DIY Mourning Hat

I recently spent a week mourning the loss of both my fish. I dressed in black (which turned into wearing the same dress and sweater for 4 days because I wasn’t going out anyway and they weren’t really dirty), and I wanted a hat to complete the ensemble. A hat along these lines:


A Mourning Hat. A hat that said, “Make no mistake: I am sad.” And while I’m not about to buy a hat, I will make one.

– black felt
(I found this felt at Jo-Ann’s. I just checked the remnants bin- ALWAYS check the remnants bin- remnants are always half off!)
– black netting
(I found this at Jo-Ann’s too. I got two yards to be safe, but one would have been enough)
– paper, for making a pattern
– metallic sharpie for tracing
– scissors for cutting
– pins
– sewing machine

Let’s get started!

1) Make your pattern:

measurements 001

I traced a cereal bowl. Then I used circle math to determine how long to make the rim piece. I made it a little longer than necessary; I did’t want it to fall short. But I had 2 or more inches of extra fabric on the end so I guess that part didn’t matter so much. It ended up being a 2.5 inch by 21 inch piece of felt, and the cereal bowl had a 6.5 inch diameter.

2) Trace and cut your fabric:

photo 1 (2)

This is where the metallic sharpie comes in; you want to be able to SEE the lines you’re tracing! For the netting, I cut about 18 inches. I wanted to bunch it up and just have it rim the front part of the hat.

3) Get pinning:



Starting pinning those pieces together. Make sure to layer the netting between the top of the hat and the rim fabric, with the long part INSIDE the circle. This way, when you turn the hat right-side-out, the have the long part protruding from the hat and able to cover your face.

3b) Leave the last bit open so you can sew it up for a tight rim. I waited to do this until after I sewed the rest in place, so I could get in as close as possible. If you want, you can sew that part in the beginning, so there is no pause to finish. I’m not that confident, circles are hard for me, this just made it feel like I was going to get it right ahaha.


#) Sew around, making sure to leave the very ends open


4) Sew the open ends together, and then sew up the rest of the circle.



5) Optional: shape netting edges:



I trimmed up the edges on this hat because I didn’t like the choppy/blocky netting edge. On the second hat I made, I left the edges alone.

5) Place on head:


The first one (above) seemed much too high. I made a second one with only a 1.5 inch wide piece of rim felt:


I also used a longer piece of netting for the second one. I like how it came out and fits a lot better.

I used felt because I didn’t want to worry about hemming any raw edges. Also, it’s relatively inexpensive. I made both hats together for under $3! Can’t beat it.

Questions? Leave a comment or send me a message :) Happy crafting!


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Hello, I’m Kerry! Maker. Sewist. Fan of all things bright.

February 2015
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It's Fluff! Curious, master napper, likes to try new veggies.


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