Cow print bucket hat hanging on a hook

Featured design: Cow Print by lanrete58

This summer’s hot topic: bucket hats! If you’re looking for a summer accessory that’s both stylish and provides shade from harsh summer rays, we’ve got you covered. You can easily sew your own thanks to our free bucket hat pattern. To make it reversible, use 2 fat quarters of coordinating fabric designs or 2 designs on a split Fill-a-Yard! Both sides of our hat are a different animal print so we can switch between a leopard and cow print bucket hat depending on our moooooo-d that day.

Follow along to learn how you can make a bucket hat with our Lightweight Cotton Twill for a cool summer look. Our free hat sewing pattern could also be used to create a fuzzy and durable winter bucket hat with our Dogwood Denim™ on one side and Minky on the other to add a layer of insulation.

Bucket Hat Fabric Designs

DIY Cotton Bucket Hat

Materials List

Skill Level

Beginner

Download the Free Pattern
Bucket Hat Pattern

Pro Tip:

If you want to make the hat smaller or larger, you can alter the pattern by adding or subtracting 1/2″ (1 cm) around each of the pieces, repeating if needed to reach the desired size. This is a great method for kid’s bucket hats!

Spoonflower Suggests:

While we’re using Lightweight Cotton Twill for our hat, you can use sturdy Dogwood Denim™, smooth Petal Signature Cotton™ backed with a medium to heavy-weight interfacing, or even soft and fuzzy Minky.

How to Make a Bucket Hat

Cut Out the Pattern

Iron your fabric smooth and pin the bucket hat pattern on top of one of your fat quarters. Make sure when positioning the crown and brim pieces that the “fold line” edges of the pattern are placed along a folded edge of your fabric. When the fabric is cut, you should be able to open the fold and have a correct sized crown and brim that’s double the length of your original pattern piece.

Cut one top, two brims, and two crowns, giving you a total of five pieces to work with. Later on, we’ll cut another set of the same pieces from the other fat quarter for the reversible side.

Bucket Hat Terms:

Brim: The projecting edge at the bottom
Crown: The sides, right above the brim
Top: The part that touches the very top of your head

Bucket hat cut fabric pieces laying on a table

Pin the Crown

Pin your crown pieces at the short ends, with right sides (the sides of the fabric with the design showing) facing each other, and stitch together with a 1/2″ (1 cm) seam allowance. You should have a big ring!

Crown of bucket hat being pinned and sewn

Finish The Seam

Iron your seams flat, then add two topstitches (a stitch designed to be seen on the outside) on both sides of each seam. Not only is this stitch decorative, but it also reinforces your sewing. You can use thread that matches your fabric’s colors, or go with a contrasting color like we did!

Ironing and topstitching the crown piece

Attach the Top

Now you can attach the top piece to the crown piece with right sides facing each other. This process can be a bit tricky as we’re working with a round seam, but just pull the fabric tight as you go and use as many pins as you need.

Pin the four notches first, then pin between these marks and distribute the rest of your pins around the circle until even. Sew these pieces together with a 1/2″ (1 cm) seam allowance, and iron your seam flat.

Pro Tip:

For a cleaner look, consider using the notching method before ironing your seam flat. Take some scissors and cut little slits about 1/4″ (1/2 cm) into the edge of the seam, making sure to not cut through the stitch itself. This is great for curved seams like the one we just made by releasing the tension and allowing for easier pressing.

Attaching the top of the hat to the crown with pins

Topstitch the Edge

Next, sew a line on top of the hat about 1/4″ (1/2 cm) down from the edge of the top part’s seam. Just like in step 3, this helps both reinforce and decorate your seam.

Topstitching the edge of the hat top

Make the Brim

Similar to how we put together the crown, pin your brim parts with right sides facing at the short ends and stitch them together with a 1/2″ (1 cm) seam allowance. Iron the seam apart and reinforce/decorate with a topstitch on the outside.

Brim of bucket hat being pinned, sewn, and ironed

Attach the Brim

Place the brim on the crown, right sides together. Similar to step 4, pin around the edges making sure the fabric is evenly secured, and sew in place. Once again, iron your seam flat and topstitch on the outside. Now you have one side of your bucket hat!

However, we need two sides. Repeat steps 1-7 with your other fat quarter so you end up with two hats.

Sewing the brim to the crown of the hat
Two sides of the bucket hat, one cow print and one leopard print

Sew the Two Sides Together

Once you have your two hats, pin them together by the raw brim edges, this time with the wrong sides (non-design side) facing instead of the right sides.

Now stitch the brims together 1/2″ (1 cm) from the raw edge. If you’d like to add more structure to your hat, consider sewing rings around the edges of the brim about 1/2″ (1 cm) apart. You can also border your edge with bias tape, but we decided to go with the fun frayed edge that Lightweight Cotton Twill offers.

The inside layer of the bucket hat pinned to the outside layer
Sewing rings around the brim of the hat

And you’re done! Enjoy your new bucket hat!

Person wearing bucket hat to show cow print and leopard print reversible sides

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10 comments

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  • Love this…such a fun project! I added 1/2” to the depth of the hat and took a tiny bit of the flare out of the brim, and it was perfect.

    • Oh! How do you remove some of the flare? I’m new to altering patterns, and I keep making the brim too short to match up with the crown when I try to remove some flare. I love making the hats…but then won’t wear them because there’s too much floppy flare. LOL Thanks!

      • Hi Raine,

        You can make a less-flared bucket hat by trimming down the longest curved edge of the brim pattern piece. I recommend starting with 1/2″ or even 1/4″ at a time until you reach your desired size.

        Happy sewing!

        Anna
        Spoonflower

    • Hi Marsha, great question!

      This bucket hat’s circumference is about 23 inches (58.5 cm).

      Best,
      Anna
      Spoonflower

  • Earl J (Maui Boy)

    Aloha y’all…
    just the sort of thing I need for myself, AND for a reunion we’re having on Maui. I’ll make a few to give out as gifts… (grin) … well… MAYBE… IF I have time. I’m also building a video set to give out as well…
    SO much fun… and SO little time. . . (grin)
    * * *
    𝑩𝒐𝒓𝒏 𝒐𝒏 𝑽𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒆𝒚 𝑰𝒔𝒍𝒆,
    𝑯𝒐𝒎𝒆 𝒏𝒐𝒘, 𝑵𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒉 𝑪𝒂𝒓𝒐𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒂;
    𝑨𝒍𝒐𝒉𝒂 𝒚’𝒂𝒍𝒍. . .
    * * *

    Until that time. . . Earl J.

  • Barb Crossley

    Your pattern indicates that you need 2 x outside and 2 x inside for the top. Should that be 1 x each?

    • Hi Barb,

      Yes, you’re absolutely right! Thank you for pointing this out. We’ve updated the pattern with the correct numbers.

      Best,
      Anna
      Spoonflower