There is no such thing as too many hats. Every costume should have a hat, it makes an outfit, and can really help in portraying a character. I’ve been making a simple one to add to my growing collection!
This one is a fairly simple 6 panel hat. Search on Google for Viking or Medieval hats and you’ll find a lot of similar ones. If you’re hunting patterns or how to guides, try searching for ‘Rus’ or ‘Birka’ hats, there’s plenty out there. I used this guide along with the Medieval Tailors Assistant panel hat pattern.
The triangle below is the basic panel piece I ended up with.
I did try a more curved version first, but it was too baggy on my head when I trialled it. The mock up below is with the straighter triangle above, and fit my head much better. I added a centimetre seam allowance when cutting it from fabric.
I did have to work the tip of the crown down a bit after sewing it together. It came out more pointy than I wanted it. If I were doing it again, I’d curve out the tip of the triangle pattern piece before cutting to sort that out.
It stitched up really quickly with a running stitch. The felt-type fabric I used doesn’t fray, so I just sewed the seam allowances down. I was surprised how much that helped with shaping the hat, it was looking a right mess beforehand. The brim was a bit floppy, so I added a band to stiffen it up and finish the raw edge.
I’m pleased with my new hat. Mostly I made it to test the pattern before using it as a base for a more complex project. It’s a really flexible pattern. Use modern fleece fabrics and machine stitch and you’ll have a perfectly acceptable every day hat winter hat. Do the same with a heavy cotton, add a brim, and you’ve got a summer cap. Make it from 100% wool with a tablet woven brim band and you’ve got a Renactment hat. The simple shape of the panels lend themselves to jazzing up with all sorts of embroidery and appliqué techniques. It’s a good way to use up fabric scraps too, or the small amount you’ll use means you can splurge on more expensive fabrics.