Introducing the FREE Workhorse Patterns x Sewcialists Beanie Pattern!

We’ve got a big surprise for you!!! (Frankly, it was a big surprise for me too, and I’m still overwhelmed with joy.) Our own dear Chief Editor Becky-Jo has created a FREE beanie hat pattern, and dedicated it to Sewcialists!!!!

Drawing of the Workhorse x Sewcialists beanie, with and without pompom on top, with the Sewcialists logo on the brim.

The Workhorse x Sewcialists Beanie is a quick and easy knit hat that is great for scrapbusting, gifting, or keeping yourself cosy. I started to make one, and an hour later I had nine — it’s that kind of “bet you can’t make just one” project! It’s available for free download on Becky-Jo’s Workhorse Patterns website, and comes with a PDF pattern and clear instructions. This pattern is her gift to you, the Sewcialists community, for November’s #GiveSewMuch theme!

Screenshot of the pattern listing on the Workhorse Patterns website

Isn’t Becky’s daughter adorable? The pattern is great for gift giving because with a stretchy fabric it will fit a wide range of sizes, from kids to adult. The Editorial team thought we’d surprise Becky with a few versions — would you like to see?

First up, here’s Amanda, who says she “doesn’t do hats” but clearly she is rocking this one!

Amanda wearing her hat in an olive/khaki colour, with a big grin on her face!

Next is Gabby, who used an old sweater as her fabric! Both Gabby and Amanda have several little kids at home and managed to whip up a hat on short notice, so you know it’s a quick sew.

Two pictures of Gabby wearing her black upcycled hat. On the left is a close-up selfie; on the right, we get a sense of her busy life as she takes a mirror selfie with a toddler in her arms!

And finally, me!

Gillian poses in two versions of the hat -- one a charcoal grey, and the other off-white.

Like I said, once I started sewing I couldn’t stop. My plan is to donate a bunch of these hats made in natural fibres to my local Cancer treatment center. I made similar hats for my aunt when she was going through chemotherapy, and it felt so good to be able to help her in some way. My understanding is that natural fibres are important, and that many people prefer this slightly baggy fit to give more volume to the head like hair does. Having it loose at the back also prevents the seams from touching the scalp and irritating the sensitive skin.

Gillian shows off two more hats, including one with red roses against black, and one cobalt blue.

Becky recommends a fabric with 25% stretch, so I used a bunch of sweater knit leftovers, french terry, and jersey. I also have a very large head, so you can see the pattern as drafted is a bit snug on me in a less-stretchy fabric… but never fear! Because it is such a simple latter, you can print the pattern at a larger scale to get a larger hat, or just add some larger seam allowances, which is what I did for some of my hats.

I never thought I’d see the Sewcialists logo on a pattern, and I teared up a bit as I taped the pattern together. We optimistically hope that this will be the first of more Sewcialists patterns, and that other pattern designers will chose to partner with us to share free patterns that benefit the wider community.

Now, let me gush a bit more about Becky Jo!

Becky is one of the leading forces behind Sewcialists, runs Workhorse Patterns and organises Portland Frocktails. (She also shared her technical knowledge in Seamwork’s recent “Bodice Adjustments for Bilateral Mastectomy” article, and would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it.) Becky is a personal inspiration to me for her strength, resilience, creativity and wicked sense of humour.

True to Becky’s belief in making real-life sewing friends whenever possible, the fabrics used in development of the pattern were scraps donated by Sew House 7 Patterns. Thank you Peggy!

A collage showing Becky and her daughter in various versions of the beanie

Becky says it best at the beginning of the pattern, “In the nature of the Sewcialists, this pattern is free to use with zero restrictions on giving, generosity, upcycling, recycling, donating, loving freely, loving the one you’re with, loving yourself, and loving your neighbor. This pattern is, in effect, a big love-fest. Enjoy.”

We love you, and we hope you feel the love as you sew up the Workhorse x Sewcialists Beanie! If you sew one up, please tag us @Sewcialists and @Workhorsepatterns so we can see!


Dear Reader: Our goal is to build community and make everyone feel welcome. We support crafting as an inclusive and welcoming space for people of all ages, abilities, ethnicities, genders, orientations and sizes. Regarding sewing challenge themes, we ask that you take each challenge as you see it fitting in your life, and express your involvement how you like, at the given time. Our challenges are for the pure enjoyment of participation and the love of community. Extended Mission Page Here.