If you're local to Guelph, you can join Guelph Covid19 Surgical Cap Sewists on Facebook - donations are being coordinated there, and you can find out about current needs and where to drop off completed caps. I know that during this crazy time it feels better for me to do something productive, no matter how small (and the fact that it can be done at home while social distancing makes sewing the perfect way to contribute).
I've also been asked about where to buy fabric and supplies locally right now. Make 1 Guelph (where I teach classes) is open online and has a beautiful selection of high quality quilting cotton perfect for caps and masks - and is currently offering free local no-contact delivery within Guelph (and $12 flat rate shipping Canada-wide). Highly recommended!
How to Sew a Surgical Cap - Step-by-Step Video Tutorial
- PRINTABLE SURGICAL CAP PATTERN (Click to download - print at 100% scale)
- *Note: Within the next few days, I will add a scale diagram of the pattern that includes measurements, so that if you don't have access to a printer you can draw your own version.
- Quilting cotton - about 1/3 metre (13") x width of fabric (44"- 45") (pre-washed and dried)
- Coordinating thread
- Two buttons (optional)
- 1/4" elastic - 3" (optional)
- Straight pins, fabric scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Sewing machine
Watch the video tutorial above, or follow these Instructions:
I hope this tutorial is helpful! If you're making these to donate to local front line health care workers - thank you for doing your part while staying home and sewing. If you're a health care worker making one for yourself - thank you for your hard and selfless work keeping us all safe and healthy. Regardless of why you're making one, you're amazing. Stay home and stay safe out there. xo
- Cut out your pattern pieces: Be sure to pre-wash and dry your fabric before sewing with it! This ensures your cap won't shrink the first time it's washed. Give your fabric a quick press to remove wrinkles, then fold in half with selvedges together. Lay out pattern pieces (being sure to place Piece 1 on the fold), and cut.
- Double fold back of Cap Top (Piece 2) and sew: Fold over the flat edge 1/4" to the wrong side and press, then fold another 3/8" and press. Sew a straight line across this folded edge. If you are using elastic in the back for a closer fit, thread it through this opening and baste at each edge. Elastics can make for a more snug fit, but are also prone to breaking down after repeated washings in hot water (like when they are sanitized frequently for hospital use) - so you can choose whether or not to use it in yours.
- Attach Cap Top (Piece 2) to Cap Side (Piece 1): With right sides together, line up the centre front of both pieces and pin, then continue pinning along the curved edge of the Cap Top all the way around each side. With a 1/4"-3/8" seam allowance (it doesn't need to be precise), sew with a straight stitch all the way around, backstitching at the beginning and end of the seam. (Optional: if you have a serger, serge this edge all the way around, beginning and ending a couple of inches before and after the curved part of the side piece.)
- Finish this seam with a zig zag or overlock stitch: Start and stop sewing a few inches before and after the curved part of the side piece (shown as a blue line in the photo below). Zig zag stitch all along the edge of this seam to finish it and prevent fraying.
Cap with serged edges (starting and finishing beyond the curved part of the pattern piece)
- Starting at the curved top edge, fold over the raw edges of the side piece by 1/4" all the way around and press (top edges with curve, bottom of cap, and ends of ties).
- Fold the bottom of the cap side piece up to meet the top folded edge, press and pin in place. You can see below why we finished that seam in the first step - once the band is folded up, all raw edges are enclosed and the part of the curved edge left exposed is nicely finished.
- Beginning at the end of one tie, with the open edge facing towards you, sew along the open end of the tie, then along open top edge of the tie piece.
- Optional: Add buttons to the outside back of the cap - this gives medical staff a place to hook their masks, which gives their ears a break. (You can see button placement below - a towards the back of the cap, a few inches from the start of the ties.) I sew a batch of caps, then use my sewing machine to sew on the buttons all at once. To attach buttons by machine, remove your presser foot (or use a button-attaching foot if you have one), switch to a zigzag stitch with your stitch length set to 0, place your button under your needle and use your flywheel to carefully determine the correct stitch width that will sew from one buttonhole to the other. Set that width, then sew! I go back and forth about 10 times, then tie off my threads a few times by hand before clipping them short to make sure the button stays on. If you have any tips for machine-sewing buttons, please share them below!
- You're done!
|Cap with serged edges (starting and finishing beyond the curved part of the pattern piece)|