My newest project is sewing surgical caps.I’m making surgical caps for a nursing administrator that wants to supply her team with some colorful caps for Nurses Week. As a quilter, I was not familiar with sewing something like and needed to do some research. After finding a pattern and great instructions, I found I could make them.
I like challenges and learning new stuff.The surgical cap has curves which present a bit of a challenge. I am learning to pin and sew curves better with each cap I complete. Do you wonder why I bring this point up? In quilting there are blocks like “Drunkard’s Path”, “Double Wedding Ring“, Glorified 9-Patch and many more that have curves. Many quilters steer away from these blocks due to their complexity. I consider making these cap as practice and body memory work. It really is going to help build my skills in pinning and sewing curves.
Getting Started With Making Surgical Caps
To start this project I used Goggle and found Sweet Red Pepper’s pattern and YouTube video. Her pattern and video are very well done and you can use the links to check them out. Because Sweet Red Pepper covered the basics so well, I will not go over every detail of the construction.
My Tweaks and Tips
When you print the pattern out you will have 5 pieces of paper. Tape the pieces together and then cut out the pattern. There are two parts. One part of the pattern is the piece that’s the front, sides and ties and the other pattern piece is for the top or the crown or the cap. The front, side tie piece is supposed to have one end that’s placed on the fold. Putting it on the fold is the best way to cut your piece. If the fabric you are using doesn’t work that way, you can use two pieces and sew them together in the front. I suggest you add a 1/4 inch seam to each piece where it would have been one whole piece. This will keep your proportions correct. Because I am using some left over scrap pieces for my caps, this works well for smaller pieces. I cut two of each part and then I prepared them for sewing by pinning them together starting from the middle down each side. I also found that placing the pins a bit further from the edge helped keep the pieces from bunching in the curve.
Turning Your Piece Inside OutWhen it comes to sewing the outside and inside pieces together you will sew all the way around the piece but leave a three inch opening for turning. Two things I did a bit different. On the part that looks like a head, I folded a 1/4 inch of the fabric at the bottom to the inside and stitched across. This makes it easier to sew up once the piece is turned. I also leave this straight, flat area open for turning purposes. My hand fits inside and it makes it easier to access the ties for turning. When you turn the ties, you will need something to push the fabric through. Some people like to use a product called “The Purple Thang.”
Another great tool is a wooden chop stick.If you like to eat oriental food, you can probably get your chop stick for free next time you eat there. Whatever you decide to use, be sure it won’t easily poke through your fabric and make a hole. Also, make sure to pop out those corners.
After you’ve turned your piece, make your seam turn in at the bottom and then press your edges flat. This prepares your piece for stitching all around the outer edge of your cap.
The surgical cap can have buttons, one on each side sewn on for use with a face mask or you can make a face mask band to match your cap.This cap is a wonderful project for Hospice, people that ride motorcycles as well as for doctor and nurses. Share pictures of the caps you make and thanks for stopping by my blog.