions: Thread


All seam allowances are 3/8" (1 cm).
This garment is best constructed using a conventional sewing machine rather than a serger. You do not need to finish the raw edges anyway, as they will all be hidden inside between the two layers, and serger seams are bulkier and will tend to give a less tailored look.

Be creative mixing and matching fabrics. This is a ideal way to use up scraps of fabric too small for use on other garments. A little remnant left over from a child's overalls, dress or jacket can be used to make a coordinating hat. Stripes or solids make for good constrast with a medium or small-patterned print. The smallest size can be sewed with a girls' fabric on one side and a boys' on the other for a whimsical either/or gift prior to a baby's arrival. Suitable fabrics include medium- and light-weight wovens. Heavier weight fabrics such as denims will be too bulky at the elasticized portion at the back. A waterproof fabric like coated ripstop nylon or GoreTex on one side will make a great rain cap.


Because of the size of the pattern piece graphics, we have linked to them on separate pages. Make sure you visit each page and print the pattern piece out or save the file. Each piece should print out on one 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of paper. Because distortion of graphics can happen, measure your pieces to see if they are correct.   For conversion of centimetres to inches 1 cm = approximately 3/8" and 1 inch = approximately 2.54 cms.

Follow the link to the Pattern Piece Small Medium Large

Piece #1
Main Panels

height 16.2cm
width point to point 13.7cm
height 18cm
width point to point 15.2cm
height 20cm
width point to point 17cm

Piece #2
Back Panel

height 16.3cm
width point to point 16.2cm
height 18.3cm
width point to point 18.1cm
height 20.9cm
width point to point 20.2cm

Piece #3

center width from notch to notch 9.3cm
length of brim from point to point 18.3cm
center width from notch to notch 9.3cm
length of brim from point to point 19.2cm
center width from notch to notch 9.3cm
length of brim from point to point 21.4cm

Piece #4

height (following the arrow) 12.7cm
length 14cm
height (following the arrow) 14.7cm
length 15.7cm
height (following the arrow) 16.5cm
length 17.3cm


Observe straight-of-grain lines.
1. Main panels: Cut 3 of Fabric A and 3 of Fabric B.
2. Back panels: Cut 1 of Fabric A and 1 of Fabric B.
3. Brim: Cut 1 of Fabric A, 1 of Fabric B, and 2 of interfacing.
4. Flap: Cut 1 of Fabric A and 1 of Fabric B.


    a) Fuse interfacing to the WRONG sides of brim pieces.
    b) Sew the two contrasting brim pieces, right sides together, along the LONG curved edge, using a 3/8" (1 cm) seam allowance. Trim the seam allowance, clipping tiny V's along the entire length of the curve.
    c) Turn right side out, press and top-stitch 1/4" from the edge ALL the way around (both the long and the shorter curved edges).

    First with Fabric A:
    a) Sew two of the main panels together, right sides together, along one of the long curved sides (don't sew the notched edges). Clip curves and press seam allowances open.
    b) Sew the remaining main panel to the back panel, right sides together. Because the back panel may not have an obvious top and bottom, make sure you have the notched edges at the bottom and sew one of the side seams. Clip curves and press seam allowances open.
    c) Now sew the two pairs of panels right sides together, matching the centre seams. (Again, make sure you are not sewing the notched edges!) Clip curves and press seam allowances open.

You have now completed the dome in Fabric A. Repeat steps 2a), 2b) and 2c)
with Fabric B.

    a) Place the two contrasting flap pieces right sides together. Sew from one mark down the short side, along the long un-notched side and up the other short side, stopping at the mark. Leave the edge with the elastic casing lines open. Clip corners, turn right side out and press.
    b) Sew two elastic casing seams parallel to the raw edge. The first is 3/8" from the edge, the second a further 3/8" inside that one.

    If you are experienced with sewing lined or reversible garments, you probably won't need the instructions in 5 much at all. If you're experience with such things is limited, it make take a while to wrap your brain around the three-dimensional spatial relationships of the evolving hat. Be patient with yourself and think through all the remaining construction steps, making sure that you understand them all before you proceed.

    The important things to remember are:
    a) The right sides of Fabric A should always face together when you're sewing.
    b) The back panel is the wide one. The front panel is the middle of the three narrow ones.
    c) Match your notches to keep everything properly aligned.
    d) Use pins. These seams are all curved and the pieces will need to be politely coaxed into juxtaposition.
    e) You are not stupid. This is a little complicated the first time.

    a) Sew the dome made from Fabric A to the brim as follows: Put the dome in front of you, right side out, with the front panel facing you. Pin the centre of the raw edge of the brim to the centre of the front panel, matching notches and making sure the Fabric A sides are facing each other, right sides together. Pin copiously along the length of the raw edge of the brim. Sew the brim to the dome.
    b) Now you're going to sew the flap to the same dome in almost the same fashion. This time you want to match the middle of the flap to the middle of the back panel, but there is a difference: the raw edge of the flap should extend 3/8" beyond the raw edge of the dome, because you need to keep the elastic casing within the seam allowance. Pin copiously, and check to make sure that the Fabric A side of the flap is facing the right side of the dome made out of the same fabric. Sew this seam, sewing on top of the inner of the two elastic casing seams.
    c) Your evolving hat now looks kind of funny, but it's supposed to. You'll have a dome made out of Fabric A sitting up looking proud, with brim poking up on one side and an huge-looking flap protruding on the other. It's now time to do the tricky stuff. Take the dome made from Fabric B and turn it inside out. Place it on top of the evolving hat, completely covering it and all its appendages. Twirl the Fabric B dome around to match the centre of its back panel with the centre of the flap. Pin the raw edges all the way around. Again, be sure that the elastic casing on the flap sticks out beyond the raw edges of the dome.
    d) Now you're saying "How is anyone ever going to wear this ridiculous thing? All I see is the wrong side of all the fabrics and the brim and the flap are packed away inside where they're no use at all!" Don't fret. This bizarre situation will rectify itself shortly.
    e) Sew all away around the circle, except leave a 5-inch gap in the seam over the middle of the brim. ("How the heck will I know where the brim is? It's inside." Don't worry, you'll be able to feel it, and it's opposite the elastic casing of the flap.)
    f) Insert the length of 1/4-inch elastic through the casing. Use your sewing machine to tack down the ends of the elastic to the ends of the casing (or use a small safety pin at one end if you want to do a "test-fit" on your child first).
    g) TADA! Turn the hat right side out through the gap you left at the front. Finish the seam above the brim by hand, using a slip-stitch to keep the hand-stitching invisible.

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