Chemo hats – with pattern!

It was inevitable, but still I hoped I could avoid the hair loss that comes with the chemo in my bone marrow transplant… I was expecting it to be instantaneous, but in reality, my hair didn’t start falling out until 3 weeks after the first dose of chemo, so I’m really glad I thought ahead and made myself some comfortable knit caps before I went into hospital, based on my own design.

I know there’s tons of chemo hat patterns out there, but IMHO, most just scream “old lady chemo” to me, and as I’m neither old nor wishing to particularly associated with chemo, I wanted something a bit cleaner and less, err, wacky/zany. I mean, if I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing that hat when I’m well, why would I want to put it on my head when I’m feeling crappy, fat, and unattractive already??

So I came up with this method for making what’s essentially a swimming cap made from stretchy knit materials. I knew I definitely want the back of my head covered, though, so you’ll see that my pattern dips down in the back to cover every last bit of Homer Simpson-esque wisps. If you’re a sewer, it’s a great use of scraps, and if you’re not, it’s a great way to recycle old teeshirts! Even if you’ve got some great wigs like I do, I find these absolutely indespensible for wearing around the house and sleeping in! Think of the wigs like your heels, and these like those comfy slippers…


The finished photo here is quite grainy and this one’s looking more baggy than it does in real life (honestly!), but you can get the idea of what we’re aiming towards here!

It was inevitable, but still I hoped I could avoid the hair loss that comes with the chemo in my bone marrow transplant… I was expecting it to be instantaneous, but in reality, my hair didn’t start falling out until 3 weeks after the first dose of chemo, so I’m really glad I thought ahead and made myself some comfortable knit caps before I went into hospital, based on my own design.

I know there’s tons of chemo hat patterns out there, but IMHO, most just scream “old lady chemo” to me, and as I’m neither old nor wishing to particularly associated with chemo, I wanted something a bit cleaner and less, err, wacky/zany. I mean, if I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing that hat when I’m well, why would I want to put it on my head when I’m feeling crappy, fat, and unattractive already??

So I came up with this method for making what’s essentially a swimming cap made from stretchy knit materials. I knew I definitely want the back of my head covered, though, so you’ll see that my pattern dips down in the back to cover every last bit of Homer Simpson-esque wisps. If you’re a sewer, it’s a great use of scraps, and if you’re not, it’s a great way to recycle old teeshirts! Even if you’ve got some great wigs like I do, I find these absolutely indespensible for wearing around the house and sleeping in! Think of the wigs like your heels, and these like those comfy slippers…

The finished photo here is quite grainy and this one’s looking more baggy than it does in real life (honestly!), but you can get the idea of what we’re aiming towards here!

Photo tutorial

Pattern:

(Right-click here to save)

Editors: please link to this post, not directly to the image!

Step 1
Measure around the head and from ear to ear, and cut the fabric according to the pattern above. Using either the zig-zag stitch on your sewing machine or an overlocker/serger, stitch the longer seam, creating a tube.

Step 2
Rotate that seam to the underside, and place the straight edge along the top. Starting 2-3 inches from the bottom edge, sew a curved top seam.

Step 3
Fold under the bottom edge, and either using a twin needle on your sewing machine or a coverstitch finish the bottom edge.

All done!

I hope this helps some other baldies out there!

7 Comments

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  1. 4
    P Seay

    Thanks Melissa! Like Nanette, will be ready in a few weeks for the inevitable hair loss. Round 2 for me. While I’m at it, will make a few for donation – my sergers need the exercise 🙂

    God’s Blessing on us all…..

  2. 5
    Angela Sousa

    Thank you so much! I know you wrote this years ago but I can’t tell you the relief I felt putting this on. My head is on the petite side so everything I purchased was falling off me while sleeping. I’ll be making four now and I just woke up. A little tip though, the way the drawing is written I was not sure if I was supposed to add and subtract the two inches from the full or halved measurements. A=14 could be 9 or 8. B=22 could have been 9 or 10. FYI it’s 8 (half of 16) and 10 (half of 20)…I think Maybe just clarify it in the written area. Thanks again. Really. I’m thrilled.

    • 6
      melissa

      Hi Angela. Thanks for flagging this up! To be perfectly honest, I made these nearly 11 years ago so I have no recollection of which it should be. If you’ve got an inkling of which it should be, I”d be happy to clarify in the text. I’m glad the caps were as useful to you as they were to me though! 🙂

      • 7
        Angela Sousa

        Hi, thanks so much for responding. After making these now, it should be 9 and 9. Take half of Measurement A and add 2, take half of Measurement B and subtract 2. I guess it’s clear in the picture, I just like to complicate things. But I do think it would be helpful to explain it a bit more in the text.

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