My answer to Is there a way to tighten a baseball hat?
Answer by Enna Morgan:
Anything man has done, man can undo. That being said, in all my years as a milliner/ hatter, I cleverly avoided any work on baseball hats – they are not worth the headache…..I meant migraine….it’s lasting!
But since you are doing it, and not me (ha ha!), I am all for assisting with the ‘how to.’
First, on a baseball hat, they typically have an adjuster strap in the back, as in the photo:
Yours is missing that? Strange hat. Yeah, I get it, hence your question 🙂
Okay, moving on……barring that option, they do not make it easy to alter, because it is double stitched, topstitched, and even seamtaped for durability…..but if you have the determination and the mettle, they can certainly be altered. Several options:
This one is actually a cheat, and can be used to reduce any hat: Foam tape. This can be ordered from a millinery supply store (type that into Google), or alternatively, if you do not care to be so precise, the same foam tape that is used to winterise your home, can be used for this purpose. It can therefore be obtained very easily from the hardware store (or type in millinery foam tape into Google and increase your purchase options). You will need 3/8 or 1/2 inch foam tape.
It is self-adhesive tape, so you can attach it (as much as you want, depending on how much you need to reduce the hat), inside the inner band (sweat-band) of the hat.
The problem is that over time, the adhesion loses its efficacy and the tape will fall our or disintegrate, so if this is a hat you want to keep for a long time, use the other options below.
OPTION 1: Go into the seams and stitch them in. Depending upon how much you want reduced, you will need to stitch from the bottom (band), tapering up towards the crown of the hat.
Before doing so, you must remove the inner band from the area around the seams that you will be adjusting, and undo all the topstitching so as to release the seams to be able to take them take in.
See that inner green band? That must be removed before any alterations can be done. See those black strips of seamtape over the seams? Those must be removed also.
Now for the question, which seam to adjust?
See those seams on the bill? Do not touch those unless you are and intrepid adventurer! See the one towards the back? That is your guy. There is also one on the opposite side, those are your targets.
So, how much are you reducing?
Up to 1/2 inch can be done by taking in the two seams on both sides, left and right. Take in 1/4 inch each side. Note that that will mean 1/8 inch, folded. Note also that the inner band must also be taken in an equal amount, or it will not be able to be re-sewn into the hat. Again, the seam must be stitched 1/4 inch at the band and tapered gradually to zero as you approach the top of the crown. After you have adjusted both seams, then redo the top stitch, replace the seamtapes and the inner band and your are done! Good job!
If more than 1/2 inch is required though, then you should do the two seams at the sides and also the middle one in centre back. As an alternative to adjusting the inner tape. depending on the construction of the hat, you may need to remove and reattach the strap at the back……good luck on that one – major reconstruction.
Option2: The red hat above, has no back strap, therefore instead of doing any adjustments at the side seams, you can just remove the inner band and seam tape at the centreback, and do the adjustment at that point only, depending on the construction of the hat (like red hat above), this could be an easier option to option one.
With this type of hat (no strap) though, if the reduction is more than 1/2 inch, for the sake of balance, you probably should adjust the two back seams instead of the centreback seam.
OPTION 3: You need other adjustments? Sure, go for it! Remove the inner band, the seamtapes, the bill, and have a ball with redesigning the entire hat. Just keep in mind that when you are done with it all, the inner band must be adjusted so that the total circumference is matching the new circumference of the hat.
Have fun, enjoy the re-creation, and let me know how it all turns out. Look at it this way, if it does not turn out as you envisioned, then change your perspective, you may have inadvertently created an new look!
All images are taken from Google image page