1950s-style wide brimmed hat


This is an old pattern. It’s the first one I wrote up and looking back on it I’m not sure it’s that great. If you want to make it please do go ahead but I’m kind of embarrassed by it nowadays. I apologise for my poor pattern writing skills.
I was stuck on another project which I will write up very soon. A bag made out of string which I refer to as the picnic bag because it’s summery and cream coloured and makes me think of going on picnics. So while I was going thorugh my third attempt at this bag which had got me properly peeved I decided to cheer myself up with something creative and fun on the side. Hence this matching hat.

1950s style wide brimmed hat on table

The hat is made out of normal string from the corner store. The kind of stuff you use in the garden for tying back the honeysuckle or to send a parcel to your auntie. It’s stiffish stuff which leaves you with a bit of cramp in your hook holding muscles if you work with it for too long at a stretch, but also means it holds a shape well.For example making a reasonable brim.

I also used a second type of softer cotton string to make the decorative band although I think any cotton yarn would also be good. I think this could look very chic with the band done in black.

I couldn’t say how many balls of string went into this because what with all the balls I bought for the bag and the amount of hooking and ripping I had to do to get the bag right I lost track. I think you’d need between two and three small balls and less than 50g of the cotton for the hat band.

So… here’s the pattern please comment if anything’s not clear:

This pattern is worked in the round. I am using American notation. sc= single crochet, sl st= slip stitch, ch=chain

R1: With string and a size 6mm (size J) hook make a magic loop and sc into the loop six times. Join with a sl st in 1st sc. Pull tight.

R2: Ch 1, 2sc in each sc around. Join with a sl st in 1st sc.

R3: Ch1, *sc in next sc, 2sc in next sc, repeat from * around. Join with a sl st in 1st sc.

R4: Ch1, *2sc in next sc, sc in next 2sc, repeat from * around. Join with a sl st in 1st sc.

R5: Ch1, *sc in next 3 sc, 2sc in next sc, repeat from * around. Join with  a sl st in 1st sc.

R6: Ch1, sc in next sc, 2sc in next sc, *sc in next 4 sc, 2sc in next sc repeat from * around until last 3sc, sc in last 3sc. Join with a sl st in 1st sc.

R7  & R8: Ch1, sc in each sc around. Join with a sl st in 1st sc.

R9: Ch1, *sc in next 5sc, 2sc in next sc repeat from * around. Join with a sl st in 1st sc.

R10 & R11: Ch1, sc in each sc around. Join with a sl st in 1st sc.

R12: Ch1, sc in next 2sc, 2sc in next sc, *sc in next 6sc, 2sc in next sc repeat from* around until last 4sc. Sc in last 4sc. Join with a sl st in 1st sc.

R13: Ch 1, *sc in next 7 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around; join with sl st in 1st sc.

R14: Ch 1, sc in next 3 sc, 2 sc in next sc, *sc in next 8 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around to last 5 sc, sc in last 5 sc; join with sl st in 1st sc.

R15: Ch 1, *sc in next 9 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around; join with sl st in first sc – 66 sc at the end of this rnd.

R16: Ch 1, sc in next 4 sc, 2 sc in next sc, *sc in next 10 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around to last 6 sc, sc in last 6 sc; join with sl st in 1st sc.

R17: Ch 1, *sc in next 11 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around; join with sl st in 1st sc.

R18: Ch 1, sc in next 5 sc, 2 sc in next sc, *sc in next 12 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around to last 7 sc, sc in last 7 sc; join with sl st in 1st sc.

R19: Ch 1, *sc in next 13 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around; join with sl st in 1st sc.

R20: Ch 1, sc in next 6 sc, 2 sc in next sc, *sc in next 14 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around to last 8 sc, sc in last 8 sc; join with sl st in 1st sc.

Fasten off and weave in end.

Make a loop with string. Inside hat find row 13. Pass new loop through a loop of row 13 and sc around inside hat attaching to loops in row 13. Join with a sl st in 1st sc. Ch1 sc in all sc around. Join with a sl st in 1st sc.

