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.