DIY Baby Pixie Hats from Old Sweaters

2 Dec


It’s starting to get a bit nippy out here in the sunshine state, and baby Tessa is in need of hats, having outgrown her little infant beenies. But even when they fit it, I’ve discovered I don’t really like baby beenies. They are awkward, they slip off tiny heads, and I spend more time adjusting them and keeping them from slipping than they actually spend on her head keeping her baby ears warm.

I finally decided to make Tessa a couple of bonnet style hats that tie under the chin and completely cover her ears and cheeks to keep her warm on family outings. I was ruing the fact that I am still far too impatient to learn the art of crochet or knitting, and then the lightbulb went off. Just buy some old sweaters at the thrift store and turn them into pixie bonnets! Brilliant! I could even use the finished edges and hemlines of the sweaters for decorative trim! Woohoo!

So, as with every “original idea” I have, I ran online to find that… well, it’s already been done. Many times, in fact. *shakes fist at the internet heavens* So rather than reinvent the wheel, let me point you to a few good tutorials on turning an old sweater into a do it yourself baby pixie hat.


Ella Bella blog has a great no sew tutorial on upcycling sweaters into pixie caps. The only warning I have with this method is that the fuzzier and looser knit the sweater is, the more likely it is that the “steam a seam” or “stitch witchery” won’t hold. Likewise, some knits don’t do as well and the no-sew method works better. (We’ve used BOTH sew and no-sew methods in making our pixie hats.) Also, this tutorial leaves raw edges on the bottom of the cap, which will cause your hat to unravel and not be machine washable. So do whatever works for you!

I Am Momma Hear Me Roar has a great tutorial that involves using bias tape to edge the hat so it is machine washable. I personally prefer not adding any accents to the hats, but this is definitely a good sturdy tutorial. If you’re looking for a long term keepsake hat, I’d recommend this method.

Sew Liberated also has a sewn pixie hat tutorial, this one from scratch in case you’re itching to use some fabric you had no idea what to do with up till now.


For my pixie hats, I used the basic outline of Ella Bellas pattern, only I lengthened the points to various legnths to get more of an exaggerated tail and to change it up a bit (I also found that the 6 by 7 inch measurement was spot on for Tessa’s 3 month old head). Then I sewed the seams. For the neckline, I gave it an inward curve so it fit Tessa’s head more snugly. I also turned the raw corners in and hemmed them with very light interfacing so the hat won’t flap around on her when it’s tied, and so there’d be no loose edges for machine washing.

And voila! The husband and I cranked out 6 hats out of 3 different sweaters in about 1 hour on Thanksgiving. (Yes, we have odd date nights, I know.)







Anyhoo, if you make one of these, post some pix and share! I think they’re crazy adorable!


20 Responses to “DIY Baby Pixie Hats from Old Sweaters”

  1. Suzi December 2, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

    These are adorable! Using Tessa as a model, you could sell these hats so easily! Also, just realized something, although Tessa has your lips/mouth, she has Jon’s smile! In a couple of these pix you can see both if you so clearly. I can’t wait to hold her again!

    • gynjii December 2, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

      Lol, I see Jon in her more and more each day! Isn’t she a doll?!

  2. Me December 2, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

    Squee! Mega adorable! I may have to make some of these!!

    • gynjii December 2, 2013 at 10:33 pm #

      Do it!! It’s SO easy girl! And post pix when you do!

      • Me December 3, 2013 at 2:18 am #

        I just need the time! It is high baking season.

  3. hairballexpress December 3, 2013 at 12:01 am #

    Oh what a cute little Creature! Good job on the Pixie hats! (purrs)!

    • gynjii December 3, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

      Thank you thank you!! Now I just need to make some for my cats! 😉

      • hairballexpress December 3, 2013 at 10:37 pm #

        How cute! I want to see their pictures!! (trills)!

  4. hairballexpress December 3, 2013 at 12:02 am #

    PS. Tessa is adorable….

  5. hopeforheather December 3, 2013 at 12:26 am #


    • gynjii December 3, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

      ….that’s a GOOD holy moly, right?? lol

  6. Adoption Love December 3, 2013 at 4:06 am #

    Love love love!!!

    • gynjii December 3, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

      Thanks thanks thanks!

  7. krmatlopez December 3, 2013 at 5:06 am #

    I love your blog. These are cute! I may have to try!

    • gynjii December 3, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

      Why thank you! If you do make these, be sure to post a picture! I’d love to see what you do!

  8. Granola December 3, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

    So adorable! She is just to precious in these hats.

    • gynjii December 4, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

      Thank you! Yeah, I especially like the blue one with the long tail! ^_^

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