EDITED TO ADD: Try the hat on to check whether the crown is deep enough. If not add another row or two of single crochets at this point.

Fasten off.

You should have something that looks a bit like this:

Inside 1950s style wide brimmed hat

Now for decoration. You will notice that there is now a pronounced ridge in the hat where you’ve attached the section inside. We don’t want that now do we?

So let’s make a band to cover it up. Using your cotton and a size 3mm hook make a chain long enough to wrap around that section of the hat and leave a couple of neat little tails. If you want to tie a bow in the band make it long enough for that. To be honest this is up to you so  no need to count stitches here just eyeball it!

Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch to end. Ch1 and turn, sc in each sc to end. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Wrap band around hat on top of ridge at row 13. Pin in place and sew down. Remove the pins and hooray, your hat is ready to wear!

I wear my pretty retro hat

Modelling my 1950s wide brimmed hat

28 Comments on “1950s-style wide brimmed hat”

  1. Thover says:

    I am very interested in making this hat but i didn’t now what yarn you used or what hook please be specific in telling me what material to buy

    • Thover says:

      it’s trhe 1950’s style wide brim hat

      • Patricia says:

        I am going to try putting ribbon for the band. I think if this works you could use any color to match your outfit.
        I am anxious to make the hat then I will try the bag. I am new at this too. So wish me luck.

      • quincetart says:

        Hi Patricia

        Thank you for your comment.

        Looking back I’m not entirely happy with this pattern. If you’re new give it a try but don’t be put off if it doesn’t turn out how you’d like. Try a proper pattern by an experienced professional designer instead!

        Good luck in your crochet adventures!

  2. Thover says:

    I dont understand what u mean by awaiting moderation

  3. quincetart says:

    In order to control comments on the blog and avoid nasty people saying mean things I have to approve the first comment you make and after that you can comment as much as you like.

    Hence ‘awaiting moderation’. That’s awaiting my approval. You are now approved to comment.

    To answer your other questions. As stated in the post there is no yarn as such for this hat. It’s made out of string of the kind you tie parcels up with. You could use a thick cotton yarn, say a worsted weight, I suppose but I don’t know whether that would hold the shape well enough.

    The hook is a 6mm otherwise known I believe as a size J. I did note this in the pattern too. Of course this will depend on your tension (gauge). I tend to crochet very loosely so you may need to use a bigger hook. Check your tension.

    You should find that 8.5 stitches and 8.5 rows = 4 inches in single crochet US terminology.

    I hope that helps.

    • elaine burchfield says:

      Hi i have tried to crochet your hat three times and i am new at learning to read crochet patterns.i love this hat! but i have come to a problem to where the hat body is not big enough for my head.i dont know what i have done wrong.i need some help with this if you have the time.

      • quincetart says:

        Oh dear. I have had another comment like this elsewhere so I’m a bit worried about my instructions. I am new at writing this stuff out so I’m sorry I haven’t done a good job and have wasted your time. 😦

        Perhaps this is a better example for the tension. Rather than working a swatch, just work the hat. The first five rounds should measure approximately three and a half inches in diameter. Does that make more sense?

        If the body is too shallow for your head and won’t stay on please feel free to add extra rows to the inside so as to make it big enough. You could also repeat row 10/11 to create a deeper crown if you prefer.

        I hope that helps.

    • Sharon Carlson says:

      My sweet friend Quincetart, pattern writing is not so terribly easy. You write like you readt and use a pattern. I.e. The number of stitches at end of line, so I know I am ok before I do 17 rows and find I am over or short. [ I had to start over because I had 70 some an you finally said I should have 66. I didn’t know where I went off] you try to anticipate and fill in as many answers as there can be questions. [like do a number of sc and attach with a sl st, or work 1st sc in space with sl st]. or [ your project will be a certain number ot inches in diameter at the end of this row.] Do you see what I mean? I am an old 73 crocheter and I was taught by a woman with the patience of a saint. Just keep trying and make notes when you think of them. too much detail is preferred over too little. To know you are off asap cuts down the re-do, figure out time. I am starting over and love the hat, keep on keeping on. Sharon

      • quincetart says:

        It is very kind of you to give me advice on this.

