Saturday, September 15, 2012

Welder's Cap Tutorial

Vet2Be is welding again. He decided he needed a welding cap. They are kinda soft, backwards ball caps. The bill is worn to protect the back of the neck and they are made out of cotton so they don't burn easily.

They are supposed to be made out of 'unique' fabrics, because welders are very proud of their welding caps!

Taco, Vet2Be's good friend, is a welder, too. His mom, Sheepy, made him a cap and tried to use the pattern I used, but it was very difficult to follow. This tutorial is for her!

Ricochet and Away has a post about a welder's hat. The pattern I used can be found here. The instructions are found here.

All the photos in the following tutorial are mine. I did make two small adjustments so the cap would fit Vet2Be's head better. I'll note them in the tutorial.

You'll need either 1/2 yard of fabric OR two 1/4 yard pieces to make a reversible cap. I used some of Vet2Be's favorites.

You'll also need thread (duh!) and a small piece of flannel or thin batting for the bill. I used flannel because it provides a little bit of weight without too much bulk.

Print the pattern out so that the pattern is the correct size. You can either use your printer's scale function or you can re-size the pattern in a drawing program.

Fabric A: (Clockwise from left) cut one strip for the band that is the same as the head measurement plus 1/2" x 1 1/2" wide. The pattern says 2" wide, but 1 1/2" fit Vet2Be's head much better. Cut four Front/Back pieces, one bill, two Side pieces.

Fabric B: (Clockwise from left) cut one strip for the band that is the same as the head measurement plus 1/2" x 1 1/2" wide. Cut four Front/Back pieces. One bill from Fabric B and one bill from flannel or thin batting. Two Side pieces.

Sewing Directions
 
Bill
Place the bill pieces right sides together with the flannel on the top. Sew around the longer curved edge using a 1/4" seam.
Trim the flannel (or thin batting) close to the seam allowance to reduce bulk.

Turn right side out, press. Trim the raw edges of the bill so that they are even.
Pin around the edge of the bill as shown to keep the fabric from shifting while you are top stitching.

Top stitch close to the finished edge, then add as many top stitching lines as you like. Mine are about 1" apart.
 Crown
 Step 1
Stitch Fabric A side pieces together, right sides together, along the top (short) seam. Repeat for Fabric B. Press the seam open
 Step 2
Stitch a pair of Fabric A Front/Back sections, right sides together, from the bottom to the dot. Back stitch at the dot. Repeat with the other pair of Fabric A Front/Back sections and both Fabric B Front/Back sections.

Press the seams open. I shouldn't have placed my pieces so close together! The photo really shows four different sections if you look closely.
 Step 3
Place the Fabric A and Fabric B Side pieces wrong sides together and pin or secure so they don't shift while sewing.

Sandwich the Side (one A fabric and one B fabric) pieces (wrong sides together) with two of the Front/Back pieces (right sides together) matching the bottom of the crown and the end of the stitching (dot) with the stitching line on the Side piece. Wrong sides of Front/Back pieces face out, wrong sides of Side pieces face in.
Sew from bottom of crown to dot through all four layers.
 Step 4
Stitch the other side seam in the same manner.

Pull the Side section out from the Front/Back section and the seams should all be hidden. Press to set the seams.
Repeat Step 3 with the other two Front/Back sections.
The seam allowances will be encased in the crown of the cap. I trimmed about 1/4" along the bottom of the crown so that it would be even. It also made the cap fit Vet2Be better. I think his head is a little shorter over the top than the pattern allows for.

Band
Sew the short ends of Fabric A band, and Fabric B band. Press open.

Match the center of the bill with the seam of the band. Sandwich the bill between the two bands, matching the fabrics. Using 1/4" seam, sew the long edge in a complete circle. Pull out the bill and press. Press one of the fabrics under 1/4" along the raw edge. (The pressed line will help when you hand stitch the last seam to the crown.)

