Hello lovelies! As promised, I’m here to share the details on how I created our “quilted” fireman hats that I showcased recently along with some other fun DIY Firefighter Costume ideas for our Discover & Explore “community helpers” theme.
Like everything else I make, this was a “learn as you go” type of process, so I’m sure there are 100 ways you could improve on this method. But guess what? It was for two-year-olds!
And they seemed to like it just fine.
*This tutorial contains affiliate links.
To make your own, you will need:
For the hat
- 1/4 yard of red fabric (mine was “quilted” cotton with polyester lining, but you could also use felt)
- double sided stiff fusible interfacing
- one sheet of yellow felt
- red and yellow thread
- red number buttons (or other embellishments)
For the pattern
- 1 piece of cardstock
- 2 pieces construction paper (or any paper will do)
Making Your Pattern
To start, take your cardstock and fold it in half lengthwise. Position your folded paper as shown below, with the fold on the RIGHT.
Now, grab your ruler and pen. You will be making three marks (see photo below):
1. 1″ RIGHT from upper left corner
2. 3.5″ DOWN from upper left corner
3. 2.5″ UP from lower left corner
Now, take your pen and connect marks #1 and #2 with a curved line as shown in the first picture below. Then connect mark #3 to your bottom right corner with another curved line, again shown in the first picture below. Finally, you will cut along the blue lines and then unfold your pattern. It should look roughly like the third photo. You can trim it up however you like at any point. I ended up making the brim of my hat a little less pointy (you can tell in the finished photo further down in the tutorial).
ANYhoo…here is where it gets a little tricky (and why I did not attempt to make this a printable). You need to cut a hole for your child’s noggin. To do this requires a bit of trial and error, but don’t give up! It’s really not that hard.
First, take a couple of strips of construction paper, tape them together, and wrap them around said child’s noggin. Once you’ve got it snugly around the crown of the head, tape it in place to make a circle (shown below in orange) and place it on the middle of your pattern. This will give you an idea of the starting point for your cuts.
Now, before you do anything, look closely at the photo below. First, notice the bright green dashed line? That’s where I want the inside of the hat to fold upwards (see finished photos if you are confused). You want to make sure your orange circle is placed behind that line before you start tracing. Now, trace your orange circle onto the pattern (shown below in pink). Lastly, you want to draw lines on either side of the head outline connecting it down to the fold (see blue lines for illustration). When cutting, you will follow these blue lines up and around the curve of the head, leaving the green intact. To make it a little more clear, I added a red dotted line to show you where to cut.
Now, go ahead and cut around your red line. Then, coerce your child into sitting still long enough to try the pattern on. I guarantee you it will be snug this time…trim around the opening bit by bit until you get a hole large enough to slip onto your child’s head easily. You may also want to trim the flap that sticks up to be a little less pointy- personal preference. Oh, and be sure to fold your pattern in half along the fold line and make sure that the opening and flap are symmetrical- do this while you are trimming. See my finished
toilet seat pattern below? There is a gap between the edges of the hole and the flap- this is where I did my trimming and will also allow you to stitch around the edges more easily.
Make your hat
Phew. Now that you have your pattern, the rest is easy! First, take your red material (mine is shown below) and trace your pattern onto it twice (or fold it over and trace once). Cut two
toilet seats, err, HATS, out of the fabric.
Next, cut another pattern piece out of your double sided stiff fusible interfacing, again shown below.
Now, although I don’t have photos of this part, it’s pretty self explanatory. “Sandwich” your interfacing between the two red hat pieces, red/right sides facing out. Use an iron to fuse the material to the interfacing using the package instructions. Trim up any funny edges with sharp scissors and then use a tight zigzag stitch to finish the edges (see below). If you look closely, you can see that some of the white fuzzy lining from the inside of my fabric poked its way out during the process…again, my kiddos don’t care, but you may want to choose a material with no lining if you are making this to sell or gift, or just be sure to trim the lining away from the edges if you can.
To make the badge, you can Google a basic shape or template, or you can use my extremely sophisticated method. I’ll let you choose
Decide what size you want your badge to be and cut a square of paper that size- mine was 4.5″ tall and 5″ wide. Fold your square in half lengthwise and position with the fold on the right side (see first photo below). Make a mark a short way down from the top left corner- mine was 1″ down. Now use your pen to connect your mark to the top right corner with a sloping line (as shown in photo) and then to the bottom right corner. Cut along those lines, unfold the paper, and then you have your pattern for your badge!
You can finish the edges of your felt if you like- it’s not necessary but I do like the look of it. I used a zigzag stitch, but it would look even better if it were tightened into a satin stitch (I was low on thread and afraid I wouldn’t have enough to finish). Use a straight stitch to attach the badge to your hat, and then add whatever embellishments you like- I used these number buttons for the finishing touch (I linked them for your reference, but found them cheaper at our neighborhood Walmart).
Finally, hand it over to your little firefighter…guaranteed to bring smiles, giggles, and wailing siren impressions!
For more DIY firefighter accessories, click on the photo below!
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