Developed in the 1970s as a synthetic alternative to wool, Polarfleece is an excellent winter fabric because it's soft, lightweight, durable, and machine-washable. And although it traps heat just as efficiently as wool, its stretchy fibers don't shrink or absorb water. These Polarfleece hats are relatively easy to construct and make wonderful holiday gifts.
Tools and Materials
Soft tape measure
Strong matching thread
Small pom-poms (optional)
Average Head-Size Chart
Newborn (6 Months and Younger)
Circumference: 14 to 17 inches
Crown: 8 to 10 inches
Infant (6 to 12 Months)
Circumference: 16 to 19 inches
Crown: 11 to 12 inches
Child (1 to 3 Years)
Circumference: 18 to 20 inches
Crown: 11 to 12 inches
Child (3 Years and Older)
Circumference: 20 to 22 inches
Crown: 13 to 14 inches
Circumference: 21 to 23 1/2 inches
Crown: 13 to 15 inches
Circumference: 22 to 24 1/2 inches
Crown: 14 to 16 inches
Solid-Color Hat How-To
1. You'll need one panel of fabric to make this hat. To determine the width of the fabric, measure the circumference of your head (including your ears), or use our size chart, adding a 1/4 inch on each side for seam allowance. The length for an adult hat should be about 13 inches; for a child's hat, about 10 inches. Cut out the panel of fabric.
2. With right sides facing in, sew the long ends, forming a tube. Trim seam allowance closely. If you wish to press open any remaining seam, use your fingers; do not use an iron because the fabric could melt.
3. To make a cuff, fold up bottom edge of fabric about 3 inches, then fold in another 1/4 inch for seam. Sew hem close to the turned edge.
4. Sew along the top of the hat, leaving a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Trim seam. Turn hat right-side out.
5. You can finish off the top of the hat with or without ears. For a hat with ears: Pinch corners into a fold, with the opening of each fold, facing front. Using matching thread, tightly tie off each folded corner about 1 1/2 inches down. Secure with 3 or 4 hand stitches through each ear. For a hat without ears: Join the two corners of the top of the hat together with a single stitch. Using strong thread, bring the needle through the inside of the hat at one corner and through the top of the other corner. Pull thread tight so the corners meet at the center. Tie off the thread inside hat.
Horizontal-Stripe Hat How-To
Follow the instructions for the solid-color hat, but combine horizontal bands of different-colored fleece to equal the correct height of your hat. Use as many bands as you like in any width; allow a 1/4-inch seam allowance on the top and bottom of each band, and 3 inches to the bottom band for the hat's cuff.
Vertical-Stripe Hat How-To
Follow the instructions for the solid-color hat, but in this case you'll need four fabric panels, two of each color. To determine the width of the panels, divide the head circumference by four, and add 1/4 inch on each side for seam allowance, then flatten the hat, right sides together, so that two panels lay directly on top of the other two panels. Match up the center seams.
Crown Hat How-To
1. Follow steps 1 through 4 for the solid-color hat, but keep hat right sides facing in.
2. Lay the hat flat and measure the crown of your head (ear to ear as if for earmuffs) or use our chart. Place one end of a soft tape measure at the bottom left corner of the hat, extend tape measure to the right corner of the hat, the distance equal to your crown measurement (for example, extend tape measure 14 inches if that is the length of your crown measurement). Hold both points of the tape measure in place, and arch the excess in between. Center a pin, 3 inches above the highest point of the arc; this is now your low point.
3. Using tailor's chalk, draw a horizontal line across the low-point mark and then draw a line parallel to it 3 inches higher. Mark the center of this top line. Find the points midway between the left and right sides of the center point, but mark them on the low-point line, then mark the left and right side seams 1 inch below the top line. Connect the dots in a zigzag, crown pattern. Sew along the zigzag line.
4. Trim seam, turn right side out, and shape the three points. If you'd like, attach a small pom-pom to each point.
1. For a large pom-pom, cut a strip of fleece 24 inches in length (or 9 to 12 inches for a smaller pom-pom) and as wide as you would like the pom-pom (4 inches is a good width for an adult hat). Fold the strip in half widthwise.
2. Lightly draw a line down the center of the fabric lengthwise. Cut fringes to the left and right of the line, leaving about 1/4 inch uncut in the center. The fringes can be as narrow or as wide as you like. Roll up strip of fabric.
3. Using upholstery thread, bring the needle through the core of the pom-pom, and wrap the thread tightly around the center a few times. Bring needle through the core again, and tie a tight knot. Use the excess thread to sew the pom-pom to the top, or the edges, of the hat.
Polarfleece can be purchased at Malden Mills; it is also available at sewing and fabric stores.