1 yard bright pink felt
ruler and fabric tape measure
Using the aviator cap tutorial above by Christophine on DeviantART as a guide, draw out a pattern for your hat on the unwaxed size of a large piece of freezer paper. Since I worked with felt, I opted not to add seam allowance, and to reduce the total amount of seams (and lumpiness) of the hat, I included the four triangle pieces in my headband piece, as shown.
Also on the same piece of freezer paper, draw your bunny ears. My pattern was 2″ wide by 7″ long. The tapering of the ears begins 3″ from the end. The reason I drew four ear patterns is because everything on this hat is two layers thick. For cutting the second layer of non-ear felt out, I just used the same pattern piece twice.
Once you’ve drawn up your pattern, iron it to the wrong side of your felt. Cut through the fabric and freezer paper simultaneously. Since you’re working with felt, precise cutting is important.
It’s obvious in the pictures, but I drew hard, geometric lines when I created my hat pattern. I added in curves to my cut-out ear pattern pieces after the initial trim by smoothing out the sharp angles. For the bunny ears part of the hat, I cut away inside of the pattern lines. For the head-hugging part of the hat, which I’m calling the crown (it looks like a crown when it’s cut out), I added the curves beyond the straight lines of the pattern. Since it’s hard to make those precise, I laid my two crown pieces over each other and trimmed them to match up.
Put wrong sides of each piece of ear felt together. Whip stitch all the way around each ear and set them aside. Whip stitch the left and right ends of the crown together, again with wrong sides facing, and then whip stitch the middle “V” of the crown. You don’t want to sew the left and right V’s yet – save those for when you’re attaching the ears to the hat.
Fold the whole crown piece in half and whip stitch the two ends together, forming a ring. Now you can try your hat on to see how it fits.
When you’re happy with the fit, whip stitch the center V together to form the front seam of the hat. Now, it’s time to attach your ears. Make sure your hat is inside out. It took me a few tries to get the placement right, but to get the ears to stick straight up out of the hat like Louise’s, you need to sew them in perpendicular to your hat. To do this, you’ll need to evenly place your ears and then whip stitch across the two V’s that have yet to be sewn, in addition to the ears. When you finish sewing and turn the hat right-side out, the ears will point straight upwards.
The last step in this process is to try your hat on and decide where you want to cut away at your hat to form an opening for your face, and to determine the length and shape of your ear flaps. Carefully cut away at your hat and whip stitch all the way around the bottom of the hat and ear flaps to complete your Louise hat.
Want to make a dress to go with your Louise hat for the full Louise Belcher effect? I’ve got a tutorial for that.