How to Sew a Chef's Hat

boy baking in chef's hat
KidStock / Getty Images
Overview
  • Total Time: 60 mins
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Estimated Cost: $15

A chef's hat, also known as a toque, dates back to the 16th century. These hats are worn to prevent hair from falling into food while cooking. In some cases, different hat heights indicate rank among the cooks within the kitchen. But you don't have to be a professional chef to wear your own chef's hat. You can learn how to make a chef's hat to wear for a costume or just for fun. This project requires intermediate sewing skills and roughly an hour of your time. This hat will fit most adult head sizes.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron and ironing board

Materials

  • 3/4 yard 44- to 45-inch-wide fabric (white or an appropriate novelty print)
  • Double-fold bias tape
  • Interfacing
  • Matching thread
  • 4 inch 1-inch-wide hook-and-loop (Velcro) tape

Instructions

  1. Cut the Material and Apply Bias Tape

    First, cut a circle that's 22 inches in diameter, and make a 3 1/2-inch slit toward the middle from one edge. Then, cut an 8 inch-by-25 1/2 inch band on the straight grain of the fabric. Cut the interfacing to match this band. Baste or fuse the interfacing and fabric, and work them as one piece through the rest of the directions.

    Finally, cut a 7-inch strip of double-fold bias tape (3/8 inch wide when folded). Apply the bias tape to the slit in the circle.

    bias tape being sewn to the circle
    The Spruce / Debbie Colgrove
  2. Prepare the Circle and Band

    Gather or ruffle the edges of the circle to prepare it for attaching to the band. Run gathering stitches (two to three rows of a basting stitch) on the edge of the circle.

    Then, place the wrong sides of the band together, and fold the band in half on the 25 1/2-inch length. Create a 1/2-inch seam on each end of the strip. Turn the right sides out, and press so the raw edges are together.

    Find the 1/4 marks of the circle using the slit for one mark by folding the circle in quarters. Also, fold the band in quarters, and mark the quarter points.

    Gather the circle to fit the band, matching bias tape edges to the ends of the band and matching the quarter marks that you made on the band and the circle.

    circle being attached to the band
    The Spruce / Debbie Colgrove
  3. Sew the Circle to the Band

    You are ready to assemble the hat. Use a 1/2-inch seam to attach the circle to the band. Serge or zigzag the seam allowance.

    circle and band sewn together
    The Spruce / Debbie Colgrove
  4. Topstitch the Band

    Topstitch the edges of the band using the topstitching to tack the seam allowance to the band.

    topstitching the band
    The Spruce / Debbie Colgrove
  5. Attach the Hook-and-Loop Tape

    The last step is attaching the hook-and-loop tape to the band, which will hold the hat securely on your head. The rough side of the tape is called the hook, and the soft side is called the loop.

    Fold the band in half up toward the hat. Finger-press this crease. Then, line up the hook-and-loop tape along this crease. Make sure you have the tape on opposite sides of the band, so the hook and loop parts will overlap to close the hat. Topstitch the hook-and-loop tape in place.

    details of attaching the hook-and-loop tape
    The Spruce / Debbie Colgrove