Why buy a helmet liner when you can make one out of a T-shirt? This beanie-style cap protects your head and hair under a motorcycle helmet, bike helmet, or hard hat. It also can be an extra layer under another hat. Plus, you can even wear it on its own. By using a T-shirt, you can make this beanie in a flash. The project should take intermediate sewers about an hour to complete. And you don't even need a serger because the T-shirt creates the finished hem of the hat. Plus, with a few simple adjustments, it's easy to make this hat in any size you need.
Instead of a T-shirt, you can use other knit fabric. But you will need to do a bit more finishing for the hem.
Equipment / Tools
- Tape measure
- Rotary cutting tools
- Sewing machine
- Paper plate (or another 9 1/4-inch circle template)
- Matching thread
Measure and Cut the T-Shirt
First, measure the head of the person who will wear the beanie. Measure around from the forehead to the top of the neck. Add 1/2 inch to the measurement. This average-size hat starts with a 24-inch measurement.
Cut a piece 8 inches wide and the length of the head measurement from the bottom of the T-shirt, so the hem is the bottom of the long edge. The easiest way to do this is to lay the shirt flat, cutting the piece on the fold to half the head measurement.
Knit fabrics, especially pre-washed T-shirts, often have a little twist. Don't worry if you find this in the shirt you're using, as it won't affect the hat.
Sew the First Seam
Sew the rectangle into a tube with a French seam for added strength. To do this, fold the rectangle, matching the short edges with the wrong sides together. Pin the fabric, and sew along the short edge with a scant 1/4-inch seam allowance.
Finish the Back Seam of the Hat
Turn the tube wrong side out. Pin and sew the seam again with a 1/4-inch seam allowance (or slightly larger if needed to encompass the first seam). If possible, verify that the tube fits the wearer's head at this point. Then, lay the tube flat with the seam centered.
Mark and Cut the Shaping
Fold a large paper plate in quarters. You can also use a paper circle template from a dinner plate that's at least 9 inches in diameter.
Use the folded plate to cut curves on each side of the top of the tube.
Sew the Curved Top of the Helmet Liner
Pin the curves and top edge. Sew the top of the hat together with a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Back stitch at the beginning and end, making sure the sewing reaches the edges of the folded sides.
Turn the hat right side out, and try it on.
T-Shirt Beanie Tips and Ideas
- Instead of a close-fit helmet liner, make this into a slouchy beanie by cutting the initial rectangle to 10 inches tall or more.
- For a snugger fit, use a larger circle template.
- All-over print T-shirts make great caps with lots of decoration.
- For a warmer helmet liner, make this out of anti-pill fleece and hem the bottom.