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Knit Baby Hats & Receiving Blankets

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Cute receiving blankets and cute little hats... it's a classic combo that never ceases to delight a new mama and daddy. Because, let's face it, when it comes to cute hats... they're really designed for adults to look at! Put an adorable hat on an even more adorable baby, and every adult in the room will immediately oooohhhh and aaahhhh. The baby will likely be less-impressed, but for him/her, we have our super softee, bound knit blankies. 

More and more manufacturers are adding knits to their designer fabric collections. Our sample fabrics were pulled from our S4H stash, but we browsed about a bit and came up with some favorites from Riley Blake collections. Click any swatch below for more information.

      

      

It's fun to mix and match patterns and solids, but if you are brand new to binding, and are reluctant to make your debut with these thin and stretchy knits, you could substitute a packaged extra-wide double fold bias tape. 

If you are also brand new to knits in general.. welcome. You might want to take a few minutes to check out our Sewing with Knits tutorial for helpful tips, tools, and techniques to get you started on the right foot. 

Our hat is made to fit sizes of about 9 months to 1 year, however, babies' heads vary considerably. The inner opening finishes at approximately 17" in circumference (approximately 6½" in diameter), and the depth is approximately 4½". You can certainly adjust the width and depth of the pattern and/or fold the cuff wider or narrower in order to make your hat slightly smaller or larger. 

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

Supplies listed below are for ONE Blanket and ONE Hat. But we bet you can't stop at just one pair!

FABRIC FOR BLANKET

  • 1¼ yard of 56-60" wide knit for the blanket front; we recommend a print
  • 1¼ yard of 56-60" wide knit for the blanket back; we recommend a coordinating solid or a subtle tone-on-tone print
  • ¼ yard of 56-60" wide knit for the blanket binding; we recommend a coordinating solid

FABRIC FOR HAT 

  • ⅝ yard of 56-60" wide knit

NOTIONS FOR BOTH 

  • All-purpose sewing thread in colors to match fabric; we also recommend Coats Eloflex stretchable thread when working with knits
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • See-through ruler
  • Straight pins - ballpoint
  • Seam gauge 
  • Seam ripper
  • Iron and ironing board

Getting Started & Pattern Download

We always recommend thinkin' about preshrinkin' whenever you start a project, but as you'll learn if you review our Sewing with Knits tutorial, knits can shrink and twist. With a project that is bound, washing and drying your fabric first will help eliminate this problem. Iron the fabric flat prior to cutting.  

BLANKET

  1. We used single knits for our blankets. When stretched gently, single knit fabrics will roll toward the right side of the fabric.
  2. From each blanket fabric (the front and the back), cut ONE 36" x 36" square. 
  3. Fold each square into quarters. 
  4. Use a small dessert plate (or other round household object approximately 8" across) to round the four corners of each square. 
  5. From the binding fabric, cut THREE 2¼" x Width of Fabric strips. Trim the selvedges from all the strips. 
    NOTE: These strips are cut slightly wider than you might normally cut for the ½" finished width. This is to allow the fold-and-baste technique shown below, which will make the stretchy binding easier to work with.

HAT

  1. Download and print the Knit Hat Pattern Pieces, which have been bundled into ONE PDF to make the download easier.  
    IMPORTANT: This PDF download consists of TWO 8½" x 11" sheets (Knit Hat Part 1 - the top and bottom, and Knit Hat Part 2 - the center). You must print this PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
  2. Cut out the three pattern pieces along the solid lines.
  3. Following the assembly arrows printed on the pattern pieces, butt together the three pieces to create the full pattern. Do NOT overlap. Tape together.
    NOTE: If you would like to create a full hat pattern rather than cutting on the fold, you can print an additional set of the pattern pieces, assemble them, then flip one set over and join the two halves together down the middle. Again, butt together the two halves; do not overlap.
  4. Using the pattern and aligning it on the fold, cut TWO pieces from the hat fabric.  

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

BLANKET

  1. Place the two rounded-corner-squares WRONG sides together, matching the raw edges all around. Pin in place.
  2. Find the three lengths of 2¼" binding. Pin the strips right sides together end-to-end to create one continuous length of trim. 
  3. Set up your machine with a ball point needle. Select an appropriate stitch for knit.
  4. Stitch these short seams, using a ¼" seam allowance.
  5. Starting in the middle of one side of the blanket front, and leaving 4" loose at the head, lightly pin the binding, right sides together, to the blanket.
  6. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch the binding to the blanket. 
  7. When you have made it all around the blanket and are 4" from where you started, stop and lock your stitch.  
  8. Trim both ends of the binding as needed so the two ends overlap ½". 
  9. Pull the binding ends away from the fabric, and sew the ends together, using a ¼" seam. 
  10. Place the binding back against the blanket. It should lay flat against the blanket. Drop your needle back in at the exact point you left off and finish the ½" perimeter seam.

    NOTE: If you are new to binding, review our tutorial for additional information and photos of these and other binding steps
  11. Flip the blanket to the back and fold in the raw edge of the binding ½".
  12. Machine baste this fold in place. This will help control the tendency of the knit fabric to roll toward the right side of the trim. 
  13. Fold the edge of the binding again, encasing the raw edge, and pin in place. This second fold should cover the line of machine basting. Pin in place and/or hand baste in place. 
  14. From the right side of the blanket, stitch close to the edge, catching the basted edge as you sew (you can see our bright green hand basting).
  15. Remove any hand and/or machine basting stitches. Press well.

HAT

  1. Make sure your have transferred the "fold line" placement from the original pattern. You can use pins or a fabric pen or pencil. 
  2. Place the two hat pieces right sides together, matching all the raw edges. Pin in place all around.
  3. Set up your machine with a ball point needle. Select an appropriate stitch for knit.
    NOTE: At the risk of becoming too repetitive, if you are brand new to sewing with knits, don't forget to check out our tutorial, which shows sewing machine stitch options and appropriate supplies. 
  4. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch around the hat from one bottom corner to the opposite bottom corner, leaving the lower edge open. Go slowly around the curves to keep your stitch line nice and smooth. We have a tutorial on sewing curves if you'd like to learn more.
  5. When the stitching is complete, sew a second line of zig zag stitching ¼” from the first line of stitching. 
  6. Trim the seam close to the second line of stitching. (Here we go again... this finishing step is also outlined in our Sewing with Knits tutorial.)
  7. Turn the hat right side out through the bottom opening and use your finger or a long, blunt-end tool to smooth out the curves.
  8. Fold the hem of the hat to the inside on the marked line (4” from the bottom edge). 
  9. Stitch the hem in place, using a medium zig zag stitch. We used a zig zag 3 mm in width and 1.5 mm in length.
  10. You simply need the swing of the needle to encase the raw edge.
     
  11. Turn up the hem to create the cuff. Press in place.
  12. The cuff should just cover the line of stitching.
  13. To complete the hat, tie the ends together to form a topknot bow or knot each end separately to create bunny ears as shown in the photos above.

Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Michele Mishler

Section: 

Comments (2)

Aimee Boluyt said:
Aimee Boluyt's picture

In the blanket section...after you pin the blanket right sides together...do you stitch it together?

 

anne.adams said:

@Aimee Boluyt - After you have pinned the two rounded-corner squares WRONG sides together, as in Step 1, it is not necessary to sew them together. You can just continue on to Step 2 and create your binding.