Match the seam of the band to the seam where two Front/Back pieces come together. Do not place the bill along one of the Side pieces! The cap won't fit correctly! The Side pieces need to be on the side of the head. Sew one raw edge of the band (not the side with the pressed edge) to the crown. Align the pressed raw edge of the band with the seam, covering the seam on the crown. Hand stitch or top stitch the band in place.

Fabric B on the outside.

Fabric A on the outside.
If there is a step that is unclear, please leave a comment and I'll do my best to clarify it.

Sharing this post at Not Just A Housewife.

53 comments:

jbrace said...

Sandwich the Side pieces (wrong sides together) with two of the Front/Back pieces (right sides together) matching the bottom of the crown and the end of the stitching (dot) with the stitching line on the Side piece. Wrong sides of Front/Back pieces face out, wrong sides of Side pieces face in.
Sew from bottom of crown to dot through all four layers.


First you say front and back pieces right sides together and then you say front and back pieces wrong sides together....this step is kinda confusing...and you say take two front/back pieces and sandwich them together, should they be both fabric a or should it be one fabric and one fabric b? Thank you for the pictures though, you're the only one I could find that had pictures with it.

TJ said...

I think you mis-read it. It says:

Wrong sides of Front/Back pieces face out, wrong sides of Side pieces face in.

One of the Front/Back pieces will be Fabric A, one will be Fabric B.

The Front/Back pieces are sewn right sides together with the side pieces (one fabric A and one Fabric B) between the two Front/Back pieces. The side pieces are placed wrong sides together in between the Front/Back pieces, which are placed right sides together. Match the fabrics (Fabric A to fabric A, and fabric B to fabric B)

Looking at the stack in the picture (photo right before step 4) it is

Fabric A Front/Back right side towards the ceiling,

fabric A Side piece wrong side towards the ceiling,

fabric B Side piece right side towards the ceiling,

fabric B Front/Back wrong side towards the ceiling.

Another way to think of it: put the purple fabrics (Side piece and Front/Back piece) right sides together. Then put the blue fabrics (Side piece and Front/Back piece) right sides together. Then stack the two sets of fabrics with the WRONG sides of the Side pieces together.

Yes, it's kinda confusing and that's why I did the photos. It was so confusing in the original written directions (no photos!) that I had to read through it quite a few times and figure out what she meant. I found a few other blogs that had tried the pattern but gave up and made two separate hats, then sewed them together.

This is a great pattern and I really wanted people to be able to use it according to the pattern. It's an ingenious way to make a reversible cap without the two fabrics shifting.

jbrace said...

Thank you so much!!!! I am new to sewing, so some of the descriptions i read from the original pattern were just hard to follow. The first hat I made I had to do two separate hats and sew them together but I really wanted to try it this way. You have made it much easier to understand for this newbie. Thank you

TJ said...

I'm glad you stopped by and asked :) If you have any more trouble, I'll be happy to help if I can.

jbrace said...

I'm wondering if you have any pointers for me. I can't get the top of the welding beanie to line up exactly right. Seems like I've always got a hole in there and the stitching isn't matching up exactly. Not really sure what I'm doing wrong.

TJ said...

I'm not sure I can help you without sitting by your side. I can tell you that it's tricky to get that part to line up correctly. On the first one I made I had to hand stitch a small hole on the top closed. I think the more you make, the better you get at making everything line up correctly. I use alot of pins, too! And I take my time lining everything up and then pinning.

Heidi said...

I found your tutorial thru a Google search. I just wanted to send a big thank you for providing a great pattern. I especially love that it can be adjusted to fit perfectly. I made one for my cousin and he keeps telling me how much he loves his cap! I did have a hard time with the assembly, but you clarified it better for me in the comments section. Thanks again!

Sweet Baby K's Bowtique said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this tutorial! Putting the sides together with the front sections were confusing at first but it really helped with your instructions! My husband loves his hat. He also likes the thinner band! I will be making a couple more soon!

jbrace said...

I've made quite a few of these welding beanies and I just can't seem to get the seams to line up right at the top of the hat. Are there any other tips you can give me?

TJ said...

