How to Make a Welding Cap
A welding cap is made of six triangles sewn together to create a dome. Although similar to a ball cap in basic design, the bill of the welding cap is soft. Its purpose is not to shield the eyes from the sun. Instead, its purpose is to fold down and protect the welder's ear from hot bits of metal that may fly off during the welding process. While the band should be tight enough to fit comfortably, the dome of the cap needs to be a bit roomy, allowing the welder to turn and position the cap to protect his head while he works.
Things You'll Need
- Light-weight woven cotton
- 7-inch iron
- Sewing machine
- 1 1/2-inch seam tape
Trace around the outside edge of a 7-inch iron's faceplate to make a template. On the template, locate the straight edge from the bottom of the faceplate. Place a mark in the center of the straight edge. Standard 7-inch irons are 3 1/4 inches wide. To find the center, measure in 1 5/8 inches and make a mark..
Measure down 1/4 inch from the center mark. Starting at one of the bottom corners, draw a gently curved line from the corner down to the new center mark and then back up to the other corner. This gives you a gentle curve on the bottom instead of a straight line.
Measure 1/2-inch out from the two 7-inch bowed edges of the template and place marks every inch. Measure up 1/2-inch from the top point and make a mark. Connect the marks. This is your cap pattern. Cut out the pattern. Lay the pattern on the light-weight cotton and cut out six pattern pieces.
With right sides together, match the top points and pin two triangle-shaped pieces together on the long curved edge. Use a 1/2-inch seam allowance and sew the two triangles together. Pin and sew a third triangle to the two, making half of the cap. Repeat for the other three pieces so you end up with two three-piece sections. Press the seams away from the center triangle on each pair.
Work on the front of the fabric so the seam is underneath. Zigzag over the pressed seam allowance next to the finished seam. Repeat the process for a total of two zigzag runs on each set of three triangles.
Pin the two sets of triangles together so the back side of the fabric is facing out. Sew along the domed top edge of the hat, using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Press both pieces of the seam to one side. Do not press open. Turn the hat so the raw edges of the seam are inside.
Zigzag over the pressed seam allowance next to the finished seam. The continuous zigzag seam will go from the front to the back of the welding cap.
Lay the hat flat on its side on a piece of paper so three triangles are facing up. Place a mark at the front point of the hat's edge. Trace the bottom contour of the hat from the mark back to 1 1/2 inches after the first triangle's seam. From the mark at the front point, draw a line 3 1/4 inches long that extends the contour of the cap dome. Remove the hat from the paper.
Start at the bottom of the 3 1/4 inch mark and draw a gentle curve connecting to the end of the line traced from the bottom of the cap edge. Cut out the pattern. This is the pattern for the bill.
Fold the light-weight cotton in half. Place the 3 1/4-inch edge of the bill pattern on the fold and pin it in place. Cut out the fabric bill. Repeat for a total of two bill pieces.
Place the front sides of the fabric bill together. Pin along the outside edge of the bill. Sew the bill together using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Clip the curves on the seam. Flip the fabric so the raw edges of the seam are on the inside of the fabric. Press into place. Zigzag the sewn seam along the edge. Zigzag three more lines of stitching every 1/2 inch starting 1/2 inch in from the finished edge.
Flip the hat body so the raw edges are facing out. Fold a 3/8-inch hem along the bottom raw edge of the hat. Pin into place and press. Fold the bill in half. Match the center fold of the hat with the zigzag stitching that goes from the front to the back of the hat along the center seam.
Pin the raw edges of the hat bill to the bottom of the welding cap body. Use a 1/2-inch allowance and overlap the bottom of the hat body with the bill. Pin the 1 1/2-inch seam tape to the bottom edge of the hat body and cover the raw edges of the hat bill.
Zigzag along the top and bottom edge of the seam tape. Flip the hat so the front side of the fabric is showing and all raw edges are on the inside. Clip all threads.
- This makes a small welding cap. Change the size by making the triangles larger or smaller as needed to fit the welder's head. Doing a test run using inexpensive muslin or scrap fabric will help you adjust the size before cutting the fabric you want for the finished cap.
- Welder's usually work in a hot environment. For comfort, use a light-weight natural fiber such as cotton that will breath and not stretch.
- Make sure your seams lay flat. The welder puts on a welding mask over the cap and bumps in the seams irritate the skin.
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