I needed a cap, which I want to fit tight to my head, has a cuff and no extended tip (like a beanie). Unfortunately I failed to find a suitable sewing pattern for adults and therefore I have simply tried to construct a pattern for my needs. Although the word “construct” is certainly a little overestimated. 😉
My sewing pattern
The above shown sewing pattern (pdf-document) is for a head circumference of 55cm and you can download it for free at the end of this post. It is free of charge, but it is only intended for private use (without warranty), ie if you want to sell self-sewed caps after this pattern, I ask in advance to get in touch with me to get a commercial license.
If your head circumference is bigger or smaller, you can of course adjust the pattern to your size. However, please make sure that the widening is proportionally larger than the length extension of the cap, and bear in mind that the cap (upper part) is made of 6 individual parts, so you have to give your extra width to all parts (and in each case on both sides of an intersection) to keep the form. It’s the same if you want to reduce the width. I would also check the length of the cap (after the enlargement and/or reduction of the head circumference) to see if it still fits to your head.
Preparing sewing pattern (print):
Download the sewing pattern (it’s only one pdf page), print it (eg with the free Acrobat Reader) without page adjustment (ie to 100%) and checked the control square with a ruler, it should be 5×5 cm. If everything is okay, cut out the two pieces along the lines. Done!
To make sure you do not end up with a way too short or way too long cap (because each head is different), I would now hold the cap-part section to your head and check, if the length works for your head. If you hold the top part of the pattern piece to the centerpoint of your head, the lower part should at least end on the (lower) half of your ear. If this doesn’t seems to fit at all, I would correct the length before cutting the pattern pieces out of your fabric.
I have used some left over sweatshirt fabric pieces for my cap, the “lining cap” has no elastane, because I wanted to have the “fluffy” side of this sweatshirt fabric on my head, the “outer cap” has elastane, simply because I had no other fabric left and it works fine together. Therefore it seems possible to also use some jersey, but since jersey is usually more stretchy than sweat, the cap may be a little wider.
Also a normal inelastic woven fabric seems to be suitable (but without guarantee) for the upper part of the cap, since the cap is supposed to fit proper to the head and therefore no real “stretchability” is needed.
For the cuffs, however, I always use cuff fabric, which is really elastic, so that the cap does not wear out and should not slip even after frequent wearing. And since I do not like my cuffs to be really tight and I using cuff fabric with a normal amount of stretch (5% elastane), I calculated the cuff length for this sewing pattern as follows: Head circumference (55cm) x 0.75 (+ seam allowance). If you, however, only have very stretchy cuff fabric, I would shorten the cuff length using the following formula: Head circumference (55cm) x 0.7 (+ seam allowance).
Because I always work with a normal sewing machine, the sewing pattern already has a 1cm seam allowance included. So you only need to lay the pattern pieces onto your fabric, pin and cut around. And to make it as less work as possible, I fold my fabric for this at least once, so you get 2 parts at once. All in all you need for a simple layer cap: 6 upper caps and for the lined version 12 upper caps. The cuff is only to cut once on fold, so that you end up with the double length.
If you want to sew with an overlock machine, please keep in mind that you usually only need a seam allowance of 6-7mm for it, so reduced the pattern pieces accordingly, otherwise you end up with a significantly larger head circumference than planned. 😉
Stitch settings of your sewing machine:
Since I decided for sweatshirt fabric, I going to use the “stretch straight stitch” of my sewing machine. Sometimes this is also called “elastic triple stitch”, or similar. If you are unsure, just take a look at the manual of your sewing machine.
Now you sew together the 6 top cap parts. You start with 2 pieces, which you put together (right sides of the fabic facing each other) and sew on one side from the bottom up to the top. As a little advice: Sew the tops of your cap pieces only that far together that the 1cm (exactly) seam allowance stays open/unstitched. This way all parts will fit together smoothly and it makes the sewing a lot easier.
