Thursday, August 7, 2014

Capped Off!

With next season's menswear trends focusing on jeanswear, I decided I needed the appropriate accessories for my Ken dolls. Finding sneakers and boots are easy to find on Ebay, but surprisingly, I was not able to locate a decent baseball cap. Eventually I was able to find a mini-tutorial which posted a picture of a pattern. That helped somewhat, however, I wanted to better understand how to actually create the pattern so I could make it for difference sizes of doll heads.

Now for those of you living outside of the U.S, your dolls can probably live without this head gear. But for all of you who are Stateside, you know very well that in addition to his Nikes, American Ken dolls (no matter their lifestyles) need their baseball caps!

Instead of having you measure and do math, I found it easier to use strips of paper to figure out the two basic measurements: the circumference of the doll's head and the height of the crown. And that is how we begin.

1. Cut a strip of paper which is wide enough to wrap around the doll's head from ear to ear and long enough to reach from his eyebrows to the very top of his head. Mark and tape in place.
2. Next, take another strip and place on top of the head at the very center. Mark where this strip meets the top of the other strip. This is the circumference of the width of the head.
3. Take the (longer) strip and fold in half. Then take that half and fold it into equal thirds. Cut one of those squares off the (side cap) strip. Take the top cap (shorter strip) and fold in half.
4. With the box you cut off the side strip, glue down then divide in half and mark.
5. Take the top cap (which you previously folded in half) and place it on top of the box at the midpoint.
6. Create a triangle by making diagonal lines from that top point to the sides of the bottom square. Add 1/8-inch seam allowance to complete this, the top of the cap.
8. Cut six pieces out in the fabric of your choice using this pattern. You can also cut out two more pieces using iron-on interfacing if you want to add a little stiffness to the front of the cap. (I used it for the light blue denim but not for navy blue or beige cap. It all depends on the look you want, but in examining my dad's baseball caps, I discovered all of his has some sort of stiffening in the front.)
9. If you are using the iron on interfacing, adhere it to two of the pieces, but trim away the hem. This will cut down on bulk around the hem of the cap.
10. Put the cap pieces together in pairs. Stitch down one side of each pair. Press the out seams. Then one by one, put the side of each pair together, stopping to press the seams out. Do this right until the last seam. I make one straight, tiny stitch at the very top where all of the triangles intercept. (Note: it is easier to press the seams after stitching each section as opposed to stitching up everything then ironing last.)

11. Turn the hem under and glue in place.
12. Place on the doll's head to check for fit. Now it's time to make the "visor."
13. Place the cap on a sheet of paper.
14. Trace curve of front third of cap, then mark the midpoint.

15. Decide how long you want to make the visor. Mine is 3/4-inch but yours can be longer or more shallow. Draw a line from the midpoint of the cap to the tip of the visor. Draw a horizontal line.
16. Draw straight lines from the endpoints of where the visor will join the cap.
17. Draw in the curved lines of the visor. Then draw seam allowance underneath the lower curve.
18. Trace these curved lines to the other side of the middle line.
19. This is the pattern for the visor. Cut one of these out of Bristol board or some other heavy weight paper.
20. Add seam allowance around the outer edge of visor and cut two of these out of your fabric.
21. Stitch the two pieces together wrong side out. Glue the Bristol board directly to one side of the fabric and use a dry iron to set. Trim one of the seams a little bit. By staggering the layers, your visor will press flatter!
22. Turn everything right side out. Press very well. Stitch around the bottom seam allowance to hold everything together. It will also cut down on fraying.

23. Clip around the curve, then bend the seam allowance back.
24. Glue to the cap.
25. Hand stitch. To finish the inside, I've glued in bias time around the edge.
Finish off with the addition of a brad or sticker at the very top. You can also add tiny badges, ball club initials, or emblems in the front of the cap or on the visor!

These fit my Barbies as well! can simply make the visor and glue a ribbon or twill tape around it to make a sun visor!


  1. Replies
    1. Each time I made a cap, the better it was and the faster it took me. I hand sewed the beige and navy and used a machine for the light blue. Whatever works for you! If you make one for a girl doll, have fun with the embellishments....lots of bling, studs or appliques!

  2. oi how neat! Your hats look awesome!
    a while ago I was struggling with the same issue, well still am as haven't yet made a *perfect* cap... you make it look so easy...

    1. I don't wear baseball caps, so I really had to take a close up look at them. What I discovered is that you can take so many liberties with them once you get the basic pattern. And though I've put down what seems to be lots of steps, it really is easy to make. You decide whether you want a stiff crown or not. The beige and navy have no interfacing but the light blue has it just in the front. The visor can be as long or short as you like. And you can either put the seam in the middle of the face (as in the light blue cap) or the broad side (the other two caps). You cannot go wrong!

  3. Hi, i've been searching for a cap to make for a 20" Raggedy Andy that was Air Force style. The closest I came was to this wonderful tutorial that you put out shortly after I quit looking. I decided again today to try and find something because what In was doing wasn't working and I came across yours. Can I say I absolutely love the wonderful instructions that you gave. I tweeked it a little because I needed a cap that was slightly different than a baseball cap but the instructions and pattern worked the same. The only difference I made was I put the triangle on a fold once and cut straight up on one side so that I would have a rectangle style for the front of the cap. Thanks so much for saving me on this. Here's a pic of the dolls I'm making for my grand children... All they need is their hair.

    1. Well darn I can't figure out how to share my pic of them. Donna

  4. I just took a look at your doll in the camouflage outfit & cap. It is ADORABLE! (Lucky grand kids !) I'm so happy I could be of some help. Thank you for sharing. I'll see if I can upload your photo to our Pinterest board.

    1. I couldn't figure out how to see the pics from the link but apparently you just copy and paste it. Duh~! I'm not too computer savvy~! Lol. Thanks and if you click through there's five different pics of them front and back. I made the Andy outfit out of their Daddy's Air Force uniform shirt. Rank patches are wrong because he's an E6 or E7 now but I had to use an old uniform shirt to make it. My granddaughter just had to have her outfit match her "leggings" as she calls them so I just added the blue rick rack to make it patriotic as well. I am very happy with these dolls as they have been 6 years in the making. Between procrastination and health I didn't think i'd ever get them done. Donna

    2. If you would like when i'm finished with their hair I will post them again. Donna

    3. Hi again, could you please delete my second link that I posted? It's in an album and I didn't want that shared. Thanks. Donna

  5. No problem. It's already deleted. Would live to see your other pix. Thank you for sharing. I love rag dolls. I have a French rag doll myself.

    1. I now introduce Raggedy Ann and Andy...

    2. I thought I was done this morning when I posted the pic but alas I wasn't happy and did some more tweeking. Andy got a buzz cut and two buttons added to his coat. I don't do button holes so I asked my mom if she would do some for me because I really didn't like the look of the snaps that were on there. I am truly 100% happy with the finished product. :D Donna P.S. Thanks again for the tutorial for the cap... it was a lifesaver for me.


    4. Donna, thank you ever so much for sharing. Your raggedy Ann & Andy dolls are utterly adorable. What a sweet thing to make for your granddaughter. (Lucky her.) I am going to create a board on the FDS Pinterest page for visitor uploads and will upload the photo of your dolls for others to enjoy. I'm happy my blog was able help out on the cap. April :-D

    5. Thank you April, I am very pleased with them. Could you please just put only the finished pic on the board. Thanks~! :D

  6. Of course. It goes without saying. Just give me a couple of days to get it up.

  7. Great tutorial! They look soo amazing :))

    1. Thank you, Aya. This is my most popular post of all times!


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