How to Repair a Straw Hat

Finally! I sewed my hat back together.

Repairing instead of trashing items is just one small part of our Ripples project – learn more About Us.

Many people have seen me wearing Mr. Holey Hat around town, with its straw flaps blowing in the breeze.  This hole-filled hat is often how people recognize me in public, noticing the hat first.  So many people have commented that it was time for a new hat, or that I should just sew it back together.  I. Hate. Sewing.  So for the past couple years, the hat became more and more squished, ripped, and torn-looking and less effective at keeping the sun out of my eyes and off my shoulders.

My straw hat, with new chin strap.

“That hat,” said one woman in a public bathroom, slightly hesitant as she spoke, “gives you the look of…like, a poor farmer.  Did you…were you going for that? I mean that could be a good thing I guess too.”

Actually, there are only two reasons why I wear this hat: it’s the only hat I own that’s effective at keeping the sun off, and it’s more comfortable and worn-in than many new hats for sale.

Finally, I have broken down and spent an hour repairing the thing yesterday. To make it more fun, I removed the annoying bow around the hat’s middle, and turned it into a chin strap so that onlookers can no longer enjoy laughing at me as I chase my hat down the street.  Sorry, folks. 🙂

It was pretty easy to do – I used scissors, thread and a regular needle to simply sew the holes up. To make the straps, I threaded the ends of the straw rope through the hat, and knotted each end to keep it in place, anticipating more sewing in the future as the wear-and-tear near the knot will eventually make another gap in the hat.  I’m pretty satisfied with this project – it made me feel like I could repair broken appliances and sew dresses like superman (yes sewing is a super-hero talent and if superman doesn’t think so he should try it!).  This was just a confidence booster for me, and I can keep my familiar old friend the hat!

The hat was so successful I decided to try sewing my second pair of shorts that I could really use in these 100 degree days.  I’m wearing them now, but I can’t say the sewing went as well as the hat repair.  You can definitely tell these shorts had big holes in the butt. 🙂

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Nice! I was about to throw my old straw hat out after Scout camp this year – but, like you, I like it because it’s “worn-in” but it’s a little threadbare in one spot! I hadn’t thought of sewing it – I’ll give that a shot!


Excellent! So glad I saved another straw hat from meeting its end. 🙂

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