Friday 3 December 2021

Cheap Pattern Friday: Adult's Sorrento Bucket Hat (Winter Edition)

Welcome to my monthly 'Free Pattern Friday' feature, where I road test a free sewing pattern or tutorial (or in today's case, a cheap pattern). Sometimes I post about a children's one, sometimes an adult's one. I publish these posts every first Friday of the month, timed to provide inspiration for those who plan to get their sew on over the weekend. I firmly believe that, if you pick your projects carefully, sewing doesn't have to be a crazy-expensive way to clothe yourself and your family. Thanks to all the amazing pattern designers who have offered up their hard work for us to enjoy for free (or cheap!).

I posted about the Sorrento bucket hat by Elbe Textiles about a year and a half ago, back when it was a no-cost pattern. Since then it's become a very reasonably priced pattern. I have used it a number of times since I last posted about it and continue to recommend it. I recently had an idea to use the pattern in a slightly different way to my other versions: as a winter hat rather than a summer hat. In this post I'm including some of the information from my original post, plus some extra bits that relate to this version. 

Of course, this monthly feature is usually about free patterns and tutorials. Therefore, if you wish to try a bucket hat and are looking for a free pattern, you could try one of the following patterns:

(image source: Elbe Textiles)

Pattern type:

The website says it best: 'The Sorrento Bucket Hat is a unisex design featuring a downwards sloping brim with optional top stitching detail. This hat is fully lined, with the ability to be reversible.'

Sizing info:

The hat pattern is graded to four sizes, 21"-24" head circumference

Fabric info:

It is suggested that medium to heavy weight woven fabric like drill, canvas and denim work best for this pattern, as they hold their structure. I completely agree, however, I would stretch that to include linen and linen-blends, which might not hold their shape so well, but might be more pleasant to wear in the heat. 

For my winter version, I decided to try a look that I've seen around a bit lately. I've seen some sheepskin-esque bucket hats knocking around on advertising and Instagram, and remembered that I have some leftovers of faux-sheepskin from a cardigan project I made last winter. For the lining, I used scraps of black sweatshirt fleece, fleece-side out. 


Working with this pattern is a real pleasure. I've made a lot of bucket hats in the past, so I must admit that I didn't refer to the instructions constantly, but when I did, they were clear and easy to follow. This would make a great, confidence boasting project for a beginner, and a satisfying make for those more experienced with a scrap stash to burn. 

Because of the bulky, springy fabric, I didn't bother to do any topstitching for this version, which made it a really speedy make. I probably should have sized up though, to get that real, casual bucket hat look. 

Customisation ideas:

  • Extend the brim for extra sun protection
  • Test the accurracy of your stitching by using contrast thread
  • Make a decorative strip for the band, either with contrasting fabric, grosgrain ribbon or some other trim
  • Insert eyelets to the band for some ventilation
  • Add straps to tie under the chin if it gets windy where you live/holiday!

Would I make it again?

Yes, for sure. I have plans to make myself a summer version next year. Plus I'll most likely to turn to this pattern in future years for Frankie, as the sizing of the Sorrento seems to start roughly where the Oliver + S bucket hat pattern leaves off. 

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