Monday, December 12, 2011

Lining Winter Hats

Let’s talk about hats in winter. You need to protect your head, your ears and (of course) your hair from the cold, dry air and the wind. Your ears will never forgive you if they get frostbitten because you did not wear a hat for fear of messing up your hair! Frostbite (when your skin actually freezes and even blisters) anywhere on your body is an unforgettable experience. ©Science-y Hair Blog 2013

What about your hair under that necessary hat? You would not take a very fine wool sweater, wrap it around your head, and then pull on a tight cap and go for a walk or out to shovel snow. If you did, you’d find that lovely sweater matted, fuzzy, undefined, losing shape and over time, developing thin patches from breakage. I wear a hat a few times each day in winter for about  4 months of the year. It adds up to many hours that could damage the strong-but-delicate fiber on my head which is my hair. Not to mention irritating sensitive skin.©Science-y Hair Blog 2013

First I lined my husband’s stocking cap with some satin (acetate). Directions and a link to better directions follow. But I’ll tell you right now, this is not the best fabric to choose for a full hat lining! Not unless you can find some very thin and flexible satin. Husband, good sport that he is, pulled on the hat and declared it would be “extremely warm” and “probably work out just fine.” Translation, “I think I liked it better without the lining.” I pulled his hat on and found I could not hear a thing. And the satin was thick, so the hat might have been too warm and stiff. Lesson: If you’re using satin, don’t line over the ears and don’t use it for a snug-fitting cap.©Science-y Hair Blog 2013

I recommend using silk or a silky, lightweight fabric (like swimwear or a silky scarf you might find at a thrift shop or second-hand store). It’s thinner, lighter and preserves your hearing. You can try to find bits from the end of a bolt of silk at a fabric store (my local fabric store did not stock silks at all – special order only), or do what I did, buy an inexpensive silk pillowcase and use that for several hats!

©Science-y Hair Blog 2013
Here is how I lined the stocking cap: First, measure around your head. The lining needs to be cut at least ½ inch or 1 cm wider than your head’s circumference to allow for stitching. Cut a rectangle using the number you just calculated, using the hat for a height guide. Leave a little extra fabric on top and bottom for stitching. Next, you’ll fold over and sew the top and bottom of your rectangle so the edges do not fray. (See  blue arrows). After you do that, you can fold the rectangle in half with the SHINY SIDES TOGETHER and sew a seam here, no more than the ½ inch or 1 cm allowance you calculated (see the photo below).
©Science-y Hair Blog 2013
To make the lining fit better in a tapered hat like this one, cut one side at an angle like this (as shown at left) and sew up that side just like you did to close the rectangle.

Next, you need to gather the top, so thread a needle and sew in and out around the open top (it’s a circle now that you’ve sewn the ends of the rectangle together), then pull the thread so that the top puckers and closes up like this.

Now all you need to do is to slip the lining into the hat. If it’s too long, fold up the edge and sew it there.
©Science-y Hair Blog 2013
You’ll want to hand or machine sew the lining to the hat with a very loose stitch around the bottom of the hat, and also put in a few stitches at the top of the hat so the lining doesn’t pull out or slide around. If you fold the brim of your hat like the one shown, sew the lining in above the fold. You’ll need to try it on and mark where you fold the hat or else pin it in it’s “folded” position so the lining isn’t sticking out.©Science-y Hair Blog 2013

Line a Tam

I like my tam for not smashing my hair. I wear it with my hair piled into the slouchy part in back. But it’s lined differently than the stocking cap. You could cut a big circle for the top, a long rectangle to go around, sew them together to form a tabular shape (a cloche or bell-shape) and be done with it. But I wanted to keep the roomy slouch. This makes my acrylic tam warmer and more windproof.

First, make a pattern. I used newspaper and cut a circle wide enough to fold in and meet the brim of the tam which is shown in middle – it’s brown. My circle was 18 inches (46 cm). I used the ruler shown and a marker as a protractor for an even circle. The ruler has a little hole in one end. I may be a sloppy seamstress, but that’s no excuse to let a chance to use a protractor escape!
©Science-y Hair Blog 2013

Next I cut some V-shaped vents so that I could fold the sides in without a lot of bulk. I judged their size by folding them in, clipping them together and then trying on the newspaper pattern until it closely matched the dimensions of my hat. My V-shaped vents were about 2 inches wide at the widest (5 cm) How cute do I look in a newspaper tam? You'll never know!

I cut the silk using the now-fitted pattern. I folded the edges over and sewed them on a machine with a tight stitch to prevent fraying. Sew the edge folding the dull, less smooth side towards dull side. I sewed the V-shaped vents together with the same tight stitch. To keep the slippery/shiny side facing in towards your head and the seams facing away from your head, put the smooth, shiny sides facing each other as you sew these V-shaped seams. 
This looks feminine and delicate, seems a shame to stuff it in my pilled, dog-chewed brown hat...

Finally insert the lining into the hat, shiny side facing in (towards your head). I went a little overboard sewing the lining in here and if you don’t want it to show, sew it a little higher. I find the band of this hat itchy, so I sewed it right up to the edge.

Lastly, you’ll want to sew the lining to the hat in a few places around the sides and the back so that it is easier to put on and take off and the lining doesn’t bunch up, slide around, or pull out when you take the hat off.

This is a project that will require about an hour and probably more than a few obscenities. But it is so very worth it when you feel how soft the lining is on your skin and hair. If you have even very basic sewing skills, you can pull this off. It doesn’t have to look good, it just needs to be functional.  Good luck!

Here is a link for more instructions for lining a snug-fitting cap:

This is an alternative way to make a lining for a slouchy hat like a tam, but it doesn’t provide as much room for longer hair: 

1 comment:

  1. i have been searching for an article like this for weeks! thanks for this!