Then take the next pattern piece, put it on one of the already sewn sections, also right sides of the fabric facing and also sew these two at one side from the bottom up to the top.
Repeat this step until all 6 intersections are connected to each other. Finally, close the cap by sewing together the two sections at the edges (right sides facing). The same thing you repeat – if you want the cap (as mine) with a lining – with the 6 lining parts, so that you end up with 2 “caps”. I now reduce the seam allowance by cutting away half of it on both caps, so they do not apply too much later. Important: Do not cut back the sewing allowance at the head opening, this is still needed for sewing the cuff to the cap.
The main part of the work is now done, only the cuff is left. This pattern piece you have hopefully cut on fold, so that you (if you have not made any changes) should have a 43,25cm long and 8cm wide cuff fabric piece lying in front of you. Sew it together (right sides facing) at the short sides to close it to a “ring”.
Fold the seam allowance apart and fold the resulting fabric ring lengthwise, so that the seam allowance is inside/invisible. The cuffs should now only be 4cm wide (3cm cuff width + 1cm seam allowance) and sewed together as a ring with two folded fabric layers (nice side of the fabric is outside).
Put both caps (outer cap and lining cap) together now, so that you can only see the pretty fabric sides of both caps. This means that the lining cap is reversed and the side with the seam allowance points outwards, then push it into the outer cap. Always make sure that all seams of both caps are aligned. To prevent any slipping while sewing, pin these with 6 needles for security. The cap now looks like ready to wear, just (still) without the cuff.
With the already prepared cuff I now do the following: First I put 4 needles (some might prefer to make some little cuts into the fabric) so that the cuff is divided into 4 equal-sized parts. 1x at the ring-closing-seam, 1x exactly at the opposite side and then one at the half of each long side. Now put this prepared cuff over the outer edge of the cap, so that the open sides of the cuff meet with the open sides of both caps. The outer cap (black) therefore is located directly under the double-layered cuff.
Since the cuff is much narrower than the cap itself, you must now put it together evenly with the caps (do not stretch the caps). Here I proceed as follows: With the needle, which is at the ring-closing-seam of the cuff, I now pin together all 4 fabric layers at one place of the cap with two aligned seams. The same thing I do at the exact opposite side. Then I stretch the cuff until the surface of the two caps lies flat under it (please make sure that you do not stretch the caps while doing this) and pin it together with the needle that marks the 1/4 cuff. This should be at the center of one middle cap pattern piece. Repeat this step at the other side. This is enough (for me) to evenly sew the cuff to the caps, but if you are unsure, you can also add more needles until everything is evenly fixed to the cuff.
Sew the cuff and the caps together now and your cap is practically ready and can be worn.
But to make it also looks nice at the inside, I finish the remaining seam allowance (both together) with an overlock stitch, fold this up into the cap and fix it from the outside with a long normal straight stitch. You don’t have to do this, I just think it looks better! 😉 This is how my cap looks from the inside (blue) now.
And this is how my cap looks from the outside! 😀 It fits close to my head and the cuff ends – as desired – right under my ears, so no wind can reach them.
You like my cap and want to give it a try using my sewing pattern?
This is possible, just download it for free at the end of this blog entry.
But please remember that the sewing pattern is intended to be exclusively for private use and without any guarantee. The distribution through others (ie sharing and/or the uploading my sewing pattern elsewhere to share and/or spread it) is not allowed. If you want to sew and sell caps made after this pattern, please first check the conditions for commercial use with me, it requires a separate license. Thanks!
I hope you are having fun while trying & that it is at least helpful to some people! 🙂
(I would love to see your makes, so please hashtag at instgram with #ninanadel or @ninanadel or send me photos via email! Thanks a lot! <3)
If I have any errors in my instructions and/or you do not quite understand something, please give me a hint and/or send me your question(s) via email, I am open for every suggestion and always willing to help to the best of my knowledge and belief.