Kitty Cat Hat Tutorial

When Emily informed me this year that she wanted to be a cheetah for Halloween, I was underwhelmed.  I tried to talk her out of it, but she wouldn’t budge.

So I then perused the internet to see what I could buy.  You see, I like making creative costumes. When I couldn’t find anything at all that was remotely decent to buy online, I then turned to a google image search to get inspiration.  How could I make a CUTE cheetah?

Well, there were some adorable little leopard/cheetah dress outfits.  So I went back to my daughter and brought up this idea.

NO.  I want a shirt and pants and ears.


So I went to Joann’s, bought some leopard fleece (no cheetah fabric to be found) and then procrastinated.

Finally biting the bullet this week, I busted out the pattern for her top and pants, and made a hat, instead of ears-on-a-headband.  Something had to be unique about this! 🙂

Last night, I whipped out the entire costume and boy was I glad to be done!

Guess what? I adore how it turned out.  After dreading it so much, I really changed my mind.

I think it’s the hat.  Emily and I both love it.

So I thought I would give you a tutorial for it.  You could make any sort of cat costume with this hat, or just make a cute winter hat minus the ears!  The hat pattern would fit many sizes- just a guess but I think 3-8?

-Hat Pattern (download here)
-about 1/2yard fleece

1. Cut out your pattern pieces.  You should have 4 side pieces and 2 center pieces.  Be sure to cut     2 at a time to get the a right side and a left side.

2. Snip the sides of the center piece all the way down.  This will help when you curve the piece.       Make sure you only cut in about 1/4″

3. With right sides together, line up the narrow side of the center piece at the bottom back of your     side piece.

4. Pin side of center piece all the way up the side piece.  The clips will help you curve.

5. Stitch together, with about a 1/2″ seam allowance.

6. Clip seam to 1/8″

7. Repeat steps 2-6 for other side piece.

8. Repeat steps 2-7, making the hat lining.  Take your main hat piece and try it on your child.           Mark, with pins, where you want the ears to sit.

9. Cut 2 sets of ear pieces.  I just cut triangles, about 4″ tall.  I eyeballed them.
With right sides together, stitch both pairs as shown, leaving bottom open.  Use 1/4″ seam             allowance.

10. Get out your stuffing.  I used this $3 bag of poly-fil.

11. Stuff the ears.

12. Pin the bottom shut.

13. Stitch closed, 1/8″ from the edge.  Repeat for other ear.

14. Place your first ear at the pin (see step 8)

15. Take your hand, and on the wrong side of the hat, pinch over the bottom of the ear.  Pin or           just hold down, and stitch as indicated.  Make sure you enclose the seam in the ear.

16. One ear done.

17. Repeat for the second ear. Line the ears up so that they are in a straight line.  Extend the first         seam over to cover the bottom of the second ear. You will have a seam that crosses both hat         seams.  Check again to make sure both ear seams are enclosed.

18. This is how your ears will look.

19. Stitch a triangle as shown, over the stuffed ear.  Repeat for other side.

20. Cut 6 strips of fleece, 1″ wide and as long as you want.  Mine were approx. 24″ long.

21. Stitch 3 together at one end.  Repeat for other 3.

22. Braid strips, folding them in half lengthwise as you braid.  When you get a couple inches from       the bottom, stitch back and forth to secure.

23. Stitch top of braid to hat at side bottom edges, as shown. Repeat for other side.

24. With right sides facing, take your lining and place it right over your hat.

25. Tuck the braids inside and pin all edges together.

26. Stitch around all edges of the hat, using a 1/4″ seam alowance.  Leave a large opening in the         center back for turning.

27. Reach in opening and turn the hat to the right side.

28. Re-shape the hat, turning the lining to the inside.

29. Fold opening up and pin.

30. Stitch over opening, 1/8″ away from edge.  Continue top-stitching all the way around the hat.
You may need to tack the two layers together behind the ears in the side seams.