When I was planning going support some friends at the Quidditch World Cup in Florence, I thought it would be fun to make some supporters’ stash. One of our friends is famous for sharking (flirting/trying to get people into the sport) so I wanted a shark hat to wear in the crowd. I was going to crochet one until someone pointed out how hot that would be in the Italian summer.
Lots of brands sell shark baseball hats for babies, but finding something similar for adults was a struggle.
I managed to find this hat on eBay. I showed a selfie to a fellow supporter, who asked if I had made it. I do have a history of customising baseball caps. From looking at the hat, I thought that I could make something equally good or better, so I decided that I would make another one for her as a surprise. Within twenty-four hours, I had purchased the materials.
You will need
- Plain baseball cap
- Fabric paint in black and white
- Felt/fabric that matches the baseball cap
- A small amount of stuffing- you can use fabric scraps for this if you don’t want to buy
- I also used some scrap red corduroy for the heart eyes
Choose your design
Because I’ll be wearing this hat to support a cute and loving shark, I thought it would be fun to give her heart eyes. I played around sketching some initial designs.
Decide how you want to apply your design
I bought fabric paint in black, white and red, but then I thought it might be fun to add some mixed media elements. In particular, to either applique or use buttons for the heart eyes. Another advantage of appliqueing the eyes was that they covered the vents in the hat.
Because I knew that corduroy frays, I tested out ways of finishing the edges. I decided to slap on a liberal coat of fray check and then use blanket stitch to apply the patches.
I very roughly sketched some lines on the hat with a pencil. I decided to eyeball most of the painting and I think that was the right decision- the texture of the hat affected my painting and it was easier to adjust on the fly.
I did the teeth first, building up layers of white paint until it was opaque.
I did the black next. I had to use a fine brush for all the parts near the teeth.
Again I did a second coat of black to make sure the paint was even.
Finally, I added the grey section. Once it dried, it looked a bit dark so I added a second coat of grey with more white in it.
Don’t forget to iron your design if you want it to be weather proof. Use a pressing cloth to protect your iron.
Next, I glued on my corduroy heart eyes with fabric adhesive. I then blanket-stitched around. I couldn’t find my embroidery thread so I just used ordinary sewing cotton.
For the fin, I cut out a rough fin shape on the fold.
I then stitched it right sides together and added some stuffing.
Finally, I hand stitched it onto the top of the hat. I tucked the raw edges of the fin under, pressed and then stitched along the pressed line. I was in a rush so I didn’t photograph this step.
And you’re done!
Here you can see the difference between using a snapback (with a flat brim) and a baseball cap (curved brim). For me, it’s a matter of preference.