Search The Purl Bee
Sign up for our newsletter!

Idea Center
Follow The Purl Bee
« Shop's 40% Off Sale! | Main | Huge Spring Cleaning Sale at! »

Corinne's Thread: Baby Sunbonnet

A few months ago, I designed a Sherpa-lined Winter Baby Bonnet to protect my infant daughter from the hibernal elements. Now as the seasons are changing, I realize that my winter baby is, well, still a baby. She is still in need of a hat to protect her delicate skin, now, from the bright sun of these warmer days!
But, I’ll admit, that when designing this Baby Sunbonnet, I had more than just practicality in mind. I’m a sucker for a baby in a classic bonnet! I love how the visor and chin ties create the perfect silhouette, allowing just her chubby cheeks to peak out. And, in Liberty of London prints, these hats are as timeless as they are sweet.  
Because they don’t stay babies forever, our free Baby Sunbonnet pattern is available in sizes 0–24 months. So, no matter if your little one is big enough to toddle around this spring or is still just snuggled in your arms, she’ll look good doing it. Oh, and the sun will be out of her eyes too.  - Corinne



These are enough materials to make one hat in any size.


0-3 (3-6, 6-12, 12-18, 18-24) months 


Prewash all fabrics before starting.

Use ¼-inch seam allowances unless otherwise noted.



Use the prepared template to cut one Visor from the Outer Fabric, the Lining Fabric and the Interfacing. 
Use the prepared template to cut two Hat Sides from  both the Outer Fabric and the Lining Fabric. Cut one Hat Side with the right side of the fabric facing up and one with the wrong side of the fabric facing up. The two Hat Sides from the same fabric should be mirror images of each other. 
Cut one 3 ½ by 9 ½ (3 ½ by 10 ¼, 3 ¾ by 11 ¼, 3 ¾ by 12 ½, 3 ¾ by 12 ¾)–inch rectangle from both the Outer Fabric and the Lining Fabric. 
From the Outer Fabric, cut two rectangles 1 1/8 inch wide and at least 12 inches long. These will be the Ties. The longer you cut the rectangles, the longer the Ties will be. 

Piece the Outer Hat

Note: For this section use only the Outer Fabric pieces. 
With right sides facing, pin one long edge of the large rectangle to the long outside curve of one of the Hat Sides. It can be tricky to keep curved seams wrinkle-free, so use a lot of pins to ensure that the seam will come out un-puckered and smooth. Sew around the pinned curve. This is a Side Seam.
Cut notches in the seam allowance along the curve. 
Repeat with the other Hat Side and the other long side of the rectangle for the second Side Seam. 
This is the Outer Hat.  
With right sides facing, line up the straight edge of the Visor with the straight front edge of the Outer Hat. Pin in place. 
Sew along the pinned edge. 
Press the seam towards the Outer Hat. 

Prepare the Lining Visor

Trim off ¼ inch from the straight edge of the Interfacing Visor.
Line up the trimmed, straight edge of the Interfacing Visor with the straight edge of the Lining Fabric Visor. 
Fuse in place following the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Piece the Lining 

Note: For this section use only the Lining Fabric pieces. 
Piece the Hat Sides, Rectangle and Visor in the same way that you pieced the Outer Hat. 
This is the Lining. 

Make and Attach the Ties

Using the two small rectangles of Outer Fabric and the 12mm bias tape maker, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to make two single fold strips of tape. 
Fold each piece in half lengthwise, press and edgestitch along the long open sides.
At one end of each strip, tie a small knot to finish the ends. 
These are the Ties.
Pin the short raw edge of a Tie to the raw neck edge of the Outer Hat at the Visor seam.
Sew in place with a 1/8-inch seam allowance. 
Repeat with the other Tie on the other side of the Outer Hat.

Attach the Outer Hat and Lining

With right sides together, slide the Lining inside the Outer Hat. Pin the pieces together along all edges, making sure the Ties are tucked between the layers.
Sew around the pinned edge, leaving the end of the rectangle at the nape of the neck open. Backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam. 
Pull the Hat right side out through the unsewn gap. Press the edge flat. 


Sew the gap at the nape of the neck closed using a slip stitch. For detailed instructions and photographs, please check out the Winter Baby Bonnet project here and scroll down to the “Finish” section. 
Fold one Side Seam at the nape of the neck towards the Visor ¼ inch so it makes a small pucker. Hand sew the fold using a slip stitch and work from the neck edge up ¼ inch.  
Repeat with the other Side Seam. 
You’re all done!



