Scrap Busters #2: Reversible Jersey Beanie

We’re back with another scrap buster project!

You’ll make your own pattern for a simple, reversible beanie hat, which you can then adapt to your taste.

Difficulty Level: Easy


  • Stretchy fabric
  • Sewing machine / overlocker
  • Newspaper & Pen
  • Scissors
  • Old beanie hat
  • Needle & thread
You can use any stretchy fabric as long as it stretches both vertically and horizontally (confusingly this gets called 4-way stretch.) If your fabric stretches more in one direction than the other you need to use it with the stretchiest direction going horizontally.

Step 1: Draw around your old beanie onto some newspaper - adding a bit of extra all around for seam allowances, and even more if your old beanie is a lot more stretchy than your fabric (which it was in my case.)

Note: If you want a fold-up brim like on the beanie I drew round, just unfold it before you draw around it and then follow the instructions as normal (leaving off the band.)

Step 2: Once you have drawn around it, cut your pattern out and fold it in half and draw around it again - this makes your pattern tidier and symmetrical - I used this step to enlarge the pattern a bit more as my first hat turned out too tight. 

Step 3: If you want to make a more slouchy beanie you can add a band by drawing a long rectangle - this needs to be twice the lower width of your hat plus whatever seam allowance you are going to use. The height of the band is up to you - the more, the slouchier!

Step 4: Cut out four pieces of the main body from your fabric and two bands (if using.) I used a contrast fabric for the bands, but you don’t have to. You can also make up the inside and the outside of the hat in different fabrics as this hat will end up being fully reversible!

Step 5: Sew two hat pieces together (right sides together) and do the other two the same way.

Note: I used my overlocker for all the sewing in this project, but if you don’t have an overlocker, just use your regular machine, set to a small zig zag stitch. If your fabric is a very open knit you can use a ballpoint needle or if it is a very stretchy lycra type fabric use a stretch needle. Mine is just cotton jersey so I wouldn’t usually use a special needle for that.

Step 6: Sew the ends of the band together (right sides together) and do the same for the second band. If you are not adding a band, skip ahead to step 8.

Step 7: Join each band to each hat, right sides together. Make sure to match up the seams as neatly as you can. Bonus points if the match is perfect (mine wasn’t!)

Step 8: Turn one hat the right side out and put it inside the other to join them together at the bottom (so right sides together.) Again, try to match up the seams as well as you can! And don’t forget to leave an opening for turning (I often get carried away and forget, this is one of the ways in which I annoy myself..)

Step 9: Turn your creation the right side out and then tuck one inside the other.

Step 10: Hand sew the opening closed, using slip stitch (also known as ladder stitch.)

This is a super handy stitch that I use all the time for closing openings or hand hemming. If you don’t have any lovely old sewing books to look this stitch up in you can check out a handy tutorial for this stitch here.

And that’s it, one bespoke, handmade, eco-friendly, ethically produced hat!

The joy of having made your own pattern is that you can now play around with it to your heart's content. I turned the slightly too-tight early version into a running hat and embroidered it using the alphabet function on my sewing machine (see the first pic above.) You can add motifs, tassles, bobbles or any other decoration you fancy, or even totally change the shape to make elf hats or santa hats, the world is your oyster!


And if you don't fancy making your own pattern, there are plenty of patterns to be found for all sorts of hats, both online as PDFs or from 'the big four'. For example this free slouchy beanie pattern from 'Patterns for Pirates'.

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