A kipa or kippah is a platter-shaped cap worn by Orthodox Jewish boys and men in order to comply with the customary obligation to always cover their heads. Although it has become rare to observe males of Jewish faith wearing the headpiece constantly, the practice is still being honored during religious events such as attending a funeral or a wedding. Traditionally, the fabric and color of this headgear is based on an adherence to particular religious movements. Nowadays, the designs and colors can vary depending on the preference of the wearer. If you want to sew a kippah for your own use or to serve as gifts to your loved ones or friends, follow the steps in this article.
- Look for a design inspiration for your headpiece. The color of the fabric that you will use as well as the materials you will use to decorate your kippah will be based on the design that you will choose. Simply type “kippah” into your search engine and look at the hundreds of pictures that are uploaded in the Internet. Make a sketch of the look that you want for the piece that you will make. While you are accessing the Internet, go ahead and download a pattern for making the headpiece. This will make preparing the cloth so much easier.
- Purchase and prepare the necessary materials. Now that you have a design in mind, it’s time to talk about fabric. A kippah is customarily made from black fabric. There is no need to limit your choice because of this. You can choose any color scheme and any fabric that is available. If you want to use silk, velvet, or even denim, go ahead. Just make sure that your sewing machine is capable of handling the cloth that you will choose. While at the fabric store, why not check out beads, ribbons, or leather strips that you can incorporate into your design. You can also use iron-on transfers to decorate your headpiece. If you plan to hand sew your kippah, don’t forget to buy your other sewing essentials such as needles and threads. Print out the pattern which you have downloaded and trace this onto your fabric using a pencil. Remember to draw on the back of the fabric so that the lines will not show after sewing. If you are planning to give the kippah as a gift, take measurements of the person’s head and adjust the size of the patterns accordingly. Cut out the fabric triangles.
- Assemble and sew the cloth parts. Get two of the triangles and put one on top of the other, making sure that the right sides are together. Using your sewing machine, or needle and thread, sew one edge of the triangle together allowing for about a quarter of an inch wide seam. Do the same for the other pair of fabric triangles. Now get the two fabric pieces that you have made and place them together, again, with the right sides facing each other. Starting from the center going towards the edge, stitch the pieces together with the same sized seam. Make sure to stop sewing an inch away from the edges. Invert the fabric and add ¼ inch darts to completely sew each end together. Stitch a quarter inch sized hem along the fabric’s edges. You can use a different colored fabric to make a binding for the edges or you can also use leather or ribbon strips.
Now that you have learned the basics of sewing a kippah, you can proceed to planning the decorations which you will use to personalize the headpiece. Normally, designs are only added at the bottom edges but you can choose to decorate the entire cap. As mentioned, you may use beads, fabric strips, and iron-on transfers. You can even brush on your design using fabric paint.