Reader Comments (50)

Thank you for this tutorial! I've been wanting to make a baby bonnet for a niece that is due to arrive this summer. It looks so sweet made in the Liberty prints.
April 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlice
Oh I love this. The winter bonnet was a favorite and I might even like this one better. The Liberty lawn is a lovely choice as well. And the way you made the tie is enlightening. Well done!
April 8, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdebbie feely
these bonnets ar so cute!! exactly what I was looking for, for our little one... thanks so much for the free pattern!! cécile
April 8, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermuenzeeins
Thanks for sharing! Just what I was looking for.
April 8, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterles quatre mères
So cute! Looks so sweet on your little girl model. I'm going to try making one for my son and see how it looks!
April 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChrista
What about a BOY sun hat? I have a grandson due in June, in Texas... ?
April 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBonnie
Wow this is beautiful. Such a sweet look for a baby, and the fabric is just gorgeous. Thanks for sharing x
April 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSew Many Dresses
Hi Bonnie-

We do have a Boy's sun hat, which you can see here:

Thanks for writing in and congratulations!

April 9, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
What circumference head is expected for each size?
April 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGiggles
Where is the middle piece?

April 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoanna
Hi Giggles -

Thanks for writing in! This is a great question. There is wiggle room in the sizing, but the numbers below should give you a guide.

Size 0-3 months - 14 1/2 inches
Size 3-6 months - 16 inches
Size 6-12 months (shown on the model) - 17 1/2 inches
Size 12-18 months - 18 inches
Size 18-24 months - 19 inches

I hope this helps!
April 10, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Joanna -

This is a great question!

There is no template for the middle piece of the hat because it is just cut as a simple rectangle. The dimensions for each size are given in the "Cut" section of the pattern.

I hope this helps!
April 10, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Thank you so much for sharing , its adorable .:-) :-)
April 11, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdoreen
is this not basically a reversible sunbonnet? if so, i'm going to make the inside fabric just as cute and bright as the outside fabric!
April 11, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterlauren michele
Hi Lauren Michele -

Good spotting! Yes - the hat is completely reversible! I love the idea of making both sides worth showing off.

Happy sewing.
April 14, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Corinne...

I do love this little sun bonnet, and with two little granddaughters about to join the family, I would love to try to make some...! I looked carefully, but I may have missed the seam allowance 1/4 inch? Thank you so much
April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCorinne, too...!!
This is a really cute bonnet. I can't get the hat sides to match up with the corresponding rectangle and visor though. The hat sides just seem too small. Is there an error in my printing or the sizing? Thanks so much.
April 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie
Hello Corinne!

Since the same seam allowance is used throughout most of the pattern, we've listed it in the Pattern Notes section. You are right - it is 1/4 inch, unless otherwise noted.

Please let us know if you have any other questions as you work on the project!

April 17, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Stephanie -

I am so sorry the pattern pieces are giving you trouble! What size are you working on? I will double check the pattern here and let you know what I see.


April 17, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I'm working on a 6-12 month size. I've made the winter bonnet and we really love it. We always get comments when my daughter wears it. But I've compared the pattern pieces between the two bonnets and the sun bonnet is a lot smaller even though it should be a slightly larger size. Thanks for looking into it. I'm really looking forward to making a few of these.
April 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie
Hi! I was just wondering if there is a pattern for the little top Corinne is wearing in the baby photos for this project? I love how simple it is!
April 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBeth
Is the 1/4 inch seam allowance included in the pattern pieces?
Thank you.
April 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFay
Hi Stephanie -

I've just had a look at the pattern here and I am not having any of the problems that you describe. Is it possible that you've printed the template out smaller than Actual Size? The straight front edge of the Hat Side for the 6-12 month size should be 6 inches long.

It's true that the Hat Sides for the Sunbonnet look much smaller than the Hat Sides for the Winter Bonnet (the front edge was trimmed to make room for the Visor and some of the width at the neck was removed because of the lighter weight fabrics) but all of the measurements for the center rectangles were adjusted accordingly, so they should fit without much hassle.

Please let me know if you continue to have trouble with the measurements or templates given and I'll be happy to help!

Thank you!
April 21, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hello Fay -

This is a great question. Yes, all of the seam allowances are included in the template pieces.

Happy Sewing!
April 21, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi there... just wondering if this would work without the ties for a 4 year old? I love the shape and visor but don't think I'll have much luck insisting my Sweet pea ties her bonnet on! Would a larger visor give more stability?


April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine
Hi Beth -

Thank you for writing in - and for your kind words about Nieve's top!

I made the top using a pattern that I developed when my first daughter was born 3 years ago, and the Robert Kaufman Botanics + Architextures White Hatches:

We would love to offer the shirt pattern for you on the blog one day, and will definitely keep it in mind for a future project.

Thanks so much!
April 25, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hello Catherine -

Thank you for writing in!

Unfortunately, without testing it myself I can't really speak to whether the hat will stay on without the ties, though my instinct says that the larger visor that you suggest could help.

