How to Make Ushanka Hats

A ushanka can be a fashion statement, as well as keep you warm.
A ushanka can be a fashion statement, as well as keep you warm. (Image: Digital Vision/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

A ushanka is a Russian trooper or bomber hat traditionally made of real animal fur hide and fabric. Ushanka means “with ears” in Russian. According to RussianUshanka.com, “An Ushanka (also known as a shapka or chapka) is a traditional, yet stylish, Russian winter hat, which is extremely warm to handle the frigid Russian winters.”

Things You'll Need

  • Tissue paper
  • Compass
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Fleece fabric
  • Straight pins
  • Fur hide (optional)
  • Faux fur fabric (optional)
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • 1/16-inch round elastic cord
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Buttons

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Place a sheet of tissue paper on your work surface to use in making your pattern. Use a compass to draw a circle on the paper, making it 7 inches in diameter. Draw a line across the center of the circle. Make another line 1/2-inch to the side of that line, to use as a guide for cutting. Draw a 5-inch-by-12-inch rectangle on the paper. Draw a 3 1/2-inch-by-7 1/2-inch rectangle and round two of the corners along a 7 1/2-inch side. Draw a 9-inch-by-8-inch rectangle, with the 9-inch sides running horizontally. Draw a 4 1/2 inch by 4 1/2 inch square inside the 9-inch-by-8-inch rectangle, using the lower left edges to double as edges for both shapes. Round the inside or top right corner of the square, which will become the cut line, and both corners along the bottom edge of the rectangle to the right of the square, as this piece will become the ear flap.

Cut out all of the pattern pieces. Take care to leave the extra 1/2 inch on the half-circle, cut the rounded bottom corners of the ear flap correctly, and round the inside corner of the square as you cut the square away from the shape of the pattern.

Fold the fleece in half. Pin the flat edge of the half-circle along an open edge of the fabric and cut, creating two separate half-circles. Pin the ear flap pattern along the folded edge, with the 3 1/2-inch side along the fold. Cut the shape, leaving the fold intact, which will make an elongated mirror image of the pattern, with ear flaps at each end. Unfold the remaining fabric to single thickness. Pin the remaining two rectangles to the fabric and cut out the pattern shapes. Repeat this process with the fur.

Place a half-circle fleece and the non-rounded rectangle fleece pieces with right-sides together. Using a sewing machine, sew the 12-inch edge of the rectangle to the rounded edge of the half-circle. Place the half-circle on top of the rectangle. Keep pulling and sliding the edge of the half-circle into alignment with the straight edge of the rectangle before the needle goes through them. Sew the other half-circle to the other side of the middle strip of the hat in the same way. Pin the long ear flap piece to the pieces just sewn together. The ear flap piece should run the length of a half-circle, across the 5-inch edge of the middle piece and the length of the other half-circle. Sew into place and remove the pins. Repeat with the fur pieces.

Cut two 10-inch pieces of 1/16-inch round elastic cord. Pin the two hat shells with right-sides together. Fold a 10-inch piece of elastic in half and insert it between the fabrics of the hat shells at the bottom of each ear flap, leaving 1/2 inch of both ends of the elastic showing. The elastic will create button loops for fashioning the ear flaps during wear. Sew all around the outer edge, except where the front flap will be placed. When you reach the bottom of the ear flap, use the reverse button on the sewing machine to run back and forth across the elastic an extra time before continuing. Turn the hat inside-out through the front flap opening. Situate the fur toward the inside of the hat.

Pin the remaining rounded rectangle fleece and fur pieces with right-sides together. Sew all the way around the curves, leaving only the straight edge open. Remove the pins and turn it inside out. Placing the fur toward the inside of the hat, insert 1/2 inch of the brim flap into the opening on the hat and pin into place. Sew the brim flap into place and remove the pins.

Hand-sew on buttons, 2 inches up from the bottom, in the center of each ear flap. Sew another button at the center of the top of the hat. Place the elastic loops around the buttons to wear the ear flaps down around your chin or pinned up, with fur showing.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use care when operating equipment such as a sewing machine.

References

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