Here is a method for creating an adjustable break-away strap for a reversible hat.
Using this technique, the strap can be switched from one side of the hat to the other on a reversible hat, or may be completely removed - great for laundering!
We strongly recommend using a safety breakaway clasp on the chin strap to reduce the risk of strangulation. Babies and young children should always be supervised while wearing a hat with straps. Please note that safety compliance rules regarding chin straps vary greatly from one country to another - please research your local regulations.
- Lanyard with breakaway clasp
- Snaps (hook + loop tape may also be used)
- Optional: Bias tape or twill tape (if you are making your own strap)
The method for adding a breakaway strap to a reversible hat is demonstrated here using the free Twig + Tale Sunny Hat pattern. Sew the hat as described in the tutorial, then add the strap when the hat is complete.
1. Make two buttonholes next to one of the seams (as sewing a buttonhole over a seam may not give a smooth result), just above the level of the brim. Each buttonhole should be 5/8"-3/4" (1.5cm-2cm) long and run parallel to the brim.
Repeat another set of buttonholes on the direct opposite side of the hat.
Alternatively, you could use eyelets/grommets.
2. Open up both sets buttonholes.
Prepare the lanyard:
3. Trim off the hook end of the lanyard.
4. Cut the lanyard cord roughly 3" (8cm) past the breakaway clip.
5. Heat seal all four ends of the cord with a lighter.
6. Add snaps to ends of the lanyard core 2" (5cm). The smooth sides of both snaps should be on the same side.
Optional - if making your own strap using bias tape or twill tape, you may wish to fold down the strap end before adding the snaps. There is no need to do this on the lanyard cord because the cut end was sealed in previous step.
7. Take your toggle. There are a variety of sizes and shapes available. I upcycled this one from the cord on a hanging shower gel bottle.
Thread the non-snap ends of the lanyard through the toggle. To help get the cord through the toggle, fold the end of the cord over and make a temporary stitch to form a point.
8. Even up the lengths of the cord so it is folded in half. The lanyard ties will end up about 14" (35cm) long.
If you are making your own strap from bias tape, cut to a length of about 16" (40cm). Use the width of the breakaway clip to determine the width of the strap.
9. Sew the ends of the tie together, or tie a knot so that the toggle won't slip off.
10. Thread the snap ends through buttonholes with the end snap facing outward so that the raw edge is not against the face.
- You can substitute hook and loop tape for snaps.
- If you choose to make your own tie from bias or twill tape, unpick the breakaway clasp from the lanyard and rethread it onto your tape.
- If your hat is not reversible, you may sew the ends of the ties by the breakaway clip directly to the inside of the hat, or use snaps or hook + loop tape to affix the tie to the hat.
Read more about the Sunny Hat here:
- Introducing the Sunny Hat
- Sunny Hat - Flower Add-On
How to add trim to the Sunny Hat
~ Cover image and concept by Ruth Phillips ~