How cute is that hat on that cute kid? You can't really tell in this picture, but take my word for it, that kid is a doll!
There is some prep work that has to happen, but not as much as other crafts I've done in the past. If you don't have a surplus of fabric in your stash, then you'll need to buy the fleece. Watch out for sales because you can get this stuff for a steal. Fleece is very forgiving and doesn't fray so that cuts on on the set-up and ensures that the hats don't come apart at the edges.
When you get your supply of fleece cut rectangles of 14 inches by 22 inches. If you're feeling really craft you can patch together a panel with those dimensions. I just went with solids because I had to whip out 24 of these babies and you conserve time when you can.
I used a serger to put the hats together. You could use a standard sewing machine, but be sure to make your stitch longer. At least a 4 because fleece is thick. First put right sides together lengthwise and serge (or stitch). You are sewing a fleece "tube" that is 14" from opening to opening. Stop at the last 5" and serge off (or stop sewing and tie off ends).
Then turn inside out and serge (or stitch) the final 5" of the tube. The reason you have the seam on last 5" is because you'll turn the brim of the hat up to adjust for the height of the head and the seam will be hidden. Sneaky, huh?
Now you want to tie off the end of the fleece tube that has the long seam. Tie yarn about 3 inches down from the top. You can see an example in the blue and green hats in the lower left side of the image above and below on the orange hat.
Once the top of the hat is tied off you'll cut the top into strips. Use good scissors for this part of the project. The standard class scissors don't work well.The strips can be as thick or as thin as you'd like it to be. If you like a particularly floppy top the tie off at more than the 3 inches. No rules really.
Finally you'll want to roll up the bottom of the hat to make a brim. Some of the students did a single brim, some did a double brim. All of them had a blast making the hats and putting their own twist on the creations.