Sunday, November 30, 2008

Hat Lining 101

Hi Knitters,
Here is how I line my knitted hats. You will see how easy it is, even if you don't sew a lick. First, I use fleece for the lining. You don't need much. You will need a sewing needle and matching thread, a good pair of scissors and your hat to line.

Line up the hat with the bottom along the edge of the fleece and one side of the hat lined up to the fold. Where I am starting to cut on the photo above is on a fold. Make sure you are cutting the fleece in the stretchy direction or along the bias. If you aren't sure just give the fleece a stretch, if you pull it one way it won't stretch at all, in the other direction it will stretch. 

Here's where I just eyeball it. I look to see where the hat starts to decrease and use this as a guide to cut the fleece. I cut the strip of fleece and I add a couple of inches on to the end.
Next, turn your hat inside out. Pin the fleece with the right side out to the bottom edge of the hat. The ends will overlap and then I trim off any excess fleece but still leave about 1/2 inch of overlap.
Then I take my sewing needle and thread and start whip stitching along the edge. I use regular thread, not elastic, but elastic thread would probably work better. I just don't have any in my house. Regular thread works great, too, but occasionally I have to do repairs. Pick up a stitch along the knitted edge and then go through the edge of the fleece. I usually go through each knitted stitch.

Most importantly, while you are sewing stop every few inches and put your hands inside the hat and stretch the hat and the fleece to make sure you aren't pulling the stitches too tight. Hats have to stretch and if you don't stretch the hat while you are sewing the thread will break when the hat is used.
Now that the bottom is sewn, take the end and pull it over the other edge until you see that fleece is fitting the hat along the top edge of the lining.
About here looks good to me. Now where's my pin?
I place a pin at the top to hold the overlap in place and then I pin all around the top edge. I whip stitch up the edge and secure the top so the overlap stays in place.
Here is another shot of this step.
Once the edge is sewn down I start stitching the top edge of the fleece to the hat. I go through one purl bump and then I go into the fleece. I just continue this around the top edge in this manner going in the purl bumps every couple of stitches.
Don't forget to stretch the hat and the fleece as you stitch along. Stretchy, stretchy. Tie off the thread and pull the end to the inside of the fleece and pull the needle out again. Trim off the thread so it stays inside the lining.
Voila. You have a fluffy warm hat. No itching here for sure. I am telling you that kids absolutely love a fleece lining in their hats. It never fails. If you are using cotton or a non-itchy yarn anyway, the lining just adds that extra warmth and squish. Lining a handknit hat just makes it that much better and that's hard to do.
I hope this helps. I will add this tutorial to my sidebar for future reference. Remember, you may have to do a repair here and there by tacking down a loose edge. I can tell you from lots of kids wearing their lined hats I really don't do repairs very often.

Good luck with lining your hats, Knitters.
best, susie
p.s. This hat is my revised, bigger version of the Santa Hat for The Collector, with the extended top for extra floppiness as requested. I've already given two more Santa specials to my sweet nieces. Now they have almost a month to wear them.

22 comments:

Kathleen said...

Susan, I also line my hats with fleece, but sometimes have found that it will give an annoying pucker at the top edge. On several hats, I have simply omitted sewing the top part of the fleece. The fleece is secure at the edge and since it won't unravel, I have had great success with just letting it float (so to speak). Of course, this could just be the lazy knitter in me too!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tutorial. Very helpful. I'm a newish knitter and I've never lined a hat. Do you have to make the knitted hat larger to accomodate the fleece?

Kathy
Circleville, Ohio

Susan said...

Kathy,
I don't make the hat bigger but it does make the hat a little tighter so you may want to consider it.
Good point.
susan

PatQ said...

I am so glad you posted that. I have knit several hats that I thought would be nice to line. I also have knit Christmas stockings that I thought would be good to line. Thanks.

Dianne said...

Thanks for the tutorial. You make it look so easy. Finally got to listen to your second podcast. It's great! Thanks for all the good suggestions.

peaknits said...

Thank you for the tip and tutorial - I so need one of these hats for myself - soon!

Kelly said...

Susan, Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us. I love lined hats like this. The lining gives a hat that extra umpf needed to keep toasty warm. Now that I am no longer a West coast girl, I need to keep warm. We had snow all day yesterday here in MO ....Brrrrrrr! ~Kelly

www.deniablydomestic.blogspot.com

annemarie said...

Great tutorial for lining hats - thanks for sharing this with us. Quick question - did you knit the cupcake pincushion shown in the background of the first picture in your tutorial? Love that cupcake! I, also, am enjoying your great podcasts. Thanks.

Oiyi said...

Thank you for the tutorial. Great idea!

Annie said...

Great tutorial! I dislike itchy hats very much! Lining them is a great idea. I just lined a wool hat that I gave to a toddler and chose to cut just a small piece of fleece where it touches the forehead and sewed that on.

Knitterella said...

Ah, very valuable - thank you for showing us!

Adore the HAT!!! : D

Susan said...

Hi Annemarie,
Yes, that is my cupcake pincushion that I knitted. I love it. I put the sewing needles in the cherry and the regular pins in the top of the cupcake. It is a slight variation on the cupcakes I made for Itty-Bitty Nursery.

I am thinking about writing up the pattern at some point soon.

Thanks for asking,
susan

annemarie said...

Oh, I hope you do write up the cupcake pattern - it is so adorable.

Cara said...

What a cute hat! I wish I was good enough to make it!

Tomoe said...

Hi Susan, I've been a fan of your blog for a quite sometime but this is first time leaving a comment. Sorry about that!
This is a lovely hat; I LOVE it. I've always wanted to put a lining for hats or gloves, but never done that so far... just being lazy. Thanks for sharing how-to; it gave me an inspiration!

Sarah said...

Susan I know this is an older post so I hope you will see this. I have had it in my head to line a hat since I saw you do this, and I was wondering, have you ever lined a ribbed hat? I'm making a simple 3/2 rib hat for my brother-in-law who works outside, and who is bald :) so I think it might be nice to have fleece, but as I'm typing this I'm thinking how on earth since the ribbing needs to flex? Probably not, huh? What is your opinion? Thanks much - Sarah in Texas

Susan said...

Sarah,
I think you could line a ribbed hat with fleece! I would try it. The fleece is pretty stretchy and would probably stretch right along with the hat.

Good luck! Lucky brother in law!
susan

Jen said...

Hi Susan, I made your Surefire Hat and want to line it with fleece. I'm not sure how to get the lining up to the top of the hat. Your tutorial shows the lining only going part way up. Thanks for the help. My boyfriend has been patiently waiting for me to finish his hat.

Susan said...

Jen, I only line the hat in a strip around the brim just like I showed in the tutorial. I don't line hats all the way up to the top.

Sorry I can't be of more help. Maybe a sewing shop or a sewer could help you with this.

Good luck.
susan

Jen said...

Thx for getting back to me so quickly Susan.

I found this instruction on lining the full hat. I don't sew and I still found it really easy. The author of the site says she uses the same method for mittens.

nownormaknits2.typepad.com/now_norma_knits_2/2006/11/how_to_line_a_h.html

Christy T. said...

You may not be responding to these posts anymore, but I have a question about lining the "Surefire" hat that I just finished for my son. The cast on edges in front and back between the ear flaps pucker, as if I cast on the stitches or knitted the first row too loosely. Can I take some of that out by drawing it in when I sew the lining in place? By the way, the directions for the hat were great! Thanks.

Susan said...

christy t. i think that is a great solution! go for it!