Last updated 5/20/02.

Making a Magenta cap (one woman's thoughts)

I won't claim this is perfect, but I've yet to find a better way to do it, and I've made four or five of the things over the last 14 years or so.

You will need:

For the cap:
Cut a 5.25” diameter circle (finished cap is 5” in diameter; I am including a ¼” seam allowance all the way round)

Pin in place three folds originating from where you’re going to put the bow. (See illustration.) If you aren’t feeling that detail-oriented, the folds can be omitted. I suggest lighting ironing the folds into place and then tacking them down with very tiny stitches spread far apart (you want it to look natural).

Pin under the seam allowance and either baste it down now or start pinning the lace underneath it so you’ll sew on the lace and sew under the seam allowance at the same time. (It saves time, sort of, but means you’ll have a harder time taking it apart later.) Pin the lace so it overlaps itself under where you’re going to put the bow so it won’t show.

For the ribbon:
Cut a 21.5”x 3.5” rectangle of the same white fabric (I used 21.5” last time; up to probably 23” or so would be good; again, this includes a ¼” seam allowance all around.)

Fold the ribbon right side to right side and sew along the edge ¼” from the edge, making a tube. Turn the tube inside out so the right sides are on the outside. Cut the ends on the diagonal so you have a trapezoid.


Finish the ends, tucking the ragged ends in and sewing them inside your trapezoid.

Yes, you could just use 1.5” width white ribbon…but it will either be satin or grosgrain, so it will have the wrong texture, and it won’t have the correct body when you tie it into a bow.

Tie your ribbon into a bow, keeping the two “tails” of the bow about the same length. The center of the bow shouldn’t be totally flat and the vertical loop holding them shouldn’t be totally flat either.

Tack down to the cap at the base of your radiating folds (or just where you overlapped the lace if you skipped the folds). I strongly recommend attaching both the loops and the center of the bow to the cap and using double thread for this part; it’s sort of heavy.

I find the best way to attach the cap is with bobby pins. Storing them with the cap meant I never lost them, but means I’ve gotten rust stains on my cap. Usually this will bleach out, but why risk it?

Slide one bobby pin along each side and one along the back under your bow so it doesn’t flop around.

I have heard Magentas suggest making thread loops or making small loops out of satin cord underneath on either side for the bobby pins so they don’t show (they don’t, much, but they do a little). I haven’t tried it yet; the trick is to find something I can find easily but that won’t stick out and show more than the bobbypins would.

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