Sewing reversible bucket hats (Free Oliver and S pattern)

Here in Oz summer is on its way.

We are blessed with very mild winters in Perth but the flipside of that is summer which is HOT!!!  Some of us love it, others (like me) retreat to the air con when it hits 34 C or more, which is a LOT of the time!

The sun in our part of the world is extremely harsh so sun protection is an absolute must, especially for the littlies!  It was high time I sewed up a couple of hats for my boys ready to take on the summer sun.

large bucket hat front

During this photo shoot, I took the opportunity to practice a couple of tips I learned at a photography workshop I went to on the weekend.  My local city council recently offered some 3 hour workshops at only $20 a pop so I went and checked out “Photography in Natural Light”.  The teacher was great and shared lots of valuable tips that I’ll definitely be using in the future.  He also dispelled a few of those long held myths that many of us amateurs hold.  Like always having your (the photographers) back to the sun.  Here’s the most useful trick I learned and you can see the examples of my pics below.  Have the subject face away from the sun so they are backlit.  Have your camera on aperture-priority, use the lowest f-stop (aperture setting) you can and use your pop-up flash as a fill-in light source for the face.  These photos are far from perfect, but I think it’s a good start!

Anyway, on to the hats…


Oliver & S Bucket Hat (free pattern)

Version and Mods

One version, although I didn’t do all the brim topstitching shown in the pattern photos.  I also really loathe hand stitching so the construction method in these instructions doesn’t really float my boat.  Here’s the way around it… make each side of the hat completely and then stitch the outer brim seam with the two sides right sides together (leave a hole, turn and top stitch). Ta daaahhh!  No hand stitching!

small bucket hat front


Quilting cotton for the patterned side and cargo drill for the solid colour.  I used heavy sew-in interfacing for the brim but I think fusible would make it easier and quicker as you wouldn’t need to baste the interfacing first.

Size & Fit

I made the small for Mr Little who has just turned one, and a large for Mr 4.  The small is on the big side for the bubba but I didn’t use the full 1/2 inch seam allowance.  He’ll grow into it.

small bucket hat back


Clear and easy to follow but as mentioned, I adapted the instructions to avoid the hand stitching.


Beginner but the curves can be a bit frustrating.  In previous makes of this pattern I’ve struggled to avoid getting puckers around the curved seams.  This time was much easier now I’ve had more practice but something to be aware of.


It’s free and available in four sizes.

Not loving

No chin strap for the little one who (like most one-year olds) despises wearing hats!  Also previously I’ve found the brim to be a bit narrow for my liking.  This time I didn’t sew the full 1/2 inch seam allowance which has added some extra width.

large bucket hat back

This spot is one of our faves on spring/summer evenings.  Isn’t it devine?? Lots of shade plus sand and a “beach” for keeping the littles happy.

Who else is sewing for summer at the moment?  I’d love to hear what you’re making!

Nat x

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