Child’s Hat

My friend’s daughter baking with her Hat and Apron

One of the fun little things I like to make is a matching hat and apron set for children, (though I’m making one for a child and an adult right now).  This idea came to me when I was going through some old stuff, and I found my daughter’s old apron. It was from Michaels, a thousand years ago (she’s a Junior in college now!).  I painted on it with puff paints, and it had actually held up pretty well through the years.

I’m the kind of mom that makes the kids help cook, even starting very little.  We had (at the time) a foster child living with us, who loved to help me cook or bake. I’d put on the adult aprons that my daughter and I had made, but of course I had to tie them around him four times and he still managed to trip.  So for his birthday, I decided to make him his own apron.  And just for fun, I was going to throw in a Chef’s hat, cause he would just love that.

The birthday present was a huge success. He loved it, the people on Facebook that saw a picture of it (but not him in it, can’t post pix of him for legal reasons), loved it, and a friend of mine asked me to make one for her daughter. She supplied the fabric.  I found I could get two aprons out of two half-yards, mixing the fabrics up.  This gave me really fun combos of patterns.  And omg can my friend pick out really beautiful fabrics that go so well together!  I could have cut up her whole stash!I had to stop myself at two sets of aprons.

So you’ll see here in the pictures, the “apron/hat set” I’m working on are actually three different sets. Because I’m so disorganized, I failed to take pix of one set all the way through. So I’ve mixed and matched the different photos to show you the complete tutorial. But the premise is the same for all of them, even though one (the flames fabric) is for an adult.




The apron I traced from an existing apron I had.  Then I trimmed it with bias tape. Two packages is adequate for an adult (I use the wider for the adult, and the thinner for the child).  I think I use two packages for the child, too.  I’ll have to come back and edit this after I confirm. I also create a pocket by folding coordinating fabric in half, then trimming to match the edge of the apron. Here is a picture before the neck and waist ties were put on:




The hat is simply a circle and a rectangle, some velcro, and a small bit of bias tape.

I used a 24×7 inch rectangle, and a circle with a circumference of 65″.  That’s a wobbly circle, unfortunately, in the picture you see.  Long strips of velcro are the secret to avoiding sizing…but to to between children and adults, measured my own head, added several inches for overlap, and then used .39 to divide 27 (the distance around my head plus overlap).  I got 72″ circumference.  I then fudged a bit and went with the 24″ diameter circle.  The fluffier the chef’s hat, the better. Right?



You need to fold the circle in half, then notch one corner on the fold.


On the other corner, make a slit about 1/4 of the way towards the notch you just made.  The notch is for matching up center later (where my finger is pointing in the picture. The slit is the opening for overlap for velcro.






You’ll wrap the bias tape over the slit, and sew it down with a line of stitches about 1/4″  in from the edge.  I love the way a contrasting thread color looks (even if my stitches get a bit wobbly), but you might like something that blends in better. It’s all about your taste.




Are you familiar with gathering fabric using long basting stitches? If not, there are probably tutorials out there. Simply set your stitch length to as long as it will go, leave tension the same as it was.  Make two runs around the outside of the circle, staring and stopping on eat side of the slit. The first pass should be at 5/8 seem allowance, the next pass inside this, I usually do “presser  foot distance” inside the line. Here’s a terrible picture with light thread, so sue me.

You can see the thread line on the right side of the fabric, and how it’s already starting to gather.

You might also notice that these instructions are out of order.  You can do it either way, apply binding first or second. Up to you.

Back to your band. I put iron-on interfacing on the wrong side, then fold right sides together, and serge both short ends.  Leave the long end open, and obviously leave the folded end alone.  Turn it right side out, and push out the corners with scissor points, a pencil, whatever you have.

This band is for a different hat…don’t worry.  You aren’t seeing things.






So here I folded the band in half along the long side to find the halfway mark. Then I pinned it to the notch on the circle (right sides together).  The bias-tape covered slit then gets pinned on either end. I let the bias tape hang over, then fold them over after serging. Notice how the gathering is already happening. Once the three pins are in, pull the bobbin threads on one end, gathering the fabric gently and pushing it down the bobbin thread to evenly distribute between the pins.  Do this on the other side as well.  Once  you are happy with the distribution of ruffles, you can pin the circle securely to the band

Then take it to the serger, or stitch it with a 1/2″ seam allowance or more (make sure you cover the basting stitches or you’ll be ripping them out later).


Ok, so here is the nearly finished product. I like to put a row of stitches around the edge of the band so that when it comes out of the wash it stays nice and flat. Also, when you are doing that, catch the circle seam, which helps the hat “stand” up better than it is here in this picture.  I’ll get the real “finished” product pix tonight.





Well, so that’s about it.  What details did I skip? Tons I think.  I’ll have to check my math to explain it better. I did kind of throw out all my calculations and just randomly pick a diameter (mostly cause the cutting board I have has a 12″ radius premeasured).

Once this is done, I’ll get a picture of my friend’s daughter modeling it as well.




Disclaimer: If you want to copy this tutorial, have at it. If you want to sell what you make, have at it.  My idea isn’t original, so I’m not stupid enough to try to claim otherwise. This is just my way of doing it.  Nothing pisses me off more than those who steal ideas and then say “Don’t steal my idea.”  Steal away.

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    None Found

So I opened up the box. Here’s the contents (minus all the books).  There is an instructional CD and a Quick start guide. I watched the cd and skimmed the quick start

New Machine and Accessories Fresh out of the Box



The operation manual bored me to sleep. Twice.  So we skipped that.

Check out all those accessories! Look up close.


So I had a hat I was making for a friend of mine, and I wanted to embroider his name on the front.  Before I did it “for real” I wanted to give it a test run.  I had another hat which was a “spare” I was making for a different friend…a less picky, more forgiving friend.  So I decided to try my hand at my first embroidery experiment.

I won’t go through all the gory details of how you set up the Brother SE400. I will say it was dead easy. The hoop is the only real pain, and I’m starting to get the hang of it.  It comes with a preloaded bobbin, and the correct embroidery needle installed.

I simply plopped in my machine embroidery thread (Coats and Clark, black), and whizzed through the menu.  My friend’s daughter’s name is Afton, but the machine would only take Afto.  I realized that this is because the hoop is longer than wide, and the words were being sewn left to right, horizontally.  IIRC, there should be a way to rotate these, right?  I looked but couldn’t find it.  I’ll give it more of a search tomorrow.

Anyway – long story short, I simply had to rehoop for the “n.”  The problem with that is trying to get the placement exactly right. WHAT A PAIN.  I bought the bigger hoop, but by then it was too late. In for a penny and all.

So…Here’s some pix of the process:





and the finished product:



That’s all for now!

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