January 22nd 2011
archived under: Crafts, Sewing, Step by Step Crafts

About a week ago, my dear friend Virginia, 23 weeks pregnant, went into labor. She went to a wonderful hospital where the birth professionals did everything they could to keep the baby inside to “cook” longer. But after a couple of days, complications required an emergency Cesarian section, and Leilani “Leila” Marie was born far to early.

(This is me and Anneliese, Virginia and Landon in December.)


Now, Virginia is doing well – she has been discharged from the hospital, and aside from a few sniffles and recovery from her surgery, she is healthy and strong. She is pumping wonderful breast milk every day for Leila to drink when she’s ready, and seeing her baby girl as much as possible while still “loving on” her little boy.


Leila is getting stronger each day, and has stabilized her blood pressure and some other factors as well. She had a blood transfusion two days ago, which is normal/expected with babies this premature, though still scary. Everything went well though. She is a little fighter for sure.

To keep things fun, Virginia and the NICU nurses are changing Leila’s hat every day. Virginia wants to save all the tiny hats and put them in a shadowbox or something later on. You can join the hat drive for Leila here on Facebook, if you’d like to make any hats to send them. If you’re not so crafty, but you’re thinking of the family or keeping them in your prayers if you pray, join Leila’s friends.

So far I’ve made three hats for Leila. Here she is in the first one, which I crocheted:

image image

And here are the other two, which she doesn’t have yet:


So in case you’d like to make a hat for Leila, or for any other teeny baby you might know, I thought I’d put up this simple tutorial.

Preemie Hat Tutorial – Easy Sewing

First, start with a pair of fun-looking kids’ socks. I got these in the dollar section at Target.


Cut the socks at the ankle, right above the heel.


These are the parts you’ll be using.


Sometimes socks have a visual seam where the pattern is slightly jagged. If yours has that (you can see it in the sock in the background, near the edge), cut there. If not, cut wherever you want… lengthwise from your previous cut to the cuff of the sock.


So now you have two pieces that look like this:


Put the two pieces together, right sides facing each other.


And zig-zag stitch up the sides. If you’re hand-sewing, a simple whip stitch will do.


If you want, you can flip the hat right side out and gather the top with a running stitch. You can cover the raw edge by adding a pom pom or some other embellishment.


But I didn’t do that. I zig-zagged over the top edge to make a rectangular hat.


Flip right side out.


Then basically you’re going to gather two little ears, by making a diagonal running stitch “cutting off” each corner.


Like this. Maybe an inch in from the corner, diagonally across to about an inch below the corner.


Pull tight, add a few back stitches to secure, knot and trim. Repeat on the other side to make the second “ear.”


You can leave it like that if you’d like.


Or add any embellishment you think looks nice.


Voila! Teeny hat for the smallest sweet girl.


Now you don’t want your hat recipient to get sick because of a germ introduced by your gift… so wash it on hot water and machine-dry it, then immediately put it into a ziploc bag so that nothing unintended makes it into the NICU.

Anne F. (1 comments)

Our first grandchild (a preemie) was born 5 days ago and the caps in the nursery are too large. Wanting to provide her and other little ones I wanted a simple way to make one so I could send them off to her right away. This is WONDERFUL! Thank you so very much.

Urban Flowerpot (1 comments)

Thank you so much for this fantastic tutorial! I was so happy when it was shared with me. I just dropped off a batch of them at our old NICU yesterday and the nurses flipped :) I wrote about it and linked you here: http://urbanflowerpot.blogspot.com/2013/03/handmade-preemie-hats-for-nicu.html

vernice (1 comments)

I’m sending a basketful of prayers to Virginia and Leila. Things can only get better for Leila now. My little cousin was born premature. They say he was the size of a 12oz soda can. Today, he is a college graduate with a BA degree in accounting, with a new job, and a new apartment.

Thanks for the tutorial

angela (1 comments)

i just love the simplicity of the preemie hat sooooooo cute. i would like to know if you have the pattern for the crochet hat you made.i am crocheting now and woulf love to make them. my thoughts are with annalise family God Bless

Alma (1 comments)

so beautiful, will be making quiet a few to send to hospital that Project Angel Kisses send to. Everyone is in our prayers. Alma

Andi (1 comments)

Hi there – I found you while searching for preemie patterns. These hats are soo super cute! Thanks so much for sharing the pattern! After reading about Leila I went to the facebook page to see about sending her a hat…my heart broke. I am so sorry.

Shydub (1 comments)

Very creative, i also like the crochet you made. Thanks for sharing. Visiting here through social spark blog.
Shydub recently posted… Ruby Tuesday – Food- Hair Cut and Winter hat

Oh my goodness! I’ll be praying for little Leila and mommy. That’s so early!

I LOVE the hats! So adorable. I need to make one for my little buddy.
Diana @ frontyardfoodie recently posted… It’s a Storm

Jenn (11 comments)

I crochet. What sort of sizing did you use for the crochet hat? do you have a pattern?

I will definitely make one! I was preemie at about 26 weeks so I know a lot about that. Will also be praying for health and quick growth!
Jenn recently posted… I wanna go crazy- wanna go crazy for you

Patty (17 comments)

These are adorable!
Patty recently posted… The Launch

Emily (1 comments)

What a sweet idea! Thank you.

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