How to Sew a Reversible Sun Hat

DIY linen sun hat
Mollie Johanson
Overview
  • Total Time: 3 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $30

A day in the sun can be fun and relaxing, but it's important to protect your skin. And a sun hat with a large brim is a great way to do that. Make your own reversible sun hat with this free, easy sewing pattern that comes in two sizes. The style of this hat combines the large, 4-inch brim of a traditional beach hat with a hint of a bucket hat shape. Fusible interfacing gives it a soft structure that's neither too stiff nor too floppy. In just a few hours, even beginning sewers can make an easy hat and enjoy a sunny day.

Tip

Please note the design of this hat is not ideal for directional prints.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Press cloth
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Sewing machine

Materials

  • 1/2 yard linen (or other midweight material)
  • 1/2 yard quilting cotton
  • 3 yard fusible midweight interfacing for collars and cuffs
  • 2 1/2 yard trim, such as crocheted lace or piping (optional)
  • Matching thread

Instructions

  1. Pick Your Hat Size

    Download and print the pieces for the hat size you need. Be sure to print the pattern at 100%, so the 1-inch gauge measures accurately. And note that the pattern pieces include seam allowance.

    The small/medium hat measures about 22.5 inches inside.

    The medium/large hat measures about 24.25 inches inside.

    If you need to alter the inside measurement a little, print the pieces either a few percentage points larger or smaller, with each of the three pieces printed at the same percent.

    Sun hat pieces
    Mollie Johanson
  2. Fuse the Fabrics and Cut the Pieces

    Iron the fusible interfacing to the back of the linen and the quilting cotton. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for fusing the material.

    Then, cut all of the pieces from both the fused linen and cotton. Cut three brim pieces, placed on a fold with the fold following the grain. Cut three crown pieces with the words following the grain. Cut one top piece, and transfer the three markings around the edge to the interfacing side of the circle. 

    Fabrics and lace trim
    Mollie Johanson
  3. Pin the Crown and Brim

    Pin and sew the short edges of the linen brim together, ​backstitching at the ends to lock the seams. Also, pin and sew the short edges of the crown in the same way. Press all the seams open.

    Repeat this for the quilting cotton pieces.

    Sewn crown and brim
    Mollie Johanson

    Assemble the Crown and Brim

    Turn the sewn crown piece right side out. Place the crown inside the brim with the larger opening touching the center opening of the brim.

    Match up the seams, and pin the pieces (right sides together). Pin the seams first, and then divide each section to ease the two pieces together as needed. Sew around the circle with a 1/4-inch seam allowance, removing the pins as you go.

    Repeat with the cotton pieces.

    Crown and brim pinned together
    Mollie Johanson
  4. Match the Top Markings to the Seams

    Turn the sewn pieces wrong side out. Pin the top piece to the crown, matching the markings to the seams. As before, divide the sections, and ease the pieces as needed.

    Pinning the pieces of the hat together
    Mollie Johanson
  5. Sew the Top

    Sew around the top of the hat with a 1/4-inch seam allowance, removing the pins as you go.

    Repeat this and the previous step with the quilting cotton pieces. You now have two matching pieces for the inside and outside.

    Inside of sun hat, showing the seams
    Mollie Johanson
  6. Add the Trim (Optional)

    If you want to add trim or piping around the brim of the hat, pin it to the linen hat with the right side facing the fabric and the raw edges matching.

    Sew around the brim to secure the trim, stitching about 1/8 inch from the edge and overlapping the ends.

    Trim pinned around the hat
    Mollie Johanson
  7. Sew the Hat Layers Together

    Turn the linen hat piece wrong side out and the cotton piece right side out. Nest the two pieces with right sides together, so the seams of one piece are centered on the brim panels of the other piece. The seams should not match up, as they would become too bulky.

    Pin around the brim, and mark where the opening should be, placing it near the overlap of trim. This will be the back of the hat.

    Then, sew around the brim, backstitching at the beginning and end of a 5-inch opening.

    Hat layers pinned together
    Mollie Johanson
  8. Add Top-Stitching

    Turn the hat right side out, and push the crown of the cotton piece into the linen piece. Press the hat brim, opening the seam. Press the open seam allowance under 1/4 inch, so the edge matches and is smooth.

    Top-stitch around the brim, sewing 1/8 inch from the seam. This closes the opening and gives a nice finish. 

    If you'd like, you can sew additional lines of top-stitching, spacing them about 1/4 inch apart. This is a great detail on hats without a lace trim on the edge.

    Closeup of hat brim showing top-stitching
    Mollie Johanson
  9. Enjoy Your Hat

    Give your new DIY hat a quick pressing, and then enjoy wearing it in the garden, by the pool, or on a sunny vacation. It even folds well for packing.

    Want to add a little more embellishment to your hat? 

    • Embroider some flowers, your initials, or a fun phrase on the linen side before sewing the two sides together.
    • Combine several complimentary fabrics on one side for a scrappy look.
    • Add a brooch or a bow with a pin back, so it's easily removable.
    Sun hat with sunglasses and lip balm
    Mollie Johanson