Make a Witch Hat in Any Size TUTORIAL

When thinking of what I should make for one of my favorites series of the year, Andrea Pannell’s Handmade Costume series, my brainstorming list was all over the place. My boys want to be Hero Factory characters this year…uh…still not sure how or if I am going to pull that off. Then I thought about how it would be cool to share a pattern for Reid’s Ninjago Kai armor from last year. But…I am not really sure how many of you would be into that. ;)

In the end, I decided to keep things classic. And what could be more classic than a witch hat?

Today, I’m going to teach you how to make your own witch hat pattern in any size!

Let’s get to it.

MATERIALS

premium felt
matching thread & sewing machine, sewing essentials…
paper to make a pattern on (computer paper taped together or freezer paper works great)
pencil and chalk
calculator
ruler
measuring tape
paper and fabric scissors

Note: This requires a lot of math. If you hate math, don’t worry! I will walk you through it step by step.

MEASUREMENTS

First, measure your head around your forehead.

Add about 1/2 inch to 1 inch depending on how low you want your hat to sit on your forehead.
This is your head circumference. 

*My head circumference is 23 1/4 inches (I added 1/2 inch).

Second, decide how wide you want the total width of your hat. This is your brim diameter. 

*I made my brim diameter 19 inches.

CREATE BRIM PATTERN

To start, you need your head diameter.

You can determine this number using this formula:

head diameter(pi) = head circumference

In my case:

diameter (pi) = 23 1/4 inches

or 23.25/pi = 7 2/5 inches = head diameter

On pieced together computer paper or some freezer paper, draw out a circle with your desired brim diameter.

You may decide to figure out the brim circumference, but that won’t really matter for this hat.

From that brim circle, cut a hole out of the exact center, using your head diameter and head circumference measurement.

Tada! You have a brim pattern.

CREATE CONE PATTERN

First, decide how tall you want your hat. I decided to make mine 11.5 inches tall.

Then, determine the radius of your head measurement. To get this, you simply divide the head diameter in half.

radius = diameter/2

My head radius = 3.7 inches

What we need now is the slant height using this formula:
√ r^2 + h^2 = slant height
 
So, square the radius and the hat height. Add them together, and then square root that number. 
 
My slant height was approximately 12 inches. 
 
Draw a line on some paper the length of the slant height. Choose one end as the anchor point. From that anchor point mark the slant height out in an almost third of a circle shape. 
 
Now you can do two things: 
 
One – you can take your measuring tape and measure out your head circumference plus 1/2 inch for seam allowance. Draw an arc as wide as the head circumference plus 1/2 inch.
Two – you can treat this shape  like another cone. Multiply your head circumference by two to get the cone circumference and then use that to determine the cone radius. Double the radius to get the diameter and then use the diameter to help you determine how wide your cone pattern needs to be, before drawing out the rest of the arc of the cone pattern. 
 
I know that can be confusing. That is why, I included the measuring tape option. :)
 
This is what you should end up with:
 
Two pattern pieces…a brim pattern and a cone pattern. 
 
CUT FELT
 
Now, a word about felt. You can get the regular craft felt sold by the bolt at Hobby Lobby and Jo-Ann. It is cheaper but it is also thinner and flimsier. Wool felt is nicer quality but it also is a bit thin. My recommendation is that you look for premium felt, also sold by the bolt. You can see in the picture below how much thicker it is than craft felt. 
It is more expensive, but if you use a coupon it is not too bad. I feel like the premium felt is well worth it and will make a nicer hat. I purchased one yard of felt for under $5 and have made one adult hat, and two toddler hats with plenty left over to make at least two more child sized hats. So, if you are really crunching numbers, it is still relatively inexpensive.
Trace and cut your hat pieces out. You need one of each piece.
Tip: To make tracing easier on black felt, use chalk.
 
ASSEMBLE WITCH HAT
 
Now that you have your pieces cut out. Fold your cone piece in half…
*Be sure to sew with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
*A dull pencil or a chop stick is great for helping to turn out points and corners. 
*You may iron the seam allowance flat or use your fingers to smooth it out a bit.
 
*Again, use a narrow 1/4 inch seam allowance. Some measurements have been rounded up and down so if you find that your cone is just slightly too small for your brim you can: 
a. Cut a new cone piece and sew it together with an 1/8 inch seam allowance. 
b. Unpick the current cone piece and carefully sew it with a smaller seam allowance. 
 
You can also stretch the cone to fit the brim. Felt doesn’t have hardly any give, so it can only stretch just slightly. 
And that’s it! The sewing part is a cinch right?
 
Leave it as it, or hot glue on some ribbon. Scrunch the hat up or smooth it out to get different looks.
 
If you are making a toddler hat, sewing some thin elastic to the inside seam allowance can be a good idea.
 
And hey, if you happen to have a child who will fit a size 3-8 year old hat, you can skip the pattern math and use this free pattern I found from Living With Punks HERE

Need more costume inspiration? Check out the other great costume tutorials being shared for Andrea Pannell’s Handmade Costume Series HERE.


Comments

  1. says

    I love this– and I completely agree with you about the premium felt vs wool vs regular. I was surprised at the difference my last trip to Joanns!

  2. says

    So great. This is going to be one of those tuts that everyone pins for future witch Halloweens. :)

    AND, you killed it with Natalie's ensemble. That bleach trick on the hem…so genius. As soon as you mentioned the bleach I thought, "Oh yeah, bleach turns your blacks orange! Why didn't we all think of that before?"

    Happy moving! Hope it's going as

  3. says

    Thank you for sharing this! Unfortunately I cannot handle this kind of math, even tho you clearly explained everything….I am totally math challenged! Maybe I can get my husband to caluculate for me and I'll stick with the sewing ;) I'm super impressed with your math skills, girl!!

  4. says

    Thank you! I just made this hat, for myself, and it was very easy once I figured out the math. I added some felt roses (made from circles cut into spirals) all the way around, where the pointy top meets the brim. I might add a bow as well. In all I used under a half yard of the premium felt, including the roses. I think I will be a shabby chic witch this year, since that's what the hat brings

  5. Julie L says

    Thank you! I made the perfect hat for my witch’s costume using this tutorial. The math is needed for the fit, and it wasn’t too “scary” to figure out.
    I used a black jacquard fabric rather than felt. The cone is stiff enough to stand on its own. I cut two brims and sewed a stiff piece of interfacing between them. Finished it off with a ribbon of black roses around the seamline. Still a quick, easy sewing project.
    And it looks great! Thanks again for the tutorial.

  6. Tiffany says

    I LOVE this. Took me a while to do the math, but my Gandalf hat (for The Hobbit premiere) looks amazing. Thank you so much for putting thia up!!!

Trackbacks

  1. […] How adorable do Delia and her daughter of Delia Creates look in their no-sew Halloween spiderweb capes and hats? She also has a tutorial for the witch hats they are wearing.  She has excellent tutorials for both the cape and the hat. She is also made them for a daughter, mommy and me; which is absolutely precious. She has plenty of pictures for you to follow and she shows you exactly how to make it with her complete tutorial and I love the bright tights she selected, black would have been too much. I want to thank Delia for sharing these precious outfits!  Cape tutorial here and the Hat tutorial here! […]

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