How to Make a Reversible Chemo Cap

How to Make a Reversible Chemo Cap

How to make a reversible chemo cap


How to make a reversible chemo cap.  I was asked to create a reversible chemo cap for a sewing group that I am involved with.  Many sewers love making items for charity and one of the ideas that came up in my group was chemo caps. I set about creating my own pattern for this project but came across one that I thought would be suitable because it can be made from a soft woven fabric like mine or a knit. This reversible chemo hat pattern is shared with you with permission from Judy Danz at Sew About Quilting.

It is important to keep in mind that chemotherapy patients often have sensitive skin so the choice of fabrics is crucial.  If you don’t have any fabrics on hand for this great project I recommend Hobby Lobby or Fabric.com for the perfect fabric choice.  You can click on the links to find the perfect fabric.  These are affiliate links and if you click on them and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. This is a beginner sewing project for all levels of sewers.

A reader pointed out to me that her grandmother could not raise her arms long enough to tie the ties on the original version of this cap and asked if I had thought of creating an elasticized version.  I took this original pattern and added elastic to it for those sufferers who are not able to tie the ties.  An addendum has been added at the end of this tutorial for an optional elasticized version.  I hope it works for you.

If you would like a Video tutorial of this project head over to YouTube and watch my complete step-by-step tutorial of this chemo cap project.  

What you will Need:

How to make a reversible Chemo Cap
What you will Need Chemo Cap

Step 1: Cut your Fabrics

Cut out one each of piece A and B from main fabric and 1 each from lining fabric.  Then cut 4 pieces of the fabric for the ties so that they are 1 3/4″ wide by whatever length you want them.  I made the 30″ length and that seemed a bit long to me.

Step 2: Create the Ties

With right sides together and using a 1/4″ seam allowance sew the ties down one edge around the bottom and up the other edge leaving one end open for turning.  Turn the ties right side out and press.

Step 3: Transfer the ties

Transfer the markings to the wrong side of the fabric pattern pieces.

Step 4: Add the ties

Sew the ties to each side of one of the fabric B piece tabs right sides together using a 1/4″ seam allowance.  

How to make a reversible Chemo Cap
Add the Ties to Piece B Tabs

Step 5: Stitch the outer Cap and lining cap

With right sides together, pin piece A to piece B matching at Dot 1, center, and dot 2.  Sew from dot 1 to dot 2 using a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Make sure that the ties are on the inside so that you are only sewing the raw edges.  Repeat for the lining pieces but without the ties.

How to make a reversible Chemo Cap
Pin Piece A to Piece B
How to make a reversible Chemo Cap
Repeat for Lining


Step 6: Stitch the caps together

With right sides together, pin the lining to the exterior.  Sew together using a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Remember to push the ties to the inside and to leave the bottom open for turning.  Turn the cap right sides out.

How to make a reversible Chemo Cap
Turn through opening at the bottom

Step 7: close the opening

Press the cap.  Hand stitch the opening closed.

Step 8: top stitch

Top stitch around the cap and the ties if you like.  I opted to top stitch around the cap but not the ties.  You have now completed your Reversible Chemo Hat. I hope you enjoyed this beginner sewing project and that you will consider making these for chemotherapy patients at your nearby hospital.

Step 9: Add elastic instead of ties

To create the version of the cap with elastic instead of ties you will need to create the two caps as shown in the original pattern but without the ties.  Sew the two caps right sides together at the front or brim of the cap but leave the bottom of the cap completely open.  Top stitch around the brim.

How to make a reversible chemo cap

Step 10: Turn under Raw edges

Turn under the bottom raw edge inside each other and stitch.

How to make a reversible chemo cap
Fold Under the Bottom

Step 11: insert elastic

Turn under the wings and insert one end of the 1″ elastic and sew several times to secure.  Repeat for the other side.  You have now completed your cap with the elastic option.

How to make a reversible chemo cap
Add the Elastic
How to make a reversible chemo cap
Back of Cap
How to make a reversible chemo cap
Side of Cap


How to Make a Reversible Chemo Cap

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  1. Have you considered using a covered elastic band instead of the ties? My grandmother can’t hold her arms up long enough to use the ties. I’m going to give it a try.

    1. No. There should be five 8 1/2″ x 11″ pattern pages. I am not sure why yours is coming out that way. Let me know if you continue to have problems and I will email the pattern directly to you.

    1. I simply turned under the wings like a hem and slipped the elastic inside the holes that were there. I topped stitched across the wings and the elastic to finish it off. If you wanted to add ties as well, it seem that you would need to add the ties at the same time as the elastic and in the same way if that makes sense. Please let me know if you have any more questions. I will do what I can to help.

  2. I like your project but today with all hospitals in short supply of all protective gear the ladies that have a pattern that is not downloadable without payment I say shame, shame, shame

  3. does the person wearing the cap tie the ties in the back of the head, at the neckline? I can’t figure out where the ties end up…

  4. Hi! This would be ideal for wearing in the hospital now. I did not find a link to the pattern on the website in the comment section as was suggested. Could you help me?

    1. Done. Sorry for the inconvenience. Fo those who cannot find the pattern it is under the list of items you will need. Just click the link where it says pattern you can get here and you should get the pattern. Thanks.

  5. Thank you…. I made my first one today…. good tutorial and written instructions. Appreciate that you made it a free pattern. Thank you so very much.

  6. How do you find the patterns because I cant find them I need to make one for a friend I need an adult size

  7. You are remarkable! Thank you for your clear, concise, and supportive commentary. And hurrah that you encourage others to volunteer! Thank you!

  8. Thank you so much. I am going to make some for a friend in a care center as a surprise since no one can visit her because of Covid. What types of fabric do you suggest?

  9. Absolutely wonderful project! Pattern is great, instructions are great! I’ve tried many different cap patterns, and yours beats them all, hands down! Thanks so much!

  10. This is awesome. I was just asked to make some for a friend’s mother in law. I plan on making her six with matching face masks, in fun prints to hopefully brighten her day as she endures chemo. Thank you for sharing this pattern.

  11. Very grateful for this free pattern. I am making some of both sizes for the hospital near me. You are very kind and talented to create this.

  12. I am curious about whether I could add a thin layer of cotton batting? I am wondering because my cousin is cold all the time since starting her chemo.

  13. Love the simplicity of the patter but…Having difficulty inserting the elastic to look like your picture. 3″ of 1″ elastic yet only about 1/4″ is showing for stretching – and the back of the cap sort of crumples inside/behind it till worn?

    1. To be honest I don’t remember how long the elastic was.I should have put it in the tutorial. My recollection of this project was that the back did collapse a little until the cap is worn. You could use a longer piece of elastic to make the cap larger and less stretch on the head. I hope this helps. If not let me know and I will recreate the project to see how I did it.

  14. Thank you for this free pattern. I made different things for the local Cancer House and thought these would be nice for the summer! Thank you again!

  15. I think Sewverycrafty posted a picture of the finished cap w/o ties, so I can only guess how cap’d look with ties tied in the back on the Completed cap.

  16. Hi, I made the adult Chemo Hat just now, and the Adult Size seems small. But the Circumference of the hat is 20 1/2″ inches is this an adult small? In other words it want fit my head. It will fit on my Mannequin’s head just fine. So how do you get the size?

  17. Merci pour ce tutoriel très facile simple et surtout très clair !!
    Même en étant française j’ai pu le comprendre rien qu’avec vos gestes
    Merci beaucoup 🙏

Looking Forward to Reading your Thoughts on this Project

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