Beanies are a popular hat to wear when the wear starts turning chilly. They fit snug, keep the wind out, and can still help make a fantastic ensemble. They look good in almost any color, and so long as the fabric is warm and has stretch, it usually fits pretty well in a beanie style!
That’s why we decided to try making a beanie with neoprene fabric. If you didn’t know, neoprenes are thick, comfy woven fabrics that come in a variety of bright colors and prints, and they’re designed with athletics in mind. Making a beanie for your morning run through the brisk air or to wear and keep warm with at a game are perfect reasons to make one for yourself, and with so many colors available, you’ll have no problem making your own collection!
And to top off this design, a border of rib knit trim! Rib knit trims are wide and usually used for sleeve cuffs, but they can also be used for hats. We offer a whole bunch of colors for rib knit trim, too, so the possibilities are nearly endless. Take a look below to see how easy this design is and get inspired to your own neoprene beanie!
10 Black 250m Gutermann Sew All Thread (for sewing and top-stitching the fabric)
Drawing the Pattern
You’ll need a couple of measurements.
- Head Circumference—measure around the head your making the hat for over the forehead and underneath the head, basically along the hair line. Generally, head circumferences are 13” for newborn infants, 14” for babies, 16”-18” for children, and 20”-23” for young teens to adults. If you reach a ½” measurement, round up to the closest inch.
- The length of the actual hat correlates with the wearer as well: you can go with 8” for newborns, 9”-10” for children, and 11”-12” for young teens to adults.
- Follow this pattern diagram to get your pattern piece. Seam allowance is already included when you go by these measurements; neoprenes and knits stretch, so you won’t have to worry about it being too tight in the final product!
Fold your fabric with the selvages together, and lay your pattern piece going with the grain like so:
Pin your pattern into place and cut the fabric. Since you’re cutting two pieces at once, you only have to cut once total! You can make two hats with ½ a yard of fabric.
Putting the Beanie Together
After you’ve cut the fabric, go ahead and fold each piece in half, right sides together (in this case, we went with the grey side since that’s the side we wanted to show) and pin along where your dart will go. Sew these darts in place using a plain, straight stitch. You do not need a zigzag stitch for these darts.
Next, pin your two whole pieces with the right sides together like this. Sew along the pinned edges. Do NOT sew along the flat bottom—that’s where your head goes!
Turn it right side out and check the shape. If it’s not round enough for you, use some tailors chalk to sketch out the shape you want on the WRONG side of the fabric and sew down. Check until you’re happy with the result.
Put your hat to the side and grab your rib knit trim. This trim has a lot of stretch, so we need to cut a few inches off from our head circumference measurement. With our beanie, we were working with a 24” (rounded up from 23.5”) circumference, so we cut out rib knit trim measurement to 22”. You want the trim to be a little tighter so that it stays on your head!
After you’ve cut it to the needed length, fold your trim in half right sides together and pin the edges. If you’re using the striped trim like we did, make sure to guide up your lines! It’ll look messy even if it’s just a bit off. Start pinning at the white lines first and work your way out. Repeat this method when you sew this part together. Double-check for quality after you sew it together before moving on.
Next, fold your rib knit in half, starting at the seam you just made (make sure to line this up neatly, too!) so that the lined side of the trim is facing INSIDE. If you’re using a rib knit trim that has no design, you only have to fold the trim with the wrong sides together.
Grab your hat from before, slip it into your ring of trim, and pin your trim around the OUTSIDE of the hat. Check that the hat’s trim is distributed evenly as you pin it. Once you’ve pinned it all, sew it down using a plain, straight stitch while pulling the fabric slightly and giving a 5/8” seam allowance. We set our stitch a little wider, too, but this isn’t always necessary. Be sure to pull it gently, too.
That’s all there is to it! We love this beanie design and though it’d be great to try with all our different rib knit trims and neoprenes. This type of hat would look great with both solid and patterned neoprenes, and with so many color options, there are a bunch of ways to make and design it!
You can also make a matching pair of gloves with the leftover trim and fabric! you can make cuffed gloves with the rib knit trim, or throw together a pair of fingerless gloves like these quick!
Just fold your rib knit over once, trace your hand, cut out four pieces total, sew them together (remembering to line up the rib knit’s design if need be!), and you’re good to take on the chilly autumn weather! What other accessories could you add to one of these beanies? Maybe some buttons? Or an extra trim? Share your ideas with us, we’d love to hear them!