reversible bucket hat tutorial

The Reversible Bucket Hat is the most popular of the free Oliver + S patterns. The pattern can also be found in the Little Things to Sew book. With its popularity, it’s about time we had a step-by-step photo tutorial. This is sure to make your visual heart happy.

Oliver + S Reversible Bucket Hat tutorial

This is a pattern for both boys and girls and it comes in four different sizes. It has a difficulty level of two out of four scissors. It fits perfectly and doesn’t keep falling off. The brim is just the perfect size for keeping a child’s face from direct sun. It’s also comfortable and cute. With all of those qualities going for it, I can see why it’s so popular.

I hope everyone has their machines turned on, threaded, and ready to go.

Assemble the cap

1. Starting with the cut Fabric A side panels, align and pin the two side panels, with right sides together. Stitch the side seams with a 1/2” seam; then press the seam allowances open, and trim them to 1/4”.

2. Pin the crown to the top of the side panels, matching the triple notches on the crown to those on the side panels and the crown’s single notches to the side panels’ side seams. Clip into the seam allowances of the side panels to make the side panels fit the crown; then join the sides and crown with a 1/2” seam.

Hint: Here’s a little trick that might help: Run a basting stitch just a little inside where the stitching line will be–in this case, a little smaller than 1/2″–and use that as a clipping guide for the pieces that need to be clipped. That way you’ll know how much you can cut into the fabric before you start pinning. If you clip every 1/2″ or so you’ll release the seam allowances and allow the stitching lines to match up.

3. Finger-press the seam allowances toward the side panels; then edge stitch the seam allowances to the side panels, if desired, to give the top of the hat a finished look. Trim the remaining seam allowances to 1/8”.

Oliver + S Reversible Bucket Hat tutorial

4. Repeat steps 1-3 to sew the second cap from Fabric B.

Make and attach the brim

1. Align and pin two cut Fabric A brims, with right sides together; and stitch the sides with a 1/2” seam. Press the seams open, and trim the seam allowances to 1/8”.

2. Align and pin the interfacing pieces to the wrong side of the two Fabric B brims. Then align and pin these two “interfaced” Fabric B brim pieces, with the Fabric B sides together, and join the sides with a 1/2” seam. Press the seams open, and trim them to 1/8”, as in Step 1, above.

3. Align and pin the interfaced (Fabric B) and uninterfaced (Fabric A) brims, with right sides together. Stitch the outside edges together with a 1/2” seam; then trim the seam allowances to 1/8”.

Oliver + S Reversible Bucket Hat tutorial

4. Turn the brim right side out, and finger-press the edges before pressing them with an iron. Edgestitch or topstitch the outside edge with a 1/4” seam. If you want, you can also topstitch a series of rows around the brim spaced 1/4” apart to give the bucket hat a sporty look and add additional stiffness to the brim.

5. Align and pin the brim to the bottom edge of the Fabric A cap, with right sides together and clipping into the brim’s seam allowances to make the two edges fit. Stitch through all the layers to attach the brim to the cap with a 1/2” seam.

6. Trim the seam allowances to 1/4”; then turn the hat wrong side out.

Oliver + S Reversible Bucket Hat tutorial

Finish the hat

1. Fold and press the bottom edges of the Fabric B cap toward the wrong side by 1/2”.

2. Fit and pin the Fabric B cap over the Fabric A cap, with wrong sides together and the side seams aligned. Hand-stitch the Fabric B cap’s folded edge to the hat with a blind stitch, covering the seam line.

Turn the hat so that the Fabric A side is right side out again, and edge stitch the seam where the side panels and brim meet. This seam will help to secure the two sides of the hat, so they stay together.

Oliver + S Reversible Bucket Hat tutorial

You are done!

Oliver + S Reversible Bucket Hat

If you are looking for more ideas for the Reversible Bucket Hat pattern, here you go:

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  1. Saskia

    Hi we love this pattern. I have enlarged it to all different sizes for adults. However when we Put it together we find making a whole lining and a whole outer, and then stitching together leaving a gap on the rim to turn back out. That gap is stitched up when you sew the lines on the rim. This means it is all machine sewn and A bit stronger. Thanks for sharing pattern. Xxx

    1. Hi Sasika!
      Would you be open to sharing your adult patterns? I have tried myself but failed. New to sewing, and making larger sizes of this pattern is a bit more complicated than I thought.

      Please let me know!


    2. Carol

      Hi Sasika, I would love to have a copy of the larger adult hat. We also must have kids with bigger heads.

    3. Deb

      Saskia, I’d love you to explain this as I just left a comment saying the final step of attaching the inner and outer parts does not work well for me.
      Deb @

  2. Megan Brannan

    I finally made my first one last week for my 3 year old daughter (my first kiddo who will wear hats). Sadly, the largest size barely fits her 🙁
    Is there any chance this pattern would be available in larger sizes? Through (large) adult? It came together so nicely and would make a great gift…but as we apparently have large-head genes, I could only make it for toddlers.
    Please?!?!? I am sure I am not the only one who would gladly pay for this pattern in larger sizes.
    (Yes, I am certain it printed at 100%, and I sees correctly…I make big kids with big heads!)

  3. Leanne

    Hi, Do you need to enlarge the pattern once printed…….. or is the pattern supplied the actual size. Looking for up 6 months 6-9 months and 9-18 months

  4. Andrea

    Hi, anybody knows if the pattern includes seam allowances?

    1. Andrea, yes it does.

  5. Jo

    Hi there, thanks for this beautiful pattern which I cannot wait to sew for my 12 month old who is soon to start creche. I have a question regarding printing the pdf – I download it as a pdf then scale it to 100% as I do with other pdf patterns but for some reason the 2-inch square always doesn’t measure up to 2 inches (it is smaller). Also tried printing it to full page with no success. Help please! Thanks.

    1. Jo, make sure you open and print the file with Adobe Reader. Third-party PDF viewers (especially the ones that come with Apple products) have a tendency to distort the scale when they print. If you print with Adobe Reader, the test square should print out spot-on for you.

      1. Deborah

        Hi Todd, I just followed your instructions for printing from Adobe Reader and it still printed with a less than 2″ square! I’m wanting to make the largest hat and I think it’s going to be too small.

      2. It has to be something locally with your computer and printer, then. I’m sorry I can’t troubleshoot more from here. Perhaps you have someone there that could look for you?

    2. Teresa

      Have you tried highlighting actual size in the print options for your printer? That is what I did and it measures 2″.

  6. Deb

    I love this hat! I have made 2 of them and each time I have had difficulty with the final part of fitting the inside to the outside and sewing. It works but is not a smooth finish. I followed the instructions closely the first time and the second time I did the edge-stitch then went back to hand-stitch. Neither one looks good enough to make this a reversible hat. Any suggestions?

    1. Katie

      Deb,have you tried doing it the way Saskia mentioned in the first comment? I tend to make all reversible items like this, so make a full hat of each fabric, sew wrong sides together leaving a 2″ gap, use the gap to turn right side out and topstitch? When reading this tutorial I wondered how strong and durable handstitching would be so thought I’d follow the method mentioned above. worked really well for me 🙂

      1. Deb

        I’m going to try this, thanks! Do you still use the interfacing? If so, in only one side or both?

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