Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Finn Hat - not really a tutorial...

So, I mentioned in my last post that Wild Thing wanted a Finn Hat for Christmas. Okay - seems like something that should be reasonably easy to achieve, although risky since I'm a novice and don't know what I'm doing.  First thing any novice does? I checked the internet for an existing tutorial of course!

There is actually an officially sanctioned Finn Hat tutorial out there, and it looks pretty nifty too. But 1) I couldn't get the .pdf pattern to print out on my printer to scale for some reason and 2) we were looking for the more square version of Finn's hat that goes to his shoulders like a bag over his head with ears sort of. So... I measured Wild Thing's head in all directions and sketched out the look:

Then I drafted a pattern (took several attempts...)

cut the pattern out...and cut 2 pieces from basic white polar fleece...

Marked the face cutout on the front piece and cut out

At this point I forgot to take photos - I stitched front and back together right sides facing, clipped corners of the ears and turned.  At this point I hadn't decided whether to line the hat yet. I guess I was hoping I could get away with just one layer and raw edges of the fleece.  But the face opening was too big and the hat seemed floppy even on my adult sized head. So, I decided to make a lining.  

For this I made another hat just like the first to be the outside and used this first one for the lining.  I cut a smaller face opening for this new outer layer, so that I could turn and stitch the edge to the lining to finish the edges and hopefully make the opening a little smaller.  So below you can see my new opening markings inside the cutout for the front of the hat.

After stitching the second (outer) hat, I put the inner hat inside the outer hat with right sides together and stitched the bottom closed - just like you would do with a lined tote bag or zipper pouch. The face holes provide the opening for turning the whole thing right side out. One nice aside - I didn't need to put any stuffing in the ears with the extra lining ears tucked inside the outer ears.  Once it was all turned and tucked, I finger-pressed and top-stitched the bottom for a more finished look. 

The trickiest part of this project was the face opening for which the front edge had to be turned over the raw edges and stitched in place to the back (hence the smaller opening in the front). 

I used a lot of pins.  

A narrow zigzag stitch seems to work best at a very slow speed.  It also works better if you turn it inside out and stitch from the back, otherwise it is tricky to cover the raw edges consistently.  I know all of this especially because I made a second hat yesterday with a smaller overall face opening since Wild Thing was asking if I could make the opening smaller (not complaining though, just asking). Teen Wonder wanted a Finn Hat too, so she got to have the first draft with the bigger face hole. 

Here is the FO on the table (first try)

And here is how difficult it is to get a Wild Thing to model a Finn Hat!

Overall, a pretty successful project judging by the reaction of the recipient.  I think there are still some dimensional issues that need to be addressed if this were to be a real "tutorial" or pattern - the ears are a little to tall on this version, and a little too square on my second try.  Also it bulges out just below the ears instead of lying nice and flat...though no one else seems to notice besides me.  So I won't personally be making any more Finn hats in the foreseeable future.  If perchance someone out there is interested in the dimensions on my pattern, just leave me a comment and I'll jot them down for you.


  1. It looks to me a LOT like a Wild Thing hat!!! Well done!

  2. Algebraic! That hat is a lot of fun.

  3. Hi. I love this hat. It is the most Finn like hat I have seen. I would love the measurements as I have to make my daughter a Finn hat for a Heros and Villians party she is attending. Can you please send them to tanya.lockhart@gmail.com The hat is brilliant. Thank you.