How to crochet a cute rolled-brim summer hat with inexpensive jute string

hat_jute brimmed1I wanted to try my hand at crocheting a unique “straw” hat, so I picked up a couple rolls of jute string from the hardware store. There are different kinds—some are stiffer than others, so I recommend that you choose the most pliable type you can find. I found working with such a coarse fiber a little rough on the fingers at times, so it’s not the type of project you want to attempt to finish in one sitting.

I created a hat band and added embellishments using jute ribbon, buttons and beads that I found at the dollar store. As you’ll see in the photos, part of the embellishment includes a pair of miniature crocheted doilies that I had stashed away in my craft cupboard, not knowing what to hat_jute brimmed2do with them. Feel free to experiment with your embellishments—you could also use some velvet ribbon and fabric flowers. I also picked up a cheap dollar store straw hat in a similar colour, and sewed it inside the finished jute hat to create a more comfortable barrier between my head and the roughness of the string.

At first, the string carried a strong, fuel-like smell, and I wondered if wearing that hat was going to give me a headache! But fortunately, the odour has pretty much disappeared over the past couple of weeks.

Once the hat was completed, I was really pleased with the results. Yes, I could have gone out and bought myself any one of the gazillion summer hats currently in malls all over the city, but it wouldn’t be my very own, one-of-a-kind jute hat, designed by moi!

hat_jute brimmed3Rolled-Brim Summer Jute Hat
Fits an average adult head.

2 rolls of jute string (I used one full roll plus a quarter of a roll for this project)
5.5 mm hook
Yarn needle for weaving in ends
Sewing needle and jute-coloured thread for sewing on embellishments

Hat instructions:

Chain (ch) 8. Turn.

Round 1: Ch 3 and dc in same space (sp); 2 double crochet (dc) in each stitch (st) around; slip stitch (sl st) in top of ch-3 to close. Turn.

Round 2: Ch 3 and dc in same sp; 2 dc in each st around; sl st in top of ch-3 to close. Turn.

Round 3: Ch 3 and dc in same sp; 1 dc in next st; *2 dc in next st; 1 dc in next st;
repeat from * around, ending with 1 dc; sl st in top of ch-3 to close. Turn.

Round 4: Ch 3 and dc in same sp; 1 dc in each st around; sl st in top of ch-3 to close. Turn.

Round 5: Ch 1 and single crochet (sc) in same sp; 1 sc in each st around; sl st in top of ch-1 to close. Turn.

Round 6-8: Repeat Round 4.

Round 9: Ch 1; 1 sc in back loop only (BLO) of each st around; sl st in top of ch-1 to close. Turn.

Round 10: Ch 3; *dc in each of next 4 sts; 2 dc in next st; repeat from * around; sl st in top of ch-3 to close. Turn.

Round 11-12: Ch 3 and dc in same sp; *1 dc in each of next 6 sts; 2 dc in next st; repeat from * around; sl st in top of ch-3 to close. Fasten off and weave in ends.

hat_jute brimmed4I sewed 1-1/2” wide jute ribbon around the hat to make a band, then I used the same jute ribbon to form a couple of big flowers, and sewed them on too. Then I embellished the flowers with the miniature doilies as well as some shell buttons and glass beads.

Then, I trimmed the brim on the dollar store hat so it would fit neatly inside my jute hat as a barrier, and I used my needle and thread to sew it securely in there.



I can’t believe how easy this was to make!

top & skirt1I made this two-piece dress by crocheting the top first and then making a long, fabric skirt with an elastic waist to pair it with. I made this project up as I went along, but I swear to you, it was so easy that a beginner in both sewing and crocheting will find it a breeze. Because of my impatient nature, I am very clumsy with a sewing machine, so if I can produce these results, a chimpanzee could probaby do just as well!

As usual, I got so caught up in my project, I forgot to take photos of each step as I went along, so I did step-by-step drawings on paper. Hopefully, they’re clear enough to understand. As I describe the process, keep in mind that I’ve measured everything to my own size, which is medium. Take your measurements ahead, and make sure you try on the pieces as you go along to make sure you are custom fitting to your own measurements.

topAs is the case with many of my projects, I hadn’t intended on making a dress. It just sort of happened as things evolved. I began with the intention of crocheting a simple tank top. I decided to start with a plain, bandeau-style piece that I would later add two shoulder straps to. Really, a bandeau top is nothing more than a wide rectangle (along the same lines as a scarf).

Using a 6 mm hook and navy blue worsted weight yarn, I chained a row that measured approximately 10 inches. Then I chose a very simple stitch pattern that would produce a tight enough stitch to negate the need to wear a camisole underneath. As I said earlier, the finished top is a medium size. To make it smaller or larger, just measure around your chest and adjust the sizing so that it’s smaller or larger than 10 inches. Here is the stitch pattern I used to make a medium-sized top:

Chain (ch) an even number of stitches to make a 10-inch-long row, plus ch 2. Turn.

Row 1: (1 sc, ch 1, 1 sc) into 3rd chain from hook. *Skip next ch, (1 sc, ch 1, 1 sc) into next chain, repeat from * to the last chain; 1 sc into the last ch; ch 2 and turn.

Row 2: *(1 sc, ch 1, 1 sc) into ch-1 space, repeat from * to the end; 1 sc into last sc, ch 2 and turn.

Repeat Row 2 until desired length.

1I repeated rows until the bandeau was long enough to wrap around my chest with both ends meeting. Then I used a yarn needle to seam both ends together so that the piece became a tube top shape.

2Next, I carefully measured and used stitch markers to mark where I wanted the two straps to be. I wanted wide straps, so I made each one a 3 inch width, using the same stitch pattern as above.

Once the top was completed, I single-crocheted around all the top 3edges, including the straps, just to give the entire thing an evenly finished look. I chose a scalloped edge for the bottom (any 5 sc shell pattern will work), and it was done.

For the skirt, I measured the widest part of my hips, and bought a square of silky fabric that would wrap around my hips, also allowing for a quarter-inch seam. At the top (which is the waist), I 4folded over a “hem” a little wider than the elastic that I’d be using for the waist. (Keep in mind that all sewing is done on the wrong side.) Then I just straight stitched the hemmed section across on my machine. What you end up with looks just like the sort of “pocket” you would have at the top of a curtain, with both ends open where the rod slides in.

5Next, I pinned the back seam of the skirt together and sewed it with a ¼ inch seam from just below the waist openings where the elastic will run through, right down to the bottom of the skirt. The hem will be the last thing you focus on.

Cut your piece of elastic just a smidge smaller than your waist. Hook a safety pin onto one end of your elastic, and use the safety pin to push it along through the waist 6“pocket.” The skirt waist will gather as you run the elastic through, and that’s how it should work.

7Once you have both ends of the elastic poking out of either end of the pocket, sew the elastic ends together. Once secure, you can sew together the rest of the back seam of your skirt.8

All you have left is to trim the bottom of the skirt to whatever length you desire (I elastic waistwanted a long, ankle-length skirt) and then hem it.

When you put the top and skirt on together, the top edging will cover the elastic waist of the skirt and it appears as if it’s one piece.skirt with elastic waist

The skirt took me all of 20 minutes to make, from start to finish. I made the crocheted top within a week of on/off crocheting at night in front of the TV. Easy peasy.

I can’t wait to make another one!top & skirt2

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