Accurate cutting and seam allowances. Try using a pencil to draw in the seam allowance, match up the seam allowances on the pieces, pin like a crazy person, then sew along the drawn seam allowance.

I'm not sure if that will help since I can't see you sew and I don't have photos to go by.

Aaron Munoz said...

Hello how do I print out the templates for the pieces of the hat

TJ said...

The pattern can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sewing_engineer/3226539174/

You should be able to print from your browser. Make sure that you don't have any scaling selected in your print window. Check the "scale bar" on the side piece to make sure you have the right size for your head.

Kimberly Wilder said...

I'm nearing the end of the welding cap making experience. I am currently trying to sew the band/brim onto the cap.

"Sew one raw edge of the band (not the side with the pressed edge) to the crown. Align the pressed raw edge of the band with the seam, covering the seam on the crown. Hand stitch or top stitch the band in place."

I'm confused by this part. Am I sewing through both layers of the cap? I understand I'm not sewing through both layers of the band.

Any help would be great! Thank you!

TJ said...

Yes, you sew the whole crown (inside and outside) as if it was one piece, to one side of the band. That gives you a stitching line to follow when you hand stitch the pressed side of the band to the crown.

I hope that helps!

JenMikku said...

Did you use a sewing machine?

TJ said...

Yes, I use a sewing machine to sew the first part (the crown to once side of the band) but I hand sew the pressed side of the band to the crown in the final step. You could use a sewing machine for that part. If you did, the seam would be on the outside. Sometimes I like the look of top stitching, sometimes I prefer to hand stitch so that the stitches are hidden.

JenMikku said...

Is it possible to do it all by hand!?

TJ said...

Yes, it would take more time. Be sure to make your stitches small and back-stitch every few stitches to add strength to the seam. Welders are not easy on their clothing :)

JenMikku said...

thank you!

TJ said...

Thanks for stopping by!

Rafael Simoes said...

Thanks for the amazing post!
I just don't understand how do you hand stitch the the crown to the band with the stitches hidden.

Cinda said...

Match the seam of the band to the seam where two Front/Back pieces come together. Do not place the bill along one of the Side pieces! The cap won't fit correctly! The Side pieces need to be on the side of the head. Sew one raw edge of the band (not the side with the pressed edge) to the crown. Align the pressed raw edge of the band with the seam, covering the seam on the crown. Hand stitch or top stitch the band in place.


I don't quite understand how it all connects by what you say here. Would you be able to go into more detail here? The other post help me on step three so thanks for posting this.

TJ said...

Just be very careful about where you place the band and bill. On one of my first tries I put the bill and band on the side of the cap instead of the front of the cap. It didn't fit properly, so I had to rip out that seam and align the band and the bill to the front of the cap :)

Lisa Criswell said...

I don't know if I'm blind or just dumb, but I do not for the life of me understand step 3 :(

TJ said...

The side sections (the pieces with the flat spot across the top, not the pointy spot) has been sewn together for both color A and color B. (Step 1)

Those two pieces were placed wrong sides together (Step 3 photo 1). You can't see the blue fabric underneath the purple fabric in the photo, but it's there.

Think of that as the the 'ham' in a sandwich.

Match the blue fabric Front/Back piece to the blue fabric on the Side piece (bottom 'bread' in a sandwich). Match the purple fabric Front/Back section to the purple fabric on the Side piece (the top 'bread' in the sandwich.)

The order and direction of the pieces from the table to what you can see are:
•blue Front/Back piece (right side up)
*blue Side piece (right side matching the right side of the Front/Back piece so you would see the wrong side)
*purple Side piece (wrong side down so you would see the right side and the purple wrong side would be laying on the blue wrong side--wrong sides together)
* purple Front/Back piece (wrong side up (just like you see in the photo)

Stitch from the point of the Front/Back piece, through all 4 layers of fabric, to the crown (or from the crown to the point of the Front/Back piece).

Go on to step 4.

I hope that helps!

Layne said...

Hi there,

Great tutorial! Just wondering if you can clarify step 4 a little further (specifically what's happening in photo's 1 & 3) someone relatively new to sewing? With all the layers and such I`m a little lost on that step.

