I love a beret. Casual, pretty and they keep your head toasty. And they’re super-easy and quick to make.

B complete

I made this one from an old sweatshirt, but you can use new fleece-jersey if you like. Ribbing can be a little tricky to find in shops, but you could thread elastic through some of your jersey instead – just cut the elastic an inch or so shorter than the band circumference.

So! You will need:

Old sweatshirt and other materials ready oto be upcycled

  • An old hoodie, sweatshirt or fleece-jersey from another source (1/2m will be plenty)
  • A print out of the pattern (below); bear in mind that you will need to mirror this shape to create your circular hat. Although the template tells you to ‘place on fold’, you may find that if your fabric is very thick you will get a better result from drawing one half, then the other with your fabric flat, not folded.
  • Nice sharp fabric scissors
  • Paper scissors
  • Tailors chalk or fading fabric pen
  • Sewing machine (with needle suitable for Jersey fabrics) or needle & thread
  • Beads, appliqués, or any other desired embellishment
  • I use a 1cm seam allowance throughout. I recommend you overlock all seams if you can, or zig-zag over the raw edges, just to help stop the fabric from ravelling (though this is more of an issue if you’re using new fabric).

jersey hat pattern

Click on the image above to enlarge, then you can right click to save or print it straight from your browser.


3 cut sweatshirt

1. Clean and de-construct your sweatshirt. Cut directly along the seams. You may be able to use just the arms to create your hat; cut the arms from the body, and the cuffs from the sleeve, and then cut the sleeve seam open to create a flat piece.

3 cut sweatshirt b

The opened out sleeve piece ( with cuff ribbing sat on top) removed from the body

See if the hat pattern piece will fit onto one sleeve (remember the template needs to be cut as a full circle!). If so, great! Save the rest of your sweatshirt for something else. If not, keep cutting those seams and use the body pieces instead.

2. Press your fabric flat. Try to use an up-and-down pressing motion rather than a back-and-forth ironing motion, as this can sometimes distort the fabric.

2 cut template b 3. Cut your paper template out; there will be three parts to your hat – the top, bottom and band. First you need to cut the template out as a whole semicircle, and use it as a guide to cut one whole circle from your fabric (use your chalk or fabric pen here to draw your circle before cutting). This is the top of your hat.

cut hat topclick to enlarge

5 cut hat bottom4. Next, cut the faded semicircle from the template; discard the piece with text on it. Use the remaining piece to cut a ring from your fabric that is the same diameter as the circle you just cut. This is the bottom of your hat.

6 cut ribbing5. To create the band of your hat, you’ll need the ribbing (the really stretchy part) from the bottom of your sweatshirt. It should already be folded – this is great, it saves you the job! Measure 1 1/4″ up from the fold and cut a piece 22″ long. Unfold the strip and, placing right sides together, sew the short sides of this strip together to create a loop. Press the seam open and fold the strip as it was.

7 create band

This is the best time to do any embellishment – you can do it afterwards, it might just be a little more awkward. Just remember not to overlap your seam allowances as your machine (or hands) won’t appreciate having to pierce through sequins, beads and other such lovelies…

8 attach top and bottom6. Place the top of your hat, right side up, on your table and place the bottom of your hat, right side down on top of it. Make sure the edge is aligned, pin and sew around it.

7. Turn your hat right side out and press; this generally makes it easier to see how the band will be attached correctly. Pick where will be the “back” of your hat if necessary and make sure you put the seam of the band there. Working from the right side, align the raw edges of the band (bear in mind this is double thickness!) with the raw edge of the bottom hat piece, pin and sew. 9 join band

The band will be slightly smaller than the inner circumference of the hat; to make sure you pin evenly, imagine you’re placing your pins like the numbers on a clock; place your first pin, then place one directly opposite (like 12 and 6), next pin 3 and 9, 1 and 7, and so on. Your hat will appear to shrink in on itself.

10 complete plainAnd that’s your basic hat complete!

As I said, you can still decorate it at this stage, it can just be a little more awkward. I used some lace cut from an old dress, and beads from an old necklace to finish it off…

embellishing using upcycled materials. Lace applique and beading

There you have it. Why not turn it into a perfect gift and make some matching fingerless gloves? You could use the ribbing from the cuffs to finish the wrist edge nicely. :)

Completed hat made from upcycled reclaimed materials

Let me know what you think, and don’t forget to show me your results!