Hats are great for keeping warm in winter, but most hats aren’t up to resisting the coldest, windiest days. Hats can be made from sleeves cut from shirts, but these too are not wind proof. This article will describe how to make a hat that serves not only for warmth, but also as a windbreaker.
The best material to procure for making this hat is either the sleeves from a sweatshirt, sweater, or the legs from sweatpants. The remaining part of the clothes can be reused as a sleeveless undershirt or as shorts. Both sleeves or legs are needed, and they should fit comfortably but not loosely over the head. In addition, a third layer of material will be needed. Ideal material include windbreaker material, coat material, or raincoat material. The purpose of this material is to keep out the wind, and obtaining this material will be discussed shortly.
Start out by deciding on the inner lining of the hat. Do you prefer the fuzzy inside of the material or the smoother outside? Sweater sleeves are the same texture on both sides, so you will use the outside as the liner to hide hem seams. Turn one sleeve or leg inside out (unless using the fuzzy side) and insert into the other.
Put both sleeves on and measure where to trim the top of the hat. Pull the sleeves down until comfortable but not tight, and mark. Cut straight across at the mark, then curve off the corners for a rounded hat. Take off the hat and fasten the top together with a safety pin, then put on again to measure the bottom. Then fold the bottom part up until the hat is of desired length. Cut the bottom of the hat parallel to this fold, leaving an extra four inches of cloth for folding over. Straighten the hat out.
Now it is time to obtain the windbreaker material. You can cut a sleeve off a tattered windbreaker or jacket, cut the material from any part of a windbreaker, use windbreaker pants material, or cut old raincoat material. Remove all insulation from the jacket material, keeping the outer layer. Select a tube from the sleeve the length of the hat and about an inch wider, as the windbreaker cloth does not stretch. If using a sweater sleeve, test the windbreaker material first. It should fit slightly loosely; it is better to err on the side of caution with non-stretchy material. If making from flat material, measure two pieces the length of the hat and an inch wider on each side. If the hat has to stretch to fit, it is better to use another means of measurement. Find a cutoff sleeve or pants leg, or even use a garment. Put it on so your head tries to fit into the sleeve or leg, and mark where it fits comfortably. Then use the width of that sleeve or pant leg as a guide for how wide to cut the material. Cut out the two pieces and sew the sides together. Do not worry about the top, it will be sewn later.
You now have three pieces of cloth. They are the outer layer with outside side, middle windbreaker layer, and inner layer with inside side. You will put them together inside-out to sew the bottom of the hat. Put the outer layer with the outside side facing in. Then insert the inside layer as the middle, with the desired inside side facing in so it touches the outer layer. Then insert the middle windbreaker layer last. This order is essential for the layers to reverse properly; I tested it until I found an order that worked. Sew the bottom of the hat shut, sewing around the hat, sewing through all three layers of cloth. Stretch out the cloth to the width of the middle layer so the string is flexible. If in doubt, fasten with pins and do then undo the next step, just to be sure you have it right.
Now invert the hat back. Grab the outer layer and pull it off the rest of the hat to form a tube of cloth twice the length. The remaining layers will be the inside layer on top of the windbreaker, with the desired inside side facing up. Pull both these layers under and into the pulled outer layer until the ends are lined up. The order of the cloth will reverse, causing the windbreaker layer to be sandwiched in the middle and the inside that was facing up to face in! Line up all the cut ends and sew through all six layers of the cloth to close up the top of the hat.
Put the hat on, and fold the bottom up to get the desired length. You now have a warm, comfortable winter hat that keeps the wind out and resists the rain, made for free from old material.