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Some hats look great in the picture or on the storefront, but when you try them on, they turn out too big. Does that mean you should abandon the hat you just fell in love with because it doesn’t fit? Not quite.
Similarly, branded or custom hats are always great gifts, but there’s no guarantee that the giver will know your head size. That means it’s possible to receive a potentially sentimental hat as a gift only for it to end up being too big for you.
If at any moment you end up saying, ‘My hat is too big,’ don’t throw it out or feel compelled to re-gift it. With some slight (and simple) alterations, you can make that big hat fit your small(er) head.
1. Elastic Band Method
You can quickly fix your oversized hat to match the actual size of your head with the elastic band method. Start the process by getting a hold of a sewing kit. Make sure you have a needle and a spool of thread that closely matches the hat you want to alter.
Next, look for a piece of elastic band. If you don’t have any new elastic on hand, you can use the elastic band from old articles of clothing such as shorts or underwear.
Carefully cut down the line of thread that attaches the elastic band to the rest of the clothing. This step is usually a little time-consuming, but with a bit of patience, it shouldn’t be too difficult.
Put the hat on your head, and use your fingers to feel how much extra space you have at the back of your head. From this, you can estimate how much you need to tighten the hat to fit your head. Once you have separated the elastic band from the original piece of clothing, cut the elastic to that estimated size.
Turn the hat upside down to see the ribbon band along the inside rim. Then, cut the length of the matching thread, pass it through the needle’s eye, and tie a knot in one end.
Fold the end of the elastic band onto itself so there are no raw edges, and sew several plain stitches along the folded elastic to secure it to the inside ribbon. After ensuring the thread is secure, make a knot at the end to ensure that the thread that connects the elastic band to the hat’s inner ribbon will not come loose.
Do the same thing to the other end of the elastic band, ensuring you have enough length of the elastic band to make the hat fit the size of your head.
Put on the hat to check if it is tight enough for the size of your head. If it is still a little bit loose, tighten it further by folding the elastic band again down the middle and stitching it up to an inch in length. At this point, all you need to do is keep adjusting until you get the perfect size.
2. Hat Sizing Tape Method
This method involves using a size reducer tape, which is a self-adhesive strip made of foam or fabric. The tape will help to effectively shrink the rounded crown of a hat from the inside and can make your cap at least one size smaller.
To get started with this method, you’ll need the hat sizing tape and a pair of scissors. You can purchase the specialized tape on Amazon or craft stores. It typically comes in a roll or pre-cut strips.
Put on your hat and mark the areas where it feels loose or too large. Focus on the inside band or sweatband, as that’s where the sizing tape will be applied.
Next, cut a strip of hat sizing tape according to the measured length needed to reduce the hat’s size. Start with a small section and gradually increase it if necessary. It’s best to apply the tape in small increments rather than using too much at once.
To attach the tape, peel off the backing of the hat-sizing tape to expose the adhesive side. Place the strip(s) along the inside band of your hat, adhering it securely. Ensure that the tape is evenly distributed for a balanced fit.
Put the hat back on and assess the fit. If it’s still loose, repeat the above steps by adding more tape as required. If your hat feels too tight, remove some tape or readjust the existing tape to find the perfect balance.
3. Shrinking Fabric Materials
Another effective technique to resize your large seasonal hat involves shrinking fabric materials. This method may work well for you if your hat is made of common hat materials, like polyester, cotton, or wool. Hats made of synthetic fibers like acrylic or nylon have different properties, so this method will not be effective.
To start with, check the care label inside your hat for any specific washing instructions or temperature recommendations. Following guidelines from the label will help you avoid damaging the hat during the shrinking process.
Fill a basin or sink with warm water. Make sure the water is not too hot. Hot water can damage certain fabrics. We don’t want to risk that. Submerge your hat in the water, ensuring it is fully soaked.
The next step involves applying heat. Using a blow dryer or a clothing iron set to a low heat setting, apply gentle heat to the areas of the hat that need to be shrunk. Move the heat source in a circular motion to distribute the heat evenly. Be cautious not to hold the heat source too close to the hat, as it may cause discoloration or damage.
While the hat is still warm and damp, gently stretch or reshape it using your hands, focusing on the areas that need shrinking. Continue shaping until the hat reaches the desired fit.
Place the hat on a clean towel on a flat surface or a hat mold designed for drying hats. Let it air dry naturally to ensure it maintains the adjusted shape during the drying process.
Once the hat is completely dry, try it on to check the fit. If it’s still too big, you can repeat the shrinking process until the hat reaches the desired size. However, be cautious not to over-shrink the hat, as it may become too small and uncomfortable.
Your hat should fit your head size perfectly after adjusting it through any of the three methods covered above. In fact, chances are you will not remember that your hat was ever wiggling around your head when you wear it later.
That said, remember that it’s always best to start with small adjustments and gradually increase as needed to avoid over-tightening.
Now that you know how to solve the ‘my hat is too big’ problem, you can confidently rock any hat, make it fit like a glove, and complete your stylish ensemble.