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Project

Woolen Beret

Add a fun touch to your wardrobe with this lovely woolen beret.

Introduction

Martha used the Singer "Confidence" sewing machine to make this beret. Wool is available on moodfabrics.com. Button covering kits can be found at any craft or sewing notions store.

Materials

  • Tailor's tape measure
  • Beret template
  • Scissors
  • Small heavy item, such as a can of soup or a paperweight
  • Rotary Cutter
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Uncovered 1-inch button
  • Button covering kit
  • Iron and ironing board
  • 1/4-yard wool melton; a brushed weight wool
  • Machine-sewing thread in complementary color

Steps

  1. Step 1

    With a tailor's tape measure, measure around the top of your head (or the head for which the beret is intended), where a hat would normally sit. Round up to the nearest 1/2 inch. This is your head measurement.

  2. Step 2

    Print the beret template and cut out along the line that is marked with your head measurement.

  3. Step 3

    Place the template on the wool and weigh down with a small heavy item. Cut around the template with a rotary cutter. Repeat to make 6 of these pieces.

  4. Step 4

    Put two pieces together, right sides facing and edges aligned. Using a sewing machine, sew these two pieces together along one long edge with a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Open the sewn piece, and align a third piece to a raw edge, right sides facing. Pin and sew as you did the first two pieces. This is half of the beret -- repeat this step with the remaining three pieces to make the second half.

  5. Step 5

    Pin the two halves together, right sides facing and edges aligned. Sew with a 1/4-inch seam allowance.

  6. Step 6

    Use a zigzag stitch along the raw seam allowances to finish and reinforce the seams. Turn the hat right side out and set aside for now.

  7. Step 7

    Make the hat band: Cut a strip of wool 2 inches wide, and as long as your head measurement plus 1/2 inch.

  8. Step 8

    Match the short sides of the strip together, right sides facing, and sew with a 1/4-inch seam allowance.

  9. Step 9

    Fold the band you have just created in half lengthwise, with the right sides on the outside of the fold, matching raw edges together. Press.

  10. Step 10

    Match the raw edges of the hat band with the raw edge of the hat, with the band on the outside of the hat. Pin in place all around. Remove extension arm of sewing machine and stitch hat and hat band together with 1/4-inch seam allowance. Finish seam with a zigzag stitch.

  11. Step 11

    Using a button-covering kit, cover a button with a scrap of wool from the hat. Sew the button to the top of the beret.

  12. Step 12

    Using the narrow point of your ironing board or an ironing ham, press the seams of the beret flat.

Source
The Martha Stewart Show, February 2008

Reviews (51)

  • Ebilwabbit 17 Dec, 2013

    This pattern is only for the light blue beret pictured. One thing to note: the hat will fit the noted head size only before attaching the band to the bottom. Once you fold under the wool fabric for the band, your hat will be much too tight to put on, so go up at least 2 "sizes" on the pattern to account for this unless you're using a very thin fabric (broadcloth weight or lighter). I had to omit the bound bottom edge entirely for the hat to fit the size it was cut to (22" hat for a 22" head).

  • Maeve42 7 Mar, 2011

    Judging from the template I saw, it's for the light blue hat, which is very cute! The lavendar hat appears to be a circle that's been evenly gathered and tucked into a band that should be about the size of the wearer's head. Hope that helps! :)

  • wespro 23 Jan, 2011

    There are what looks like three different styles but one template. I watched the video showing how to make one style but how do you make the other two styles?

  • buddyone 8 Jan, 2011

    I have tried to print the template several times. All I got was a small diagram of pieces with numbers on it for different sizes. Now I am trying to print it again, hoping for a large image but now the template is GONE ! I would love to make these berets but need a pattern. Any help would be great !

  • bookladyma 8 Dec, 2010

    Is there a template for the lavender one? It's so cute :-) Deb

  • julinga 29 Nov, 2010

    I've made dozens of these, from lots of different (mostly recycled) fabrics, not just wool. I've even made them reversible. They're great! My dad almost never takes his off!

  • GinnyDesignStudio 29 Nov, 2010

    I just made this beret, it is wonderful. For more fullness you need to add more wigdth to the template (not length), then pleat. I made it out of a small piece of Pendleton wool, and will definately make more. A wonderful, fast project!

  • Pattyaitch 29 Nov, 2010

    When I print, it prints in miniature, and I do mean miniature. The template printed full size (I think.)

  • Vickiquilts4u 14 Nov, 2010

    I might add that I have not had any problems with any other downloads I've done from Martha - Thanks for any help!

  • Vickiquilts4u 14 Nov, 2010

    We have 12 granddaughters and I'd love to make berets, scarves and mittens to match and this is the perfect beret. HOWEVER when I click on template it takes me to a blank page and I can't get past it. Any suggestions?

