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Hats made from Old Sweaters (nothing is safe from my scissors…ha!)

Remember how I put up a post last Friday about our little Denver meet-up?  And then I said to check back later, because I had a post ready to go up?  Yeah, sorry about that.  Plans changed.  My littlest one hasn’t been feeling well lately.  And the second half of Friday turned into a fussy-bucket day.  You see, it’s teething season.  And with teething season comes achy little gums and low fevers and cranky nights and tugging at ears.  I took my little teether to the doctor a week ago, sure she had an ear infection or an eye infection or a something infection, to explain the ear tugging/eye rubbing in addition to the achy gums.  But nope, nothing.  So, I knew I just had to bare this teething season a little longer.  Well, each day, the fussiness got a little worse.  And her eyes started gooping up.  She was just getting more and more fussy and stuffy and cranky and achy.  So the rest of Friday I did a lot of holding.  And not much else.  (But secretly I kind of like it when that happens.  Because then busy babies slow down and let their mommas rock them.)  Then, over the weekend, this little one of mine woke up with gooped-shut eyes.  She was miserable.  So I took her into Urgent Care, once again sure that there was some sort of infection bugging her.  And yep, this time I was right.  She had developed an ugly ear infection.  Which caused the goopy little sad eyes.


So that, my friends, is why Friday turned into a busy day.  And that the tutorial that I was excited about, had to wait another couple days.


But here’s what I made.  Cutie-pie little baby hats……made from old sweaters.  If you’ve never tried it, the bottom rim of sweaters makes a perfect hat brim.  (Wanna see a really old tutorial of mine?  Go here.  I turned an old sweater of mine into a hat back when my 2 older kiddos were so itty bitty.  Wow, things have changed!)



And guess what?  Today I have girl versions AND boy versions. Yay.






Turns out, the striped hat kept my little baby’s ears nice and snuggly on our way to Urgent Care over the weekend.




Funny how little ones can perk up and flash you a smile, all while feeling cranky and achy.  But awww, those sick little eyes.  Glad she’s on the mend.




Good thing I made her 2 hats, so she can have a backup.




When we arrived to the Urgent Care………it still didn’t open for 15 more minutes.  So I plopped her up in the front seat with me, while we waited in the parking lot.





She loved it.  And her hat kept her little ears nice and snuggly warm.  Whew.




What a fun way to make your own little personalized hats though, right?  Cheap too.





I can’t look at old sweaters the same way any more.  And yeah, they kinda don’t stand a chance next to me and my scissors.  Ha.








I love them all.






The boy hats are baby size……so my 3 year old boy can’t wear them.  But I just had to sew up a few in baby boy styles too.  Just for fun. 


So, if there’s anyone out there who wants a little re-purposed sweater hat for their little boy, let me know.  You can totally have them.  (they are about a 9-12 month size)  There are still several chilly months left, right? 


I’d hate to see these just sit on my sewing table, so if you’d like one of the hats, let me know in a comment below this post, and then I’ll just pick 2 different people at the end of today.  Sound good?



Well, as long as you don’t care about my little tag on the back.  (You can always pick it off and pretend you made it.  Ha….I won’t tell!)



Anyway, I’m keeping the two girl hats.  But the boy ones are up for grabs.  Any takers?

. . . . .




Back to the hats.


If you’d like to turn your own sweaters into little hats (even for you!), here’s how:



First of all, you need sweaters.  I have found that the best sweaters to use are the ones with ribbing along the bottom.  That will give you a nice snug brim for the hat.  Look in your closets, check out the hand-me-down pile, or look at your local thrift store.  There’s always an old sweater that needs a new life.


Then, line up the bottom edges of the sweater (the front and back) and then cut out a nice rounded hat shape.  Be sure that it’s tall enough to cover the head and then come down to cover the ears.  (Click here and here for other hat examples.)


To make the argyle hat, cut two diamond shapes and iron some fusible adhesive onto the back (more help with that here).  Iron the diamonds down onto the front hat piece and then stitch around each diamond, attaching it to the sweater.  Then stitch a “V” shape and then an upside down “V” shape in another color……creating that argyle look.  I sewed the “V’s” two times each, to make them a bit bolder.


Next, place the 2 hat pieces together, with right sides together.  Stitch all along the curve of the hat.  Then either sew another straight stitch next to the first one……or sew a zig-zag stitch.  Sometimes sewing a zig-zag on woven sweater material can stretch it out, so increase your stitch length so that it jumps over more fabric.  Otherwise, just stick to another straight stitch.  Then trim the excess edges.

**HINT: Pulling and a bit of rippling is normal while sewing old sweaters.  Press flat with an iron and steam and that rippling will flatten out and sort of suck back into place.


Turn the hat right side out and then press again.  Don’t pull or stretch the sweater but press the iron straight down.


To make the pink hat with a bow, cut the hat pieces out the same way.  Then, cut another strip of the sweater that is just a bit wider than the hat pieces and then twice as tall as you’d like your bow to be.  Then fold the top and bottom edge of the strip towards the back.


Then turn that strip over and lay across the bottom edge of the front hat piece.  Sew along both ends, attaching the strip to the hat.


Then, cut another little strip of sweater, wrap it around the center of the strip that you just attached to the hat.  Then hand sew the two ends of that small strip closed, making sure that the strip is nice and snug, pulling the bow into a nice shape.  Rotate the hand-sewn edges to the back side of the bow.  Then sew the front and back hat pieces together to create your hat, just like shown above.


The navy blue hat just has 2 buttons sewn right to the hat, after the hat was all sewn together.


For the pom-pom hat, sew your hat together like the hats above…….but then cut some strips of kit fabric (that won’t fray).


Cut those strips into shorter pieces.


Then group your little pieces together and then tie thread around the middle, nice and tight.  Knot it closed.


Then bend all the little pieces upward and then wrap thread around the bottom, forcing the little pom-pom pieces to sit upwards.


Then hand-stitch the pom-pom right to the top of the hat.




And that’s it. 


A few new hats made from old sweaters.



I promise, they’ll make you happy to make. 


Nothing beats the whole “trash to treasure” thing. :)





Ashley Johnston

Administrator at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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