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How to Make a Simple Beret

By Ann  |  14 Oct 2018 14:00:00


The humble beret has been around for centuries. Originally constructed out of wool felt and designed to keep the head warm and dry, this peasant hat has evolved to mean many things to many people.

These simple hats were enlarged in 1900’s to become voluminous velvet Tam O Shanters and worn with ostrich feathers

Scaled back down, they were the hat to wear in the 1920’s 30’s and 40’s. Chic and warm.

In the 1950’s the beret was adopted by the beatnik generation and revolutionaries. A favourite of Brigitte Bardot’s, bad girl Bonnie (of and Clyde) made it the archetypal femme fatale accessory.

The simple beret is this season’s hottest hat and formidable street trend. Make it out of tweed or leather. Line it with Paris net for a more sculptural look. Make it large or trimmed back. However you make it, you cannot go wrong.


So here’s how to make one.

Measure around the fullest part of your head

Divide this measurement by 6.28

For me that is 57.2cms ÷ 6.28 = 16cms

Draw a circle with a 16cm radius (R1)

Decide on how wide you wish your beret to be and add this measurement plus 1.5cm seam allowance

16cms + 10cms + 1.5cms = 27.5cms (R2)

Draw a concentric circle of this radius outside your first circle. This makes the doughnut shaped underside. Pattern piece 1

Draw a second larger circle. This is the top. Pattern piece 2

Now draw a rectangle 4-5cms wide and 1.5cms longer than your head measurement. This is the headband. Pattern piece 3

Cut 1x the top and underside out of the outer fabric and lining. If you are interlining also cut 1 of each out of this.

Cut 1x headband on the bias

Put top and underside together with right sides facing. Sew around allowing a 15cm seam allowance

Do the same with the lining. Snip the seams for ease

Turn outer layer right side out and then drop the lining into the hat

Sew the two layers together around the headsize

Sew the headband on folding under the raw short end where the two ends meet

Fold in raw edge along length and then fold again and hand stitch in place as you would bias binding

Make your beret out of pretty much any fabric that has a bit of weight, leather or even PVC. The finished beret can look fantastic with the main seam topstitched and this also helps keep a good shape.

This classic hat which has come to mean so much could not be simpler to make. Make it out of leateher or tweed....why not PVC? Whatever you make it out of, enjoy wearing your beret......street style at it's most chic





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