Free chemo hat PDF pattern

April 10, 2011


Some of you know that I am the founder of a local charity called Brimming with Love. BWL’s mission is to provide free handmade hats to patients across the DFW area undergoing cancer therapy.

About 8 years ago, Milly Ralsky, one of our volunteers (who was 83 at the time) contacted me about a fabulous pattern she wanted to share with us. She had been making it for nearly 40 years to benefit local hospitals. In honor of Milly, we call it “Milly’s Tie Hat”. It’s a simple sewing pattern (with just two pattern pieces) that is reversible…so you get two hats in one! We receive several requests for the pattern each month from folks all around the world, so I decided it was finally time to learn how to make downloadable patterns.

I’m thrilled to share that Milly’s Tie Hat pattern is now available in PDF format on the Brimming with Love website! It is 100% free for non-commercial use. Interested in making one for someone you know or donating your time and talents to Brimming with Love? Check out our website for more information. It’s amazing how such a small thing like a handmade hat can make a big difference in someone’s day that is undergoing cancer therapy.

For those that decide to check out the pattern…let me know how it goes! I’d love to see pictures of your finished hats or any feedback you might have on the pattern. Now that I’ve dipped my toe in the water, you might see more downloadable patterns here in the future!


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10 Responses to “Free chemo hat PDF pattern”

  1. Denise Says:

    Thank you so much for putting the reversible tie hat pattern in PDF format. My girlfriend has started her chemo and after just 3 1/2 short weeks started to loose her hair. I nominated myself her chemo buddy and plan to suprise her with a little gift everytime she has a treatment. It is my way of letting her know I care and gives her something little to smile about. Thanks again.


  2. Jan Says:

    Was in the Dr’s office on Tuesday and overheard a nurse telling a cancer patient that they only had crocheted or knitted hats available to give out that they had not recieved any hats for summer . ( It was 86% out on Tuesday) Anyway having sewn for years for my family and others I decded this would be a great way to use up some of the material I have collected over the years along with lft over material from many projects.
    I pulled this pattern from your site on Fiday. Completed 8 last eve and recruited a neighbor to make some also. Going to drop them off at the drs office my next trip into town and continue to supply hats for patients in the future. Thank you for sharing this neat and simpl pattern.


    • Laura Says:

      This is fantastic, Jan! I”m so glad you were able to use the pattern and am certain your donations will bring a smile to several patients’ day. :)



  3. Wanda Says:

    I have been trying to download Milly’s Tie Hat pattern but continue to get a message that there is an error and it isn’t fixable. Could you tell me how we can get a copy of this pattern. I have a group of ladies that mainly knit and crochet but am starting a small group of sewers and would love to be able to give them this pattern to use. We make chemo hats for a number of our organizations in the area.

    Thank you for our help.


    • Laura Says:

      Hi Wanda, I sent you an e-mail separately, but thought I’d comment here as well for others. Occasionally folks have issues with their browser when they directly click on the link. Instead of clicking directly on the link, try right-clicking and hitting “save target as…” per site instructions. That should hopefully do the trick! Best of luck with your sewing group!


    • Ame Says:

      I printed this pattern out at a local library with no problem. Maybe you can try there.


  4. Ame Says:

    Laura: Is Millie is still with us, as 91 year old elders continue active lives. I have just completed Millie’s cap, and its simplicity is amazing. What is especially creative about this elegant pattern is that it can be worn in multiple ways: a cap as shown in the photo, and also bonnet style by tying the ends under the chin or allowing them to hang. Millie – Wherever you are thank you for sharing your creation.


  5. Diane Hanson Says:

    I have made a couple of these caps for my daughter that works in surgery and she loves Millie’s Tie Hat. There are a lot of children and adults that have surgery for cancer and when they see her wearing her caps they LOVE it!!! I have made some really cute ones too… THEY LOOK FANTASTIC!!! Thanks so much to the little lady that shared this pattern with us. I only have one question though that I need answering if someone can help. When laying out the pattern, the piece that goes on the fold….I can’t get the last part on without running out of material….in other words going off the edge of the material. Should I just unfold it and cut one large piece out, or use 60 inch fabric? I have pieced the material to the other part by sewing it on, but it doesn’t look so great like that. Usually, at our Walmart it’s mostly 45 inch material that is in the cutest material for these caps….Thanks so much for sharing!!


    • Laura Says:

      Hi Diane! Glad you have enjoyed the pattern. Yes with 45″ fabric you may run out of fabric at the tip. In that case I just taper off the ends a little earlier and make the tails slightly shorter. Alternatively… You can unfold your fabric and fold it the opposite direction (lengthwise) which requires more fabric initially but you can get multiple hats out of it. Hope this helps!


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