Thanks so much!

Kristy Sierra said...

I am a senior in high school and love spending my extra time sewing. I am a beginner of course, and have tried twice to make this hat and still can't!! I get to the part where I sandwich the two side pieces between two front/back pieces of fabric A and fabric B, and I have no idea where to sew from there or how to make the hat. If you could, please make a simple video of you making the hat. The written directions are hard to follow. Your pictures help SO much but it is still very hard to see where you stitch and how exactly you unfold it to create the final bowl shaped hat. It would be a miracle if you made a quick video to show us how you did it. I want to make my boyfriend a welding cap for our anniversary and it's only a week away! You would be a life saver if you could make a video so I could make him one by Christmas at the latest. Please and Thank you, TJ!! :) - Kristy Swann Altamonte Springs, Fl

TJ said...

I've never made a video before! I don't know if I can sew and hold a camera at the same time. I'll see what I can do, but no promises because I've been so busy with life lately!

TJ said...

Layne, Step 3 photo 4 shows the seam going from the point of the hat to the brim of the hat.

Step 4 photo 1 shows the Side pieces sandwiched between the Front/Back pieces and sewn from the point to the brim.

If you look at Step 3 photo 4, bring the long Side piece that isn't sewn down between the left side of the Front/Back pieces. Just take the Side piece, swing it down between the Front/Back pieces, and sew from the point to the crown just like you did in Step 3 photo 4.

Step 4 photo 2 shows the side pieces (the one with the straight edge at the top of the pieces) on the left and the Front/Back pieces on the right.

Step 4 photo 3 is set up the same way as Step 3 photo 4. You sew the other Front/Back on the same way you sewed the first Front/Back sections on.

Kristy Sierra said...

TJ...my boyfriend's hat came out awesome!! I regret posting about all the fuss earlier. With some flipping and adjusting of the fabric, lots of pins, and patience..I finally got it. I can't imagine how many people stole this pattern from you and probably didn't even have the patience to do it. This pattern is great and with time, I came out with a really unique welding hat that can't be found anywhere else! I want to tell you thank you and now I'm proud of myself and now know how to make my own. My VERY first one came out almost perfect! I would love to post a picture but not sure how. Haha! Anyways, thanks again, and have a great day!! :)

TJ said...

Great job Kristy!

It's really not my pattern. There's a link up in the post that shows where I got the pattern from. I just did a tutorial on it. You can send me a photo at tjguitar40 at comcast dot net. I'll love to post it here so everyone can see that a newbie can do it!

Nanna said...

Where would I find the pattern for the sizes to cut out the pieces! Would love to try this! Thank you!

TJ said...

The links are in the 4th paragraph above.

Here's the hat:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sewing_engineer/3226539174/

Here's the instructions she gives:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sewing_engineer/4589333733/in/set-72157601086876542/

Cindie Bright said...

I just wanted to say Thank you for posting your directions and photos. This is a really unique way to put a cap together with no seams showing! I love it!
I didn't read every comment, but someone had asked about lining up the seams. It works for me to line up the seam and put a pin there, then turn it over and line up the other seam and put a pin right there. It's a quilting trick. It makes it a little bulky when you sew all four layers together with those pins but it works! Thanks again!

Heather Anson said...

Thank you for posting these. This is the style my husband wears, with the flat topped middle piece. I've looked for a pattern for a while and only found the style with four pointed top pieces. This style fits much better. Happy sewing.

Brandon Erme said...

can someone please post step by step instructions on how to resize this template after it is saved to the computer in its original size this is the only thing holding me back:(

TJ said...

There is a 'Scale Bar" on the Side piece of the welders cap. When that scale bar measures the length listed, it fits the circumference of the head size that is listed. You will have to use trial and error by printing the page at different percentages (or take it to a copy shop and tell them you want to print it at different percentages) until the scale bar measures the correct. I think I printed mine out at 96% or close to that to get the scale bar to be the correct length for the hats I was making.

Paper Bagley said...

My son is a welder and surfed to you. He is wanting me to make him these hats...having a time with the paper pattern for sizing.
I have a cousin in law that has a goat farm in Bow, Washington, they are called; Gothberg Farms they are on Facebook and have their own web site...Their cheese is to the moon and back.
Thanks for sharing, Tootsie from Oregon

TJ said...

Thanks for stopping by!

You have to play a little with your printer settings. I printed my first one at 100% and measured the Scale Bar on the side pattern. If the Side Bar measurement matches the head measurement that is listed below the Scale Bar, then you use the pattern you printed.

If the Scale Bar doesn't match the size listed that you want to use, adjust your printer output to either a higher percentage for a larger pattern or a lower percentage for a smaller size.

Missy Ortiz said...

I don't understand the pictures of the crown! I can't get it? :(

TJ said...

Missy, I'm sorry. I don't know how to explain it any better than I already have. Lack of English skills on my part. Maybe if you use similar colors to the ones I've used you can follow the pictures and written directions again. Sometimes I have to actually sew something out before I figure it out.

Claudia Strohak said...

Thank you for the pattern and especially for the tutorial. It took a bit of patience but I did manage to make 2 caps! I did have a question regarding the fabric. Do you use fire retardant fabric and any suggestions as to where I can find any? Thanks again

TJ said...

No, I didn't use fire-retardant fabric. You can buy Fire retardant Spray for fabric at Dharma Trading Co online. It's called Safe-T-Guard Fire Retardant Spray.

Kristi Lattig said...

i was wondering what the size would be i have tried for years to make these for my husband i have even took one apart and used it as a pattern but it never came out like it should have

TJ said...

Kristi,
Measure around the crown of your husband's head. Then adjust the pattern using a copier until the scale bar on the pattern matches the measurement for your husband's head.

Brenda said...

Can you anyway possible print the pattern for the welding cap and mail it to be i will send concealed cash or trade you for postage stamps or whatever you want, I just can not print it, trying so hard to make my grandson some caps. thank you so much Brenda Goodall

Cheri Carroll said...

Awesome! I never thought welding caps would actually come up on Google of I tried to look it up. The first time I saw my husbands welding caps, i thought the hats were something his ex girlfriend had left behind. They were crazy bright patterns that were tidied with peace signs, and blue jean, etc. then he told me what they were and he's pretty old school, been welding for like 20 years. And being 20 years my senior I didn't think any more about them till one day I got a sewing machine. He was thrilled. He says, hell yeah now you can make me some welding caps. I thought I was going to have to take one apart and put it back together. He said he only knew one woman who made them at the flea market. I am thrilled about this site. And the history on the unique patterns is great. I thought they were left overs from the seventies

Dannie said...

First of all, thank you so much for this post and everything in it! I'd show the standard gratitude, but that's not actually why I'm commenting at the moment. I just had to tell you that I went out to get some awesome fabrics to use, came back, and realized I got like the exact same blue map material you were using! XD Oh, I wish I could show you. It gave me such a laugh. Anywho, I'm about to begin the project, so that's all for now. Thanks again!

TJ said...

That's too funny! I love that fabric so much that I had to go back and buy a few more yards of it!

Terri Robinson said...

Hi TJ, thank you for your previous help, I finally kept going over it till I got it. Now I have Step 3 finished and where it goes into Step 4 and says pull out the side sections and add the other 2 pieces of Front/Back as we did in step 3, anyway of explaining a little more. Right now I have what looks like 1/2 the cap my fabric A right side up facing ceiling/ all my seams are incased. Not sure where I attach the next front back pieces to ? And thank you again for all your help..I am learning a lot.

TJ said...

Terri, does your cap look like the second picture in step 4? If it does, then your next step is to put the other front/back section on the other side of the side section.

ella gregory said...

Is there anyway to fix it if the band is bigger then the cap ? I was pinning the band on and its too big

TJ said...

Take a bigger seam on the band, that should help. If the band is 1" too big, take 1/2" seam. Since the fabric is folded right sides together, that will take out 1" in the band.