Monday, April 13, 2009

How to make a Beret out of an Old Shirt or Sweater

Have old clothing that you can't find a use for? Have the feeling no one would want to buy that old shirt or sweater you own from the secondhand store? Turn it into a cute beret for you, a friend, or a little one!

Difficulty: Easy
Time: 1-2 hours
Need: old clothing piece, sewing machine, scissors, thread. Optional: elastic.

1. Cut out the fabric pieces shown in the image above: a circle with a diameter of 40 cm; another identical circle but with a 27 cm hole cut out of the middle; and a band 15 cm high by about 56 cm wide (you should measure your own head for this number; leave room for a seam but not too much room or else the hat won't be snug enough. If you want to use elastic, cut a longer rectangle.)

2. Sew the donut-shaped piece to the circle, right sides together (the right side is the outside)

3. After you sew these together, you will have a seam on the inside of the hat. Go through and cut little triangles out of it, making sure not to hit the seam line. This helps the hat bend properly.

4. Sew the head band piece (the rectangular one) into a loop, making sure you sew the right sides together with a 6 mm stitch. Now, fold the band in half, right sides out, so that it is 7.5 cm high.

5. Sew the band to the rest of the hat, right sides together; the circumference of the donut will be longer than the circumference of the head band, so you will have to gather the donut piece; you can either gather as you stitch it onto the band, or baste the donut-shaped piece and gather it that way, proceeding to sew the band on afterwards.

Note: If you like, you can cut a longer band in the beginning and add elastic to the band to make sure the beret fits snugly.

Here's a short tutorial on gathering if you don't know how.

Want more?

Alternative beret tutorials can be found here:



  1. I'm going to try this! Thanks alot!

  2. I made this with some kids using an old black t-shirt and STAPLES (because I don't sew)! It turned out great! Highly recommend this pattern. Thanks for posting it.

  3. Definitely going to try this! I don't have a sewing machine though...

  4. Thanks so much! This pattern and direction worked really well for a dance costume accessory I needed for my students and couldn't find anywhere! It was easy and looks great!

  5. Yay! its national day soon at school.. the children are French and I was very stuck for ideas.. beret beats trying make a Marie Antoinnette outfit. will try this for my girls. Thanks!

  6. What type fabrics are working best for this?

  7. 40 cm seems pretty big for just a regular beret. Just FYI, it'll probably end up looking more like the tudor-style beret shown in the first link at the bottom. Also, how much space do we want between the edge of the fabric and the seam line?

  8. This is the biggest beret I've ever made! Is this for a giant?

  9. This is the biggest beret I've ever made! Is this for a giant?

  10. Thanks! My little girl wants to be an "artist" for career dress up day (I'd say most career artists are actually in their pj's...but couldn't convince her of that) and this was our missing piece! I have twelve hours until the big event so I better get stitchin!

  11. Easy. Great instructions. Kind of large but that’s ok. Who knew you can’t find beret’s any where? May do this again with an old wool sweater

    1. at least you know the way to sew evenly. mine is a little zig zaggy. i am a beginner tho so i guess thats why i do not have a sewing machine.

  12. where do you sew?