I'm sorry I can't help more!
April 25, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
April 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMary
Thanks for the lovely pattern - I've used it to make a bonnet for my 18mth old and some newborn hats as gifts.
April 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterToya
I'm making the 6-12 month size and i'm coming up short 3/4" after pinning the rectangle to the side- as in the rectangle seems to be too short. I measured the side and the straight edge is 6" as you said it should be above.
Is this correct or should the rectangle be long enough for the entire curved part?
April 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMarie
I cannot get PDF pattern to print. What am I doing wrong
May 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSusan
Hi Susan-

Hmmm. I'm not sure what could be happening. You might want to try printing from a different browser. If that doesn't work maybe try restarting your computer or turning your printer off and on. It doesn't seem to be an issue on our end. If you email me directly at molly AT purlsoho DOT com I can try sending the PDF directly to you if you think that might help?


May 1, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Marie -

Thank you for writing in!

The rectangle should fit flush from the front edge of the hat, around the curve, to the back of the neck. I'm sorry it's coming up short for you. I recommend repinning, if you haven't already, making sure there is no puckering in the fabric that is making it too short (this happened to me a few times in the process!).

If it is still coming up short, there is no harm in cutting a longer rectangle. If this is not an option, I would start pinning the rectangle to the Hat Side 1/4 inch in from the front edge and leave a 1/2-inch gap at the back of the neck. This slight adjustment to the size should not affect the fit in any significant way.

I hope this helps!
May 1, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
This hat is so lovely! I have a 6 months baby girl and I need a hat for this summer.
How can I get this pattern? I don't see any place to download it :-(
Thank you very much
May 18, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterclara
Hi Clara-

The free template is available to download by clicking on the link in the materials section or going here:

Thank you!

May 18, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Dear Corinne,

Do you think this pattern is 'easy' enough for a beginner, with little sewing experience? (Sewing cushions etc)

Also, since Liberty fabrics are so expensive I was looking at some fat quarter pieces that i could use. Do you think 1 fat quarter would be enough for a little hat (0-3 or 3-6 months) or am i being to optimistic?

Many thanks for your help!

May 20, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterandrea
Dear Corinne,

I realized after my last post that a fat quarter is surely not enough even for the smallest hat, so i would rather like to know if i could order only 0.5 metre fabric for this design? Would that be enough you reckon?

May 20, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterandrea
Hello Andrea -

Thanks for writing in! These are all great questions.

The hardest part of the pattern is sewing the curved seams that attach the center of the hat to the Hat Sides. These seams take a bit of patience, but this is true for even more experienced sewists - and it's a great skill to learn!

As for the fabric, 1/2 meter should be plenty for one of the two smallest sizes. Keep in mind though that the hat also has a lining. Half a meter would be enough for both the outer hat and the lining if you want them in the same fabric, but if you would like to use a different fabric for the lining, you will be able to get one hat in these smaller sizes out of two 1/4 meter pieces.

I hope this helps!
May 23, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

Thanks for the sizing information. If I'd gone by age the hat would've been 2 sizes too small for my baby. Gotta love her larger than average head. :)
June 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGiggles
Hi Corinne,
this pattern is so lovely ! But I can't understand how you fix the visor (my English is poor...). Could you explain it to me, please?
June 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAude
Hello Aude -

I would love to help! What part of the visor are you having trouble with?

June 23, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Thank you for putting this pattern out here. It is so adorable! Someone asked me to make a baby bonnet for her granddaughter, and my bonnet pattern is much too big for a baby, but this should work perfect. Thank you again for this adorable pattern!

June 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBeth
Hi again.
I was wondering if you allow selling of projects made from this pattern? And if you do, do you want credit/mention for the pattern?
Thanks again for this adorable pattern!
July 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBeth
Hi Beth-

Thanks for getting in touch about this. All of our patterns are for home use only and cannot be made to be resold, but thanks again so much for checking!

July 1, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi, I am enjoying making your lovely bonnet.
Since I mainly am a quilter, I thought I would pass on the technique used to do curved piecing, which worked like a charm to sew the bonnet sides to the center band:

thanks for the pattern!
July 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMartha
Hi Corinne
I successfully downloaded your pattern for the summer bonnet one week ago. The hat was fabulous but made for an infant. Now I want to make another one for an older child but the pattern opens up as pure gibberish. Could you send the pdf to me directly?

July 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnne
Hi Anne-

I'm sorry to hear that the pattern isn't opening correctly for you. The link the the template is working fine on our end. Here is the direct link:

You might want to try going there from a different browser. If that still doesn't work please email me directly at molly AT purlsoho DOT com and I can send you the PDF.

Thank you!

July 14, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I just found this blog and I am loving all of your beautiful projects!

Thank you so much for the pattern!! I have now made two of these for my kiddos and they are super cute, And since my 14 month old can't take it off, her little head stays protected!

I added about another half an inch to the length of the rectangle and trimmed off the excess if there was any. (Sewing on the bias and sewing a curve can be very tricky, so I gave myself some wiggle room.) Stay stitching the curve also helped.

Thanks again!
July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEmily
Please can I have the template 3 - 6 months for your lovely summer baby bonnet, I am looking forward to making it for my new granddaughter. Really looking forward to making it!
July 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRos
Hi Ros-

The templates can be found in the "materials" section or by going here:

Thank you!

July 22, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.