  • DebraLW 1 Apr, 2010

    I made this Beret yesterday and it turned out perfectly. I have to say that it turned out exactly like the picture, which is amazing. Thanks for the great pattern. Deb

  • Anna1986 9 Feb, 2010

    I inherited a beret as a child, and I wore it for so long now, that it needed a substitute. So, I believe I can make one now.

  • nanamonie 13 Sep, 2008

    When I made this beret, as I sewed each piece together I opened the seams allowances and top stitched on either side of the seam so that the seam allowances were stitched down. I think it makes a much neater beret and easier than pressing the seam allowances open.

    Nanamonie

  • nanamonie 13 Sep, 2008

    When I made this beret, as I sewed each piece together I opened the seams allowances and top stitched on either side of the seam so that the seam allowances were stitched down. I think it makes a much neater beret and easier than pressing the seam allowances open.

    Nanamonie

  • nanamonie 16 Aug, 2008

    Thank you Deboosh
    I have a color printer but my black cartridge was low and it wouldn't print the color for some reason. I have now been able to print it. thanks again

  • Deboosh 13 Aug, 2008

    Nanamonie,
    I think your problem is that you printed in black and white and not on a color printer? I have two printers and the first one which did not have color came out where I could just see the outer line (24") But when I changed printers and printed in color I could see all sizes. Maybe you know someone close by that has a color printer if you don't.

  • nanamonie 7 Aug, 2008

    Dear Martha,
    I watched your show when you made the woolen beret. I went to print the template and am not able to get all the sizes printed. The only one that will print is the 24" one. I want to make some for my granddaughter and her friends for Christmas.. Am I doing something wrong Thanks for your reply and help.
    Maureen

  • sarta 3 Aug, 2008

    Dear Martha:

    I always enjoy all of your many books, magazines and shows!

    I'm very interested in making the Woolen Beret that you featured in one of you recent replayed shows. I would also like to made the lavender one with the pleated top attached to the hat band. Is that pattern and templaet available?

    Thanking you in advance for your kind reply.

    Sincerly,

    Sarta

  • DianneMandy 2 Aug, 2008

    In re: to schindlm's comment....Martha's hat was probably bigger because she used the 24" size and that would lengthen it too. Glad for the comments here before I used wool. Thanks all.

  • rightnowgirl 2 Aug, 2008

    In response to the Summer hats (great idea, by the way!) - I would use any type of 100% cotton, but be sure to wash it first (for shrinking). In addition, a cotton/poyster blend would be good too (less wrinkling)

  • Magic Chef 2 Aug, 2008

    I made the hat and would make some adjustments. The length of the pattern from tip to bottom is too short. It does not fit as low on the head as the lovely blue hat Martha made on the show. Next time I'll split the pattern horizontally and add 1/2 to 3/4" to the length. I wish I would have tested it on muslin before wasting a good piece of wool. I made the 22 1/2" size. The circumference was fine. Also will make the band wider than the suggested 1/2".

  • tbcross 2 Aug, 2008

    my girls and I would like to make summer versions of this hat. I was wondering what lightweight material I could use? Does it need to stretch or could I use a pretty cotton and a liner? I would like to do them by Sunday because school starts Mon. any help would be great. Thanks

  • LarZaina 30 Jul, 2008

    when you go to print the template, check for the page scaling option. Usually in the lower left of the print screen menu. Make sure that the page scaling is set to none. this will make sure that your template prints out at its proper size. I hope this helps anyone having print size problems.

  • VintageSingerLady 29 Jul, 2008

    The beret project looks like fun! Where can I find the templates for the other two hats shown in the photo?

    Thanks!

  • Lynalyn 29 Jul, 2008

    I watched you making berets today with Epatha. I am 70 years old and have been sewing since 6 or 7. Never, Never, Never sew across a pin no matter what machine you are using. If you hit a pin you have a chance of a broken needle flying up and lodging in your eye. And don't pin across a seam, it skews the seams allowance. Pin with the seam and you have to remove the pins and you don't have to remove all the pins when you are finished.

  • BlueHeron8 29 Jul, 2008

    I am going to make these for Christmas gifts also. However, I am going to put monograms or embroidery on the hats too! Just a little extra personalizing. Thanks for a wonderful project!

  • Rocco220 29 Jul, 2008

    Great idea Martha. Now I know what I am making for Christmas presents for my family, a nice beret and a maing scarf for all 24 family members. They are so easy i ont know why i did not think of them sooner. Thank You

  • Rocco220 29 Jul, 2008

    Great idea Martha. Now I know what I am making for Christmas presents for my family, a nice beret and a maing scarf for all 24 family members. They are so easy i ont know why i did not think of them sooner. Thank You

  • mgemisis 8 May, 2008

    Oops, I meant to type 'sewed the Band to the hat and lining'.