        I have come a long way since I made this hat. I hope to go a long way further. At least now I ask people to test my patterns before I inflict them upon the world.

        Please do let me know how you get on.

  4. dontdresslikeapril says:

    this is great! i am going to try with a bulky weight yarn and a tight stitch, to keep the shape. thank you : )

  5. Yolanda says:

    I love it. Gonna give a whirl. I’ll let you know how mine turns out. I’ll try the band in black. sounds like it WILL give it a chic look. And then I’ll make one in yellow for next summer

  6. Elizabeth says:

    i’ve gotten to row 15, and so far so good but what did you whant me to do when you said 66sc at the end of this rnd. did you mean there should be 66 stitches around the brim?

  7. quincetart says:

    I believe so. It’s a while since I wrote this, but yes, I think that’s what I meant!

  8. Ruth says:

    I’m planning to try this too, but a question: it looks like the brim is attached above the bottom row of the hat. Is this correct?

    • quincetart says:

      The part that’s attached above the bottom row of the hat is not the brim but the bottom of the crown. In other words the crown is too shallow to stay on your head without some additional work inside the hat.

      I hope that helps.

  9. Debby says:

    Hi, i love this hat and i have not tried to make it yet but i am going to. I do alot of crocheting and i do not know what you mean by a magic loop at the very beginning? please let me know?

    • quincetart says:

      I’m glad you like the hat. (I’m a little embarrassed by it now as it’s a while ago and I’m not sure I did a good job of it. If you make it and aren’t happy with it please don’t give up on my other designs, it was my first try!)

      Anyway, there is a good tutorial for a magic loop here on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHYVutk2iYY

  10. renuka umesha says:

    lovely hat, we can also make it colorful

  11. dogwild says:

    Looks wonderful! I’m thinking I might make the brim a couple rows wider, and then work some fabric-covered wire (such as you find in the floral and bridal depts. of crafts stores) into said brim, so it won’t be too floppy. I’ve got to try this! If it works for me, I’ll give you more feedback…. Thanks for the pattern!

  12. Brenda O'Haver says:

    Jute string

  13. Sarah says:

    I am going to make this for my up-coming wedding. But I am going to use size 10 crochet cotton throughout and use ribbon for the band. Also, I am going to crochet some flowers using size 10 to embellish it. Thanks for the pattern.

  14. Sarah says:

    I am going to make this for up-coming wedding using size 10 crochet cotton and ribbon for the band. I am also going crochet flowers using size 10 cotton for embellishment. Thanks for the pattern !

  15. karen blair says:

    great patterns – bag and hat. love the idea of “found” materials. just found some awesome polypropolene twine at a home fix it store that will make a great kitchen/door/bath mat and it comes in several colors. these patterns remind me of audrey hepburn’s style in several movies. we’ll let you know how it goes. definitely would not use acrylic yarn on these. thanks again. karenb/fredw

  16. J Grant says:

    One could use plarn (plastic yarn made from grocery bags or dry cleaner bags) for more body. Instructions for making plarn are all over Youtube. This would give the hat some stability as well as interesting color designs. You might try using hoisery left overs (instructions on Youtube as well) in colors of your choice. However, it might be a bit more floppy than you’d like. Both would be wonderful to wash and could be used as a gardening hat. A swatch is always one of the most valuable pieces of crocheting.

  17. Maryann kalilikane says:

    This hat is one of the most unique hats that I have seen on the internet. I love vintage, I love hats made from the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. It is very hard to find free patterns of vintage hats that are made with modern yarn and stitches. Especially those that are made with larger hooks like this one. It is wonderful to see. Most vintage patterns are difficult to understand. So hats off to you darling. I will give this pattern a try, wish me luck… If you ever rewrite this pattern, now that you have gotten better at writing patterns I would love if you could send it to me and if you have more vintage hat patterns, I would love to have a copy of those to. keep doing what your doing girl. Just Marvelous…. Thank you, Gracias, and Mahalo…..

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