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Simple fleece elmo hat

March 14, 2011

If you child is anything like mine, he/she is probably obsessed with the little red monster they call ELMO.  Given the temperature around here, I recently ordered a knitted elmo hat from a website…and was not very happy with it.  So, I decide to knit one for Radha myself.  Well, several days into, after I already knitted the earflaps and the black mouth, I realized that I made the hat large enough to fit TWO heads into it.  So, I had to take it all out.  In the meanwhile, I decided to make her an Elmo hat made out of FLEECE, and this is how it turned out!  I actually saw a blog post on Made by Rae about how to make a simple fleece hat, and based my elmo hat off her tutorial. I would definitely check out her tutorial for the details of how to construct the hat.  I will describe below how I made it into Elmo and the one change I made to her design.

First you start by cutting your inside and outside fabric.  I used red for both since I was doing Elmo.  I had to cut my pieces larger than Rae’s tutorial describes, because the first time I cut them as directed, the hat was way to small.

Measure the width of the head that you are making the hat for, and the width of the rectangle you need to cut will be that head circumference, divided by 2, plus 1.  Radha’s head circumference is 18 – so the width of my piece was 10 (18/2 = 9, 9+1 = 10).   The height of your rectangle should be about 12 inches.  Cut the fabric on a fold on one side, so that there will only be a seam in the back of the hat, instead of down the front as well.  Also, make sure to lay the fleece so that the stretchy side is along the width of your hat.

Then you cut out the ear flaps.  The height of the flaps should not go past 3 inches.  You also want the flaps to be slightly more towards the back of the hat than in the middle, so that there is  larger opening for the face.


1) Make sure you remember that the fold of the fabric is the front of the hat, so the ear flaps should be FARTHER from the fold and closer to the open seam.

2) Don’t move the ear flaps too far off center – it becomes a little strange (see above picture)

The second time I made the hat I started with rough cutouts from the front and back, and then went back and curved out the edges.

Next, sew the open vertical seams of both the inside and outside material.  I used a 1/2 inch seam allowance, and used an overlocking stitch.

Next, place the fabrics right sides together, and sew the bottom seams along the earflaps together.  I used a straight stitch here, and then cut out some fabric so that it wouldn’t bunch too much when it was turned right side out.

This is what it looked like once you turn it right side out.

Next I gathered the pieces of elmo’s face!  I used fuzz balls that you can buy from any craft store for the eyes, and then used orange and back felt to cut out the pupils, nose and mouth.

Then sew your pieces onto the outside of the hat.  You could also sew the pieces onto the fabric BEFORE you sew the bottom seams of the hat together, so that it is easier to maneuver in the machine.

Once you have put everything onto the hat that you want, you then take a 1/2 inch strip of the fleece and tie it around the top of the hat about 3 inches down from the top.  I then cut the top of the hat fabric into strips to make a pom pom.  The beauty of fleece is that it doesn’t fray – so you can cut it as much as you want.


And viola! You have a genuine elmo hat!  As you can see, the hat my daughter is wearing above is different than some of the samples above in that there is no seam down the front (i mixed up the front and back the first time I made the hat…)

Hope your little one enjoys it as much as mine!

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