Dead Roses Witch Hat
One of my favorite characters in the Warner Bros.® series of cartoons was Witch Hazel, who debuted in the 1954 short, “Bewitched Bunny.” Disney® had previously created a Witch Hazel, and she was kind of cool too, but not nearly as sarcastic or quite as much the fashion victim as the Hazel created by Warner Bros. animator, Chuck Jones. A major part of this Hazel’s signature style included a wonderfully crumpled black hat. We think she would approve of our classic Dead Roses Halloween Witch Hat with its scrunched top, wilting flowers, and stowaway spider. Hauntingly hideous haute couture and one of our most popular Halloween projects ever! We love to bring it back every year.
Our original witch hat was made from pre-cuts. We used Haunted Mansion by Sanae for Moda Fabrics, which is an older collection that is no longer readily available. In the supply list below, we indicate both the pre-cuts used as well as the fabric required should you not wish to use pre-cuts.
Several of the top fabric manufacturers come out with new Halloween collections each season so there’s alway a new spooky selection from which to choose.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
Fabric and Other Supplies
- THREE Fat Quarters; if you are not using pre-cut Fat Quarters, you will need three pieces of fabric 18″ x 22″ or will need to purchase three ½ yard cuts (Fat Quarters are indeed the same overall area as a quarter yard, but because of the sizing on our patterns, a standard horizontal quarter yard cut won’t work; you need to bump up to a ½ yard to make sure you have both the width and depth required)
- 2 yards of fine black netting; we suggest a fine nylon netting
- 1½ yards of medium weight fusible interfacing; we suggest Pellon Décor Bond
- One package of double fold bias tape: we used Wrights Double Fold Bias Tape in Dark Gray
- One package of single fold bias tape: we used Wrights Single Fold Bias Tap in Dark Gray
- One small roll of floral wire
- All-purpose thread in a color to match fabric: we used dark gray
- See-through ruler
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Measuring tape
- Fabric pencil, pen or chalk
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Straight pins
- Hand sewing needle
- One large, glittery spider; optional
The Optional Dead Roses:
You need FOUR pre-made Dead Roses. We made ours using our Sew4Home Organza Flowers tutorial.
Our Dead Roses fabrics came from JoAnn Fabrics: the black poly is 100% Polyester Sew Essential Anti Static Lining in black, the dusty lilac is Casa Collection Amethyst Organza 100% Polyester, the purple is Crepon Sheer Parachute Purple 100% Nylon, and the black is Crepon Sheer Black 100% Nylon. These fabrics or similar are our recommendations for the best finished look.
We bought one yard of the Amethyst and ½ yard of the others and had more than enough with which to work.
Getting Started & Pattern Download
- DOWNLOAD AND PRINT: the Witch Hat Pointed Top pattern and the Witch Hat Brim pattern, which have have bundled into ONE PDF FILE to make the download easier.
IMPORTANT: The two patterns consist of a total of TEN 8½” x 11″ sheets. You must print this PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
- Butt together the pages in order (the pages are numbered – check the ingredients photo above to see the assembled patterns) to create the two full patterns. Do NOT overlap. Tape together.
- Cut out the assembled patterns along the solid lines.
- Cut two 18″ x 22″ rectangles from the fusible interfacing.
- The fabrics will be cut within the instructions below.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Following manufacturer’s directions, apply one piece of fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the Fat Quarter (or the 18″ x 22″ piece of fabric) that will become the top of your brim (Black Wallpaper in our sample). Apply the other piece of interfacing to the wrong side of the Fat Quarter (or the 18″ x 22″ piece of fabric) that will become the pointed top of your hat (Black Campfire in our sample).
- Since we will be finishing the edge of the hat brim with binding, we will be working the the fabrics WRONG sides together.
- Place the interfaced brim top fabric (Black Wallpaper in our sample) right side down on your work surface. Lay the un-interfaced brim bottom fabric (Purple Campfire in our sample) on top of it, right side facing up (so the two layers are wrong sides together). Pin the assembled Brim pattern on top of the layers.
- Cut around both the outside circle and the inside circle through all the layers.
- Make snips where indicated on the pattern for the darts. Make sure your clips stay within the ½” seam allowance. Mark the point of the darts with your fabric pen or pencil. Remove the paper pattern.
