A cycling cap is useful in so many ways. It keeps the hair in place. Sweat is managed. Shades the head and face from direct sun. Can be micro-adjusted to block the glare from oncoming headlights. The thin fabric allows it to fit under a helmet. Pulled low over the eyes, it’s how I begin a nap. The sun blocking will make your dermatologist happy.
Years ago, when my old columbus hat was starting to disintegrate, I knew there would be a long and difficult search for a replacement. My head is BIG, and few hats would fit it. And I was never was that happy about paying for a hat that gives free advertising to some business. And I find the bill on store bought cycling caps is always too small. It was time to figure out how to make a hat that fits me well and has a bigger bill. I have made about 50 of these caps so far. For a person who does not sew much, is not an easy project at first. Your initial caps will not be that great but they quickly improve with practice. I am satisfied with mine now, and they take about 2 hours to make. They last about a year if you wear it a lot. Make lots, give them as gifts, it’s fun!
Rather than hunting for an online pattern, it made more sense to me to get the pattern from the old cap which I knew actually fit me. So I took it apart and had the perfect pattern right there. This 3 panel style would be easy to sew, compared to a more complicated 6 panel hat for instance. I had to figure out the steps of construction myself. There are probably other ways to put it together too. If nothing else, this type of project will help you appreciate the effort and complexity involved in making a garment.
|The old hat, disassembled.|
I used the pieces as a template for making the new hats. With the visor, I drew an outline of the existing one, and then drew it a little bigger. The bills on traditional cycling caps are just too small.
Making the bill
We have lots of light cotton material leftover from quilting projects. Shown here is this bird pattern. The top and bottom of the visor fabric is a lightweight, black wool. bill stiffener is cut from a 32oz plastic yogurt container. (Note: now I make soft bills with Pellon; see below). The container is just big enough for a generous sized lightweight bill. I set the orientation using the natural curve of the plastic, but get it mostly flattened out with an iron, set on low. If an excessive curve returns (like from having it scrunched up in a pocket), I can always iron it flat again. Don’t iron the plastic directly; use a piece of fabric on top of it! It takes just a minute or 2 of ironing on medium, and I let it cool down with a heavy book on top of it.
Next I sew the edge of the cap. I roll the inside edge about 3/16 inch and sew all along the edge of the cap.
|Finished. It fits well and improves with use.|
|A variety of hats from my current collection|