  • mgemisis 8 May, 2008

    This pattern is great. My daughter wears these type of hats all the time and now I can make her some in colors/fabrics she can't get online. I used the same pattern to cut out a lining which I sewed the same way, but sewed the back to the hat and lining.

  • trika 25 Apr, 2008

    I love this pattern. Just one question, where can I purchase the hat stands?

    katrikaS

  • GypsyLady40138 18 Apr, 2008

    Great for the last min. gifts. Thank you for the many ideas. That sewing machine looks smooth as butter as you say.
    friend forever
    GypsyLady

  • lilyoake 10 Apr, 2008

    I too am excited about trying this pattern. I live in a generic navy wool beret 3 seasons out of the year and to now be able to custom make berets to go with certain outfits is a step in the right direction as I try to add life to my all navy and white wardrobe!

  • kwheeler 9 Apr, 2008

    I am excited to try this. I am going to try with fleece.

  • gemnasium 30 Mar, 2008

    What materials can be substituted for wool melton?

  • labounty 9 Mar, 2008

    on the set i saw a vertion of the light ble hat with a small brim. dos any one know how i might go about adding a brim. thank you

  • knittinggrandma 26 Feb, 2008

    Oops! For dark blue hat: sew with Right sides together. I bet most of you caught my error.

  • Aaromanis 26 Feb, 2008

    The pleated hat is made with a 15 3/4 inch diameter circle (this includes the 1/4 inch seam allowance) and making 16 evenly spaced pleats 3/4 inch deep. Run a basting stitch to secure the pleats in place and then attach the headband the same way the as the demonstrated beret. The pleats are easily adjustable to accommodate different head sizes. Now you look FIERCE!

  • MouseC 23 Feb, 2008

    agthornas57 has it pretty much right. I cut out a template the circumference of my head and then add about 3-4 inches all around to get the measurement of the "large circle". This way I know there's enough to pleat. You might want to make one larger. I've also had some success making oval shapes instead of circles but it's a bit trickier. Good luck.

  • sewartist 23 Feb, 2008

    Loved the beret, I am going to try to make one.

    I noticed it looked like you were sewing over pins. It is advisable not to do this
    as you could ruin the needles of the machine... Laverne Fowler, Ks.

  • agthomas57 22 Feb, 2008

    @redgram2e...I bet you would use the pattern piece as a big "compass," to cut a large circle, then just gather the extra fabric into pleats, so the circumference equals the length of the band. If you try it, let us know if it works!

  • redgram2e 22 Feb, 2008

    HOW DO YOU MAKE THE PURPLE BERET WITH THE PLEATS??? GRAM2E

  • nightowl 22 Feb, 2008

    Oh..I love it! I make purses

  • nightowl 22 Feb, 2008

    Oh..I love it! I make purses

  • bonnien 22 Feb, 2008

    Could you include a 1" test square for the template? I think my printer os way off, mine turned out way too small. A darling project., waiting for help!

  • knittinggrandma 21 Feb, 2008

    Dark blue hat: cut two circles 10-12 inches in diameter (I use a dinner plate to trace around). In center of one of the circles, cut approx. 7 inch circle (I trace a cereal/soup bowl). Wrong sides together, sew the edges as described in the light blue directions. Cut band as in light blue instructions and attach evenly to the edge of the smaller circle. I make these for cancer patients going through chemo and make the band 4 inches wide. Fleece also works well.

  • nanacee 21 Feb, 2008

    Anyone have an idea of how to make the navy blue beret? Nanacee

  • MJ21 20 Feb, 2008

    This is for DYNA7. I do not have the pattern for the purple hat but I think you can make one. Print the given template and use the size you want ( bigger for fullness )without the seam allowance. Tape 6 of them together to make a big circle. Determine the head band size and then gather the edge of the circle to fit inside the head band. Make a sample one of scrap fabric or muslin before you make lots of them. Put a real funky covered button on the one for kids.

  • DYNA7 20 Feb, 2008

    I am also interested in a pattern for the purple hat with pleats. I make turbans for the oncology units at our local cancer center and the Children's Hospital and am always looking for new designs. Hoping you can be of help. Thank you.
    DYNA7

  • judyc58 20 Feb, 2008

    Last night I made this cute beret. I made mine out of a pretty blue wool and added a felted whimsical flower (red wool with yellow center) onto the front of the hat. I attached the flower by felting the center of the flower to the beret and leaving the petals loose. When it is worn as Martha and Epatha had theirs the flower adds interest and whimsy. Very easy to make. Less than an hour.
    Judyc58

  • mindycowles 20 Feb, 2008

    I was delighted to see such an easy and attractive project. It was fun to watch Martha and Epatha, both such skilled seamstresses, each matching the others' skill level, they actually came very close to completing the project on air. I have one question. In the set display there was a purple hat of a different design. It appeared to have pleats in the body of the hat at the hat band attachment. Do you have the pattern for that hat also?

    Happy Sewing,
    Mindy Cowles