As we move into the colder months of winter, it seems like it’s freezing no matter how many layers you put on, at least if you live in a cold wintry area like we do! If you are a crafter, one way to add some warmth and coziness to your garments is to line a layer of fleece inside your knitted hats or jackets.
Adding fleece to your garment is a super quick and easy way to elevate a hand-made garment while also adding warmth for the colder months. Fleece fabric is also fairly inexpensive and can be bought in most craft stores.
Fleece is really soft and cozy to the touch, but most fleece is made of synthetic materials like polyester. There’s even an eco-friendly option of fleece made from recycled plastic bottles! You can also buy a wool blend fleece, although fleece made from polyester is probably the cheapest and most popular option for most crafters.
Fleece resembles the coat of a sheep, and it can add a layer of warmth to your clothing while also being very breathable. This material is also super easy to work with and care for, so it’s a great option that doesn’t require a lot of effort.
So how do you line a knitted hat with fleece? To line a knitted hat with fleece, you should trace and cut two pieces of fleece the size of your hat and sew them together, leaving the bottom open. Then you can sew the fleece liner to the hat itself with slip stitches or another stretchy stitch. Make sure the pieces are pre-washed.
In this article, we’ll walk you through that process in way more detail, step by step. We’ll also explain other key things you’ll want to know before attempting it on your own, especially if you’re not an experienced seamstress!
What to Know Before Getting Started
Although this is a very simple tutorial, there are a few things you need to prepare before lining your hat to make sure that the end product will take its proper shape and form.
Wash and Block Your Fleece and Hat
You will need to wash your fleece before cutting it. Depending on the composition of the fleece, it could shrink in the wash. Polyester fleece won’t shrink too much in the wash, but any type of wool or cotton blend fleece can shrink significantly.
This is why it’s best to pre-wash your fleece before working so that there’s no shrinkage after you’re done that can affect how your project may look. Washing the fleece beforehand will also eliminate any lint that can gather inside your hat after several washes.
Similarly, you should also wash and block your knitted hat before lining, if you’ve just finished your knitting project. Depending on what type of yarn you use, your hat may shrink after the first wash, and blocking will also help the hat take its proper shape before lining it with fleece.
These steps: pre-washing the fleece and washing and blocking your hat, will make sure that the finished product will maintain its look and size even after several washes!
Pay Attention to the Direction of the Stretch
Another thing to pay attention to what direction your fleece material will stretch. Typical fleece has very minimal stretch, but when you cut the fleece, make sure that the direction of the stretch is horizontal, meaning that the fleece will stretch around the wearer’s head and not vertically.
Making sure that the fleece stretches in the right direction will ensure the wearer’s comfort. When cutting correctly, the fleece will stretch comfortably and fit snugly around the wearer’s head without any difficulties.
Pay Attention to the Right and Wrong Side of the Fleece
You should also make sure that the right side of the fleece is facing outwards, and the wrong side of the fleece is facing the wrong side of the hat. The right side of the fleece typically has more texture and snubs, similar to a sheep’s coat, whereas the wrong side is typically smooth looking but rougher to the touch.
When sewn together, the wrong side of the hat and the wrong side of the fleece will be concealed completely. Making sure that you are working with the correct side will ensure that the end product is soft and cozy while looking aesthetically pleasing.
Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
- Your finished, washed, and blocked knitted hat
- A small piece of lining fleece that matches the dominant color of your hat. You will need enough fleece to match the size of the hat.
- Sewing pins
- Medium-weight sewing needles
- Sewing thread that matches the color of your hat and fleece
- A pair of sharp fabric scissors
How To Line A Knitted Hat With Fleece, Step-by-Step
Now that you have everything you need to line a knitted hat with fleece, let’s get started.
Fold your piece of fleece in half and lay it on a flat surface. Place the hat on top of the fleece and use a fabric marker to trace along the outer shape of the hat, leaving half an inch for seam allowance. Make sure that the direction of the fleece’s stretch is horizontal (wrapping around the hat).
The tracing will look like half an oval shape.
Using a sharp pair of fabric scissors, cut both layers of fleece following the shape you just traced.
(You can trace and cut a shape a centimeter or more wider if your hat will stretch a lot more than your fleece and you need it to expand to wear it.)
You now have two identical pieces of fleece that look like half an oval shape.
Put the two pieces of fleece, right sides in, together and sew along the oval edge, leaving half an inch for seam allowance. Leave the straight (bottom) edge open.
Step 4 (optional)
Make small cuts along the seam allowance you just sewed, leaving an inch between each cut. Since the seam is made on a curve, these cuts will allow the seam to easily bend to the shape of your head.
Add a top stitch on the right side of the fleece lining to make sure that the seam lays flat. After this step, you should have a fleece “hat” that can now be inserted into your knitted hat as a lining.
Insert the fleece hat into your knitted hat, making sure that the wrong sides of the fleece and the knitted hat are facing each other. If the straight edge of the fleece is peeking out of the knitted hat, you can trim it so that the fleece hat fits inside of the knitted hat, leaving about an inch of the hat’s bottom band.
Once you’ve made the proper modifications to the fleece lining, use sewing pins to pin the edge of the fleece hat and the knitted hat together, make sure that the wrong side is facing together and the fleece is pinned at the same distance from the edge all around the knitted hat.
Use small slip stitches to hand sew the fleece lining and the knitted hat together, removing pins as you go.
Only pick up pieces of yarn from the wrong side of the knitted hat to make sure that the stitch is invisible from the outside of the hat. Since fleece does not fray, you don’t have to fold the fleece edge in while sewing.
Alternatively, you can use a sewing machine for this step, making sure that the stitches are placed at the top of the hat’s bottom hem so that there’s no visual interruption. Make sure to use a stretchy stitch so that the hat can still comfortably stretch while you wear it.
And that’s it! Your knitted hat is now extra warm and cozy with an extra layer of fleece.
Can I Do This With Every Kind of Hat?
Although we’d love to add some warmth to every type of hat, this extra layer would work best with simple beanies or caps, because the extra layer won’t affect the shape of the hat.
If you try to add a fleece lining to slouchy hats or berets, they will lose the intended shape and ruin the look.
This type of lining is also more suitable with knitted hats that are chunkier with stitches fitting tightly together. If your hat has a lacy pattern, the lining may peek through from the outside, and it probably will not look great.
Does it Matter What Type of Fleece I Use?
You should select the type of fleece that has a similar composition to the yarn of your knitted hat. For example, if you used acrylic yarn for your hat, you should also use synthetic fleece. Similarly, if you use 100% wool yarn, you should use wool or at least a wool blend for your fleece.
The similar composition will make it easier for you to care for the garment later on since materials with similar compositions will require similar caring instructions.
Since the two pieces will be attached together, you should pay attention to the caring instructions of both materials to make sure that your garment will stay new for longer.
How Do I Wash This Hat?
It depends on the type of yarn you use for your knitted hat and the type of fleece. If both your yarn and fleece are polyester, you can comfortably machine wash your hat in warm water and air dry.
However, if you use any type of wool blend or silk blend yarn or fleece, it’s safer to hand wash your hat in warm water and air dry to make sure that the hat will not lose its shape or shrink in the wash.
We recommend always hand-washing knitted garments regardless of the yarn. Hand-washing and air drying will make sure that the knitted piece maintains its shape and stay new for longer, whereas the washer and dryer may stretch out or shrink the garment.