NOTE: We found it easiest to leave the two pieces of the hat brim loosely pinned together throughout the steps.
- We designed darts into the brim to allow it to curve down for a more witchy look. To stitch the darts into each of the brim circles, we first unpinned and folded the bottom (purple) circle in half, leaving the top (black) circle flat on the work surface. By doing this, we could easily see where the darts go.
- Align the snips in the outer brim and mark your dart lines with your see-through ruler. Take just the bottom brim to your machine and stitch both darts in place.
NOTE: If you are new to darts, not to worry, they’re easy. As described above, you mark the two outside bottom corners and the point of your dart when your pattern and fabric are flat. To make the dart, fold the fabric right sides together so the two bottom marks align. Then draw a straight diagonal line from these aligned marks to the top point mark, creating a long triangle. You stitch the dart from the wide end to the point. Rather than back-tacking at the point of the dart, which can cause a bubble, simply stitch off the fabric at the point, leaving your thread tails long enough to tie a double knot by hand. For more information, take a look at our full tutorial: How To Make a Dart.
- Repeat to stitch the darts in the top (black) brim circle.
- Press the darts on the top and bottom in opposite directions to avoid a lump in the brim, then re-pin the two layers together around both the inner and outer edges. Remember, your two pieces are WRONG sides together.
- Stitch around the inner circle, using a ½” seam allowance.
- Clip just shy of the stitching line every ½” or so around the inner circle. This will allow the seam allowance to spread smoothly into the crown of the hat.
- Edgestitch around the outer edge of the brim to secure the layers so you can remove the pins. We used a zig zag stitch.
- Using the paper pattern as a pressing guide, steam and press the double fold bias tape to fit snugly around the outer edge. But DO NOT sew it on to the brim yet.
NOTE: Pre-folded bias tape has one edge that is slightly wider than the other. For this project, place the wider side on the bottom so when you stitch close to the edge on top, you will be sure to catch the fold of the tape on the bottom.
- Find the remaining Fat Quarter (or 18″ x 22″ piece of fabric), which is the interfaced piece for the pointed top of the hat (Black Campfire in our sample). Place it flat on your work surface.
- Cut two triangles using the Pointed Top pattern. You can print out and assemble two pattern pieces to place, pin, and cut. Or, simply cut one, flip the pattern over, and cut the second. The two triangles fit snugly side by side within the Fat Quarter.
- Place the two triangles right sides together and stitch the long side seams of the pointed top, using a ½” seam allowance. Then stitch again in between the first line of stitching and the raw edge. This creates a channel for the wire that we will insert later to shape the bent tip of the hat.
- Trim back the seam allowances at the tip and turn the pointed hat portion right side out.
- Place the pointed top inside the inner circle of the brim. The right side of the pointed top should be against the top of the brim.
- Align the raw edges, matching the seams of the brim’s darts to the side seams of the pointed cone of the hat. Pin together… use plenty of pins!
- Stitch around the inner circle once, through all the layers, following your previous stitching line that secured the two brim layers.
IMPORTANT: You need to leave a gap at each side seam so you can insert the wire up the side seam channels into the pointed top of the hat. So, this means you need to stitch this seam – as well as the bias binding steps below in TWO semi circles rather than in a complete circle. In other words, stitch from seam to seam, then reposition and stitch the opposite half from seam to seam. Remember to back-tack at either side of channel gaps.
- From the SINGLE fold bias tape, cut a length to fit around the inner circle plus a couple extra inches for a clean-finish fold.
- Pin the bias tape around the inner circle, opening up one fold and placing this first fold of the tape on the fabric so the fold’s crease line sits right on top of the seam you just made. Stitch in place all around along the crease line.
- Fold, smooth, and press the bias tape and the seam allowances up… towards the cone, wrapping and covering the seam allowance with the bias tape.
- Edgestitch the bias tape in place, through all the layers, so it completely covers the raw edges of the seam allowance.
- Also remember to fold under the end of the bias tape to create a clean finish where the ends join. Finally, as mentioned above, remember that you are stitching the binding in two semi circles, just like you stitched the initial seam, leaving gaps at the side seams of the pointed top.
Wiring the brim and pointed top
- The floral wire we found at the craft store was a bit too thin to support the weight of the fabric so we ended up using three strands of it. You may be able to find a thicker wire. If so, feel free to use that with fewer strands. However, one benefit of the thinner wire is it’s easier to control and bend.
- Measure the circumference of the extreme outer edge of the brim with your tape measure, and cut the wire three times that length. Fold the wire into thirds. Pinch the folds nice and tight. Remember, if you use heavier wire, you may not need as much.
- Set your machine on the widest zig zag. Position the wire very close to the raw edge of the brim along the edgestitching line you made earlier.
- Carefully align the foot so the swing of the zig and the zag falls to ether side of the wire into the fabric. You want to avoid stitching on the wire.
- Go slowly and keep a smooth curve, stitching all the way around the brim to secure the wire.
- Remember that piece of double fold bias tape you pressed and steamed along the edge of the paper pattern? Go get it now.
- Insert the wired brim of the hat in between the folds of the bias tape. As we mentioned above, one fold is slightly wider than the other; this wider fold should be against the bottom of the brim, the narrower fold on top. Pin in place.
- Edgestitch the binding, being careful to catch both the front and back with this one line of stitching. As always, go slowly and carefully, and don’t be afraid to stop every so often, with your needle in the DOWN position, and adjust the fabric so you stay on a nice, smooth curve and are certain you are catching both the front and the back of the binding in the one seam.
- Measure the side seam of the pointed top.
- Cut two lengths of wire, each of them three times that measurement.
- Fold each length of wire in thirds and twist or braid them together to make two firm wires. Again, as above, if your wire seems thick enough on its own, you may be able to get away with two lengths or just a single length.
- Bend one end to give it a rounded tip, then feed it into one side seam channel of the pointed top. Push the wire all the way up to the tip. Bend the remaining end back on itself so it doesn’t poke you when you wear the hat.
- Bury that folded end of the wire under the bias tape. Remember… you left a gap when you edgestitched that single fold bias tape?! There’s a little pocket there now where you can hide the wire.
- Repeat to insert the other piece of wire into the opposite side channel.
- Stitch the little bias tape gaps closed with either your machine (that’s what we did, carefully matching the existing seam lines on either side) or stitch by hand, which may be easier since you avoid any chance of running into the wire with your machine.
Netting, spider, roses, and crumple
- Open out the netting and scrunch it up near the center to a width of about 6″.
- Sew a line of stitches across at the center to secure the scrunch.
- Fold the netting on the stitch line and hand stitch it in place at the center back of the hat (there really isn’t a specific front and back – it’s your choice. Pick whichever side of the pointed top you think looks best to be the front). The netting should be stitched right along the seam where the pointed top joins the brim so the netting cascades off the back.
- Hand tack the pre-made Dead Roses onto the front of the hat, following our picture as a guide, then glue or sew a glittery spider in place amongst the Dead Roses.
- Finally, crumple the top of the hat in your best witchy way. It should look like you fell off your broomstick… or maybe ran into a low-hanging bat.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Kathy Andrews, What Sew Ever
*Sew4Home reserves the right to restrict comments that don’t relate to the article, contain profanity, personal attacks or promote personal or other business. When commenting, your name will display but your email will not.
I couldn’t wait to make this hat for my daughter when I saw it in your email. I’m waiting on the polyester organza to arrive in the mail so I can make the roses. A couple of things I backed up on and did differently meaning I had to take the brim and hat apart. I inserted the wire into the hat portion Seams before I attached the brim. I was wrestling with the hat/brim combination when attempting to insert the wire. I would do the same for the wire on the brim edge. I also used braided picture wire… Read more »
Hi Susan – This hat is SOOOOO popular. We’re glad to know it’s a winner for you as well. Thanks for adding your input regarding things you did slightly differently.
I ended up making a total seven hats. One for each of my daughters; one for my niece and one for my daughter-in-law. All different colors including a rainbow one. It doesn’t look like can attach a picture so I will try emailing. Thanks again. Look forward to more of your projects.
Hi Susan J – Wow! You win the Witch Hat Award for the season. You’re right, we don’t use photos in our comments… gets too unwieldy, but we would love to see a picture either via email or if you follow us in social media, post some pictures so we can all be inspired!