How to Make a Floppy Fedora

Whether you’re beach side sipping mojitos, out shopping your local farmers market, or knee high in farm muck; you’ll want to make and wear this season’s must have accessory – the Floppy Fedora Hat! Last week I had the chance to join the creative & talented ladies and gents at the (Sold Out!) 3rd Annual Craftcation Conference in Ventura, California where we made our own glamorous black floppy hats using reclaimed materials. And now we’re sharing it with you here on WeAllSew!


The free printable PDF pattern was drafted for an average size head (22.5 inches) and is sewn together using a 1/2” seam allowance. For anyone who is adept at sewing techniques you can adjust the seam allowance to provide a slightly bigger fit. I recommend reading through the instructions before beginning. I’ve provided you with the option of an extra large brim or a regular brim size.


  • Printed out Floppy Fedora Hat pattern (6 pages)
  • Scissors
  • Tailors chalk
  • 1-3/4 yards of bottom weight or upholstery fabric
  • 1 yard Pellon Heavyweight Fusible Fleece
  • 1/2 yard coordinating 2″-wide grosgrain ribbon

Download and print the pattern pieces: Craftcation14_Floppy_Fedora_pattern_pieces_121314.pdf

Step 1) Cut the fabric.

Following directions on the pattern:

  • Hat Side
    • Cut one (1) hat side from outer fabric (on bias)
    • Cut one (1) hat side from lining (on bias)
    • Cut one (1) hat side from fusible fleece (on bias) minus the seam allowances
  • Hat Top
    • Cut one (1) hat top from outer fabric (on straight grain)
    • Cut one (1) hat top from lining (on straight grain)
  • Hat Brim
    • Cut two (2) brims from outer fabric (on straight grain)
    • Cut one (1) brim from fusible fleece (on straight grain) minus the seam allowances

You should now have two large “donut” circles from your outer from your outer fabric and one from fleece; one “slanted rainbow” from outer fabric, one from lining, and one from fleece; and one oval from your outer fabric and one from your lining.

materials for floppy fedora

Step 2) Construct the brim.

Fuse or baste your fleece interfacing to the wrong side of  one large circle.

interfaced brim

Place the two large circles wrong sides together and pin around the outside edge. Sew the outside edge only with 1/2″-wide seam allowance. Remember the key is to have smooth seam – to sew around the curves, stop with the needle down, rotate the fabric ever so slightly, then continue sewing.

baste edge

Grade the seam allowances. Notch the curve creating V-shaped cuts spaced 1/2″ apart, this helps to eliminate bulk and create smoother finished edges.

Flip the brim right side out through the center hole opening. Even out the edges using your finger or by running a blunt object such as a spoon inside the brim. Press if needed.

Pin along the outside edge of the brim. Using the edge of your presser foot as a guide, topstitch around the brim.

stitch around the brim

Stitch a second row, again using the edge of the presser foot as a guide.

Tip: For wider spacing, move the needle position to the far left; for narrower spacing, move it to the right.

stitch again parallel to the edge

Continue adding rows; the more rows you add, the stiffer your hat will be.

many rows of stitching on brim

Step 3) Construct the top of your hat.

You’ll be constructing two hat top pieces – one will be a liner (inside the hat) and the other will be outer layer.

Prepare one side hat piece by basting or fusing your fleece interface onto wrong side of curved rainbow shape.

apply interfacing to fabric

Fold the pieces right sides together matching the center back (CB) raw edges and sew with a 1/2″-wide seam allowance. Repeat for other side hat piece.

fold right sides together

Using tailor’s chalk (or marking implement of choice), transfer the marks from the oval hat top pattern piece to both oval hat tops.

Clip at the marks, making six 1/2″-deep cuts. (See photo for placement.) These will help us to successfully pin and sew the hat top and side together without puckers.

clip edges

Pin your hat top to the hat side, matching the center back and then the center front. This requires a little manipulation and finesse. Instead of pinning perpendicular to the top of the hat (as you might when adding a skirt to a bodice), you will need to mushroom the hat outwards and place your pins as you would the stitches, running parallel to the edge.

Continue pinning around the hat, adjusting the fabric as needed.

stitch top to side

Sew the hat top and side pieces together using 1/2″-wide seam allowance to create the hat crown. Grade and notch the seam allowances. Repeat for the lining pieces.

topstitch the outer edge

Fit the hat tops together, wrong sides facing each other. Baste together at with a 1/4″-wide seam allowance.

place wrong sides together

Step 4) Complete the hat assembly.

Insert the hat crown into the brim. Match up the center back seam to the back of your hat; pin.

Sew together using a 1/2″-wide seam allowance.

We’ll finish the inside edge by adding a sweat band. Take the grosgrain ribbon and pin it onto the seam allowance.

sew ribbon to seam allowance

Stitch in place, sewing close to the edge of the ribbon.

Trim seam allowances with pinking shears. Tack the sweat band to the hat using a running stitch, making sure you catch only the lining fabric.

Floppy Fedora

Let the Floppy Fedora  work for you this summer by tying your favorite bright scarf into a big bow around the crown or by adding a flower. Share your finished hats with us on Instagram or Facebook by tagging @BERNINAUSA and/or @TrashN2Tees.

Floppy Fedora class

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13 comments on “How to Make a Floppy Fedora”

  • Help, can someone help……I love this hat, but when I print out the pattern, the last page is all black and I need the complete pattern to do this…….I’m not real computer literate and don’t know if this is me or the pattern……thanks, gloria g. Walls

    • I haven’t begun this project yet, but as I read through the instructions I wondered if I’m missing something…or if it’s a typo that needs correcting PRONTO?
      Beginning with … “Place the two large circles *wrong sides together* and pin around the outside edge.” Really? WST??
      Then why this a few paragraphs down ~ “*Flip the brim right side out* through the center hole opening….”
      If the WST were stitched together above, then why turn the right side out after stitching? It would’ve been facing “out” to begin with.
      I’d appreciate a re-wording if I’m misunderstanding the directions, or a correction to the typo. Thank you. Can’t wait to begin this…

        • I don’t understand, I did a mock up with 2 pieces of fabric WST, sew the seam and then when I flip it – my wrong sides are out? What am I doing wrong?

      • Yes, I believe this is a typo. It should say sew right sides together/touching (RST)- outside edge only. Then when you turn it right side out from the inner circle, the outer circle will leave a clean edge. Be sure to clip into the seam allowance but not through the stitches.

  • I know that I have a fat head but this is pretty small. I am going to enlarge the pattern. Also no one sells 2″ gross grain ribbon. Did you mean another size?

  • Hello.. I tried making the hat only to have it turn out doll size as opposed to adult size. I have no idea what went wrong. Any ideas how to fix it?

    • When printing out the pattern, be sure to print at 100% so it prints true to size. Look at the printer dialog box before you send the PDF document to print to look at the settings, make sure it is not shrinking the pattern smaller. If the pattern printed smaller than 100% this could explain why the finished hat was smaller than adult size.

  • I reprinted the pattern and ensured I printed at 100%. Here is my next question. If I want a larger brim, will enlarging the pattern more work? I’m still learning how to sew, so please forgive me if the question seems trivial.

  • I finally finished it! I’m so excited. It’s snug. Does anyone have any ideas on how to enlarge the pattern? Will printing a larger pattern accomplish this?

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