In Judaism, what is the difference between a kippah and a yarmulke?
Kippah is the Hebrew word and yarmulke is the Yiddish word for a skullcap. Kippah is the more universal term as most Jews do not speak Yiddish.
While it can be a lot of fun to relive Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and weddings when you break out the commemorative kippahs from days gone by, sometimes they don’t fit as well as you might like or you might want a more coordinated event. Or perhaps you are looking for a way to use some of your fabric scrap stash.
Whatever the reason – here is a template and directions to make your own kippah!
Using 6 panels instead of 4 gives a better fit that doesn’t stand up off of the head in a point.
This tutorial uses my Festival of Lights fabric created for Riley Blake Designs. Ask for it at your favorite quilt shop or online retailer.
The finished Kippah is 5 1/2″ across when turned upside down – it fits well on an adult head.
Print and cut the template provided.
6 pieces of fabric cut to the template for the outside.
6 pieces of fabric cut to the template for the lining.
Needle for hand-stitching the opening in the lining for turning the kippah closed.
OPTIONAL: Sleeve or Cuff Ironing Board to make pressing easier (note: this is an Amazon affiliate link, if you click and purchase I’ll earn a small commission – it helps support my blog and all the free info and projects)
This is a great project for scraps because although you need 6 pieces for each side of the kippah, the template is 3.75″ high x 3.5″ wide at its largest. You can cut 24 from one fat quarter!
STEP 1: CUT YOUR FABRIC PIECES
BE VERY PRECISE when cutting your fabric. Variations or inconsistent sizes will be very noticeable when the kippah is complete.
CUT 6 pieces of fabric using the template provided for the outside of your kippah.
If you are using a directional fabric, be sure to pay attention to the directionality – the top of the kippah is the thin part of the template so make sure any words or icons you want in the correct direction have the top towards the skinny section and the bottom towards the wide section.
For a toss print, like the Star of David examples, direction doesn’t matter so you can cut them in layers.
PIN OR TRACE the template onto the fabric and cut with sharp scissors.
CUT 6 pieces of fabric using the template provided for the lining of your kippah.
STEP 2: SEW THