Yes, hat size matters to find hats that fit

Hat Size Matters


Demonstration of too small hat size

Have you ever spied an adorable hat, only to be disappointed when you cannot get it onto your noggin?


As a maker of hand-felted hats, I run into this all the time! Not so much on my own head, but when sharing my hats with visitors at craft fairs and art festivals. Like star-crossed lovers, folks with small heads fall in LOVE with the larger-sized hats, and those with larger heads want to wear the too-small hats. Call it Kismet!  If visitors cannot try on hats, they cannot fall in love with them. Without love, there is little possibility of hat adoption.

As you might imagine, heads come in all different sizes. During my recent Head Size survey, I learned from a small pool of respondents, that heads range from 19 inches to 25 inches (48.26 – 63.5 cm).

That’s a huge range!


Thinking of Solutions – make hats adjustable


Drawstring to adjust hat size of hand felted hat.


Since the beginning of 2017, I’ve sewn a hat size adjuster inside each hat. It’s a drawstring ribbon that allows the wearer cinch down a larger hat. This works nicely if you need to go from a large-sized hat (23-inch) to a medium size (22.5-inch). However, it doesn’t work as well make the jump for a small size head (21.75-inch) to wear a large-sized hat. There is too much ‘play’ around the top of the head.

Before my hat size adjuster implementation, I created several series of fascinators. These small hats fit everyone as they merely rest on top of the head, instead of covering it {Sadly, fascinator hats have not proved popular. Perhaps, the lack of popularity is because fascinators don’t have FeltHappiness’s USP (unique selling point) of being WARM, Stylish Hats?}


Hence, the challenge of having hats that can be tried on (and loved) remained.


New Solution to head size variation – make hats!

Yes, it seems obvious. But as am already trying to work in series, making multiple sizes should be easy. Each hat is felted around a thin, flexible resist which allows layers of wool to surround the resist and retain a hollow cavity(for the head). Not having pattern-drafting training, I measured for the needed height and width for a medium sized hat, and then ‘eyeballed’ the scaling up and down.


Three resist templates for hat size making of felted hats.


Here are the still-drying results. What do you think?

The pinky-peach top hat on the tall mannequin is sized small, the minty-peach hat one on the balsa head block is sized medium and the minty-pink one on the vintage hat expander is sized large.  {The medium sized hat has a much shorter earflap proportion, probably due to the oddities of feltmaking. Wool shrinks in the direction that it’s rolled. So, must have tackled that one a bit more.}

Mermaid Top hats in small, medium and large hat size.



These Mermaid Top Hats were inspired by the too-small, mint-colored hat that is still sitting in my Etsy shop.


If you have a small head size (less than 22 inches) please go and give it a look.