10 Free Patterns to Sew Comfortable Head Coverings for Chemo Patients

Free Sewing Patterns for Chemo Turbans, Hats, Scarves, and More

DIY knotted turban
DIY knotted turban. Abi Porter/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Of course, we all wish that there wasn't any need for them, but chemo hats and turbans are a necessity for many cancer patients. Since you are a sewer, you can create these head coverings and give to someone in need, which may help bring a bit of joy to those who might be having a hard time finding a reason to smile. 

From a tie hat to fleece caps to cute beanies, there are a variety of patterns to choose from. These free patterns are offered for non-commercial use, not for resale projects. 

  • 01 of 10

    Brimming With Love Milly's Reversible Tie Hat Pattern

    The comprehensive illustrations and pictures that accompany the instructions will allow even a beginner to assemble a stack of these hats for charity in no time flat. The directions are for one tie hat or two reversible tie hats and require just your sewing machine, 1 1/3 yards fabric (of one fabric or two contrasting fabrics), scissors, pins, and an iron.

  • 02 of 10

    Chemotherapy Turbans from Sewing.org

    This pattern is offered in sizes small, medium, and large. It has also been streamlined for mass production (non-commercial) sewing, so you can make one or several to donate to charity. For this pattern,​ you need to use a stretch knit fabric and cut the pieces on the crosswise grain, which runs perpendicular to the selvage. Serging is the quickest and simplest stitch—ideal if you are making several turbans—but you can also use a zigzag stitch.

  • 03 of 10

    Adult Chemo Hat

    Although there is no finished photo, this pattern appears to be very simple. It is laid out on just one page but it's not sized to scale, so you will need to follow the measurements and draw and cut out your own pattern. The instructions are very easy to follow and all you need is 1 yard of cotton fabric and 1/4 yard of interfacing or fleece.

  • 04 of 10

    Fast and Easy Chemo Cap

    This cap is a very simple one—perfect for beginners—that you could recruit a sewing group to mass-produce. Since it uses a 1/2 yard of knit fabric, you can raid the scrap bins and come up with a vast assortment of colors and prints for a wide variety of cap styles. The pattern does note that there have been some comments about the cap being too tight, so you may want to increase the band size.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Adult/Teen Sewn Polar Fleece Hat Pattern

    This simple cap is not your typical chemo cap. It is an easy-to-make cap that is worn every day by many people that could easily and comfortably be worn by someone who needs a chemo cap. If you use this free pattern for non-chemo purposes, please consider making a couple to donate to a local cancer center. Make sure you choose a very stretchy polar fleece material.

  • 06 of 10

    The Creative Kindness Easy Hat—Basic Cuffed Style

    Nancy's Notions offers professionally written instructions for a basic chemo cap and the illustrations make the directions easy enough for a beginner to follow. Patterns are offered in small, medium, large, and extra large, making this hat suitable for all ages. You need only 1/2 yard of a soft, stretchy knit such as fleece and matching thread. The "sewing with Nancy hints" are very helpful and make this project even more comfortable for a novice.

  • 07 of 10

    Quick and Easy Fleece Beanie

    This pattern is perfect for a group that is learning to sew. It's very simple, but will still expand the sewing skills of a beginner—and create a very usefully cap at the same time. The pattern for this beanie is offered in toddler, small adult, and large adult sizes, with adjustments listed for larger sizes.  

  • 08 of 10

    The Snood

    This pattern is for personal or charity use and is basically a "bag" attached to a band that fits around the head. Drawn by hand, and not scaled to fit, the pattern does need some adjustment, but there are links to the band pieces to help you out.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Wide Brimmed Hat

    This free pattern from Martha Stewart is offered in sizes for adults and children. The directions are listed in eight easy steps to create a reversible, wide-brimmed hat for sun protection and comfort. Once you choose the size you need, simply click on the pattern you want from the left-side menu.

  • 10 of 10

    Wild Ginger Wild Things Software

    This free downloadable pattern-making software is the perfect solution to make a hat in any size. Use this software and instantly have a hat you want in the size you want.

Just Make it Happen!

Many fabric stores will offer space for a group that wants to sew—all you need to do is ask. Use mass production sewing methods with a group and you'll be amazed just how many caps can be turned out in a few hours. When you donate the caps, take the group along or take pictures so everyone knows that their hard work is truly appreciated.