Fat quarter scrub hat tutorial: Perfect for the worker with long hair.

25 April 2020

A single layer, fat quarter scrub hat that meets the needs of long haired workers, that's what this tutorial will help you make. Health care workers, hospitality workers, workers in conditions where their long locks could be a risk factor, make them this style scrub hat and bring a smile to their faces.

During this time of chaos and Covid confusion, I've been making scrub hats, lots and lots of scrub hats, and donating them to health care workers. It came to my attention that long haired health care workers, and other workers who need their hair tied back, are often unable to squish their tresses into the standard style scrub hats. They needed a scrub hat with room at the back to accommodate their glorious locks.

So, I did some research and found Laura from SewVeryEasy. Laura has a great reversible fat quarter scrub hat design which is sooo simple to make. Laura's reversible fat quarter scrub hat uses two fat quarters.

After I gave Laura's design a try, I wanted to see if I could use her basic design concept and create a non-reversible, single fat quarter version which, in Australian conditions, would be cooler, lighter and quicker to dry when washed.

This is what I came up with ... my single layer, fat quarter scrub hat.

What do you need?

  • 1 fat quarter of main fabric

(I made my own by buying a half metre, or half yard, of fabric and cutting it in half across the width)

  • Aproximately 130cm (50") of 2.5 cm (1") bias binding
(Again, I made my own from my contrast fabric by cutting 6cm (2 ½") strips on the bias and joining. I prefer to use single fold, French style bias binding.)

  • 10cm (4") of contrast fabric
  • 18cm (7") of 6mm (¼") elastic

So, let's get started.


Shaping the fat quarter.

Trim the edges of the fat quarter main fabric so the edges are nice and straight.
Fold in half along the long side.
Curve the bottom raw edge corner. (I did this freehand, but you could use a small dinner plate to get a perfect curve.)


Attaching the contrast band across the front of the scrub hat.

Cut the 10cm of contrast fabric, selvage to selvage, into two 5cm (2") strips.
Cut one of the 5cm contrast fabric strips to match the length of the top of the scrub hat (the non-curved long edge).
Pin the right side of this contrast strip to the WRONG side of the top (non-curved long edge) of the main fabric.

Sew together with a 6mm (¼") seam.

Press the seam towards the main fabric and understitch on the wrong side of the main fabric.
(This will give a clean finish when you turn the contrast strip to the right side.)

Press contrast strip to the front.

Press 6mm (¼") under on raw edge of contrast strip.

Pin contrast strip in place and topstitch.


Attaching the bias binding.

Press one end of the bias binding down 1.25cm (½").

On right side of main fabric, pin this turned down edge of the bias binding so that it lines up exactly with the top edge of the scrub hat contrast strip.

Continue pinning the bias binding to the curved edge of the scrub hat.

When pinning reaches the other edge of the contrast strip, cut the bias binding about 1.25cm (½") beyond the edge, turn down until it neatly aligns with the edge of the contrast strip, pin in place.

Stitch bias binding to main fabric with 6mm (¼") seam.

Turn scrub hat over, press seam towards bias binding.

Press bias binding towards wrong side off scrub hat. 

Pin in place, easing excess around the curves..

Top stitch bias binding to wrong side of scrub hat. Sew slowly around the curves. There will be some small pleats on the curves.

Give the scrub hat a good press all over.


Creating the ties.

Cut the remaining selvage to selvage, 5cm (2"), contrast strip in half.
You will two pieces 5cm wide by about 57cm (22½") long.

Press both cut edges down about 1.25cm (½"), then press 6mm (¼") over on both long sides of each strip.

Fold each strip in half along the length and press. Pin to secure.

Top stitch across non-selvage end and along the length of the edge of the strip.
Leave selvage end open.

Insert one end of elastic into one selvage end of tie strip. Secure in place with several rows of stitching.

Insert the other end of the elastic into the selvage end of the other tie strip. Secure in place with several rows of stitching. 

Attach a safety pin to one end of the tie strip and thread through the bias binding casing around the edge of the scrub hat.

Continue threading until the elastic becomes visible at the other end of the bias binding casing.

Ease the tie back until the elastic edge is hidden inside the casing and secure with a pin.

Secure with several rows of stitching.

Do the same at the other end of the bias binding casing, so that only the elastic is inside the casing.

Secure with several rows of stitching.

Your scrub hat will now look like an old fashioned bonnet.

To wear scrub hat, place front flat contrast strip across the front of the head and elasticised section at the back of the head, placing all hair inside the elasticised section.

Form a knot at the base of the neck with the ties.

Then either, form a knot and bow with the ties around the hair at the nape,

or, bring ties to the top of the head and tie into a bow.

Then, if you're like me, find some more fat quarters and make some more scrub hats.

Let's sew our way out of this time of chaos.

Let's support the frontline workers in any way we can.

I'd love to see your fat quarter scrub hats if you get to make some.

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Kennie has been a great help selecting fabrics and watching butterflies and moths in the garden.

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