Adjustable Scrub Cap – a pattern and tutorial

Get the pattern here on Etsy See the video here.


This pattern was designed to be simple for beginner sewists. There are many more complicated ways to sew up a scrub cap, but for this pattern, I kept it super simple. Have fun with it!

General Information:

The design I chose to pattern was inspired by America’s favorite medical tv drama, Grey’s Anatomy. It has a drawstring at the back of the cap and can be constructed with or without an overlock machine. To adjust the size of the pattern, please see instructions here.

The back of the scrub cap has an added drawstring casing that can be cinched around hair that has been pulled back.

Prepare the Fabric:

The fabric should be washed in hot water and dried on high to pre-shrink before sewing. I also like to iron the fabric flat with plenty of steam (and sometimes, a starch spray). For one scrub cap, you will need 1/3-3/8 yard (depending on size to be made).

Download the Pattern and Print:

If you are having difficulty finding your pattern, please see Etsy’s instructions here. If you can find the link, but are unable to download, check the security settings on your computer.

Print the pattern actual size for a head measurement of 22″ (without the drawstring tied). To adjust the size of the pattern, see these directions. Assemble the side pieces by taping them at the shaded area; the notches will mostly match up.

Prepare the tie:

If you are planning to make your own tie, follow these directions. Skip ahead if you will be using a commercially prepared tie.

Use a hot iron to fold the tie into quarters. Fold up the ends of the tie for a clean finish. Sew along the open edge of the tie to secure and set aside.

Fold the tie into quarters and press well. Fold up the ends of the tie for a clean finish. It will resemble bias tape.

Prepare the Cap Side:

Fold up 1″ of the bottom of the side piece and press, Sew into place using the seam allowance of your choice. I prefer to sew along the raw edge of the fabric.

Sew the Crown to the Side Piece:

Find the middle of the side piece and the crown; mark it with a pin. The reason to do this is because the notches may not always match up. The notches may not match because of the type of fabric being used or because of the weave of the fabric combined with the position of the pattern on the fabric while being cut.

Match up the center of the side piece with the center of the crown (pins should meet up) and pin the two pieces together. Continue pinning the crown and side pieces together. The notches may or may not match up well, depending on a number of factors. The notches should serve as a guide, not an exact measurement.

If there is extra crown, trim it off before proceeding.

Sew the crown and the side together. Use a seam allowance of 5/8″, or whatever you are comfortable using. A larger seam allowance will make a smaller cap; a smaller seam allowance will result in a larger cap. Use what you feel is best, as this pattern will work no matter what you choose.

Your seam allowance, your choice.

Prepare the Drawstring Casing:

Lay the drawstring facing over the back of the cap, right sides facing. Fold in the ends of the facing so they are even with the cap ends and press in place. Pin and sew.

Turn facing to the inside and press into place. Top stitch the facing to the back of the cap, leaving an opening for the drawstring.

Insert the Tie:

Use a safety pin or barrette to thread the tie through the casing.

Find the middle of the hat back and adjust the tie so that it meets the middle. Pin the tie in place at the back of the hat. Sew forward and back over that spot a few times to tack in place. This will keep the drawstring from coming out during washing.

That’s it! Super easy and simple to make. There are a lot more complicated ways to go about this pattern, and if you have the skills, then go for it. Use an overlock, line it, make it reversible. Good on you and your chops. This was designed to be easy for beginners, so I hope you enjoyed it.

Happy Sewing!

Suggested Add-Ons:

I suggest sewing a button above the ear area of the scrub cap for mask elastics; they can be killer on the ears after an extended period of time. For a free mask pattern and tutorial click here.

Published by lessismorelifestyle

Do you like saving money and learning new skills? Less is More Lifestyle focuses on crafting projects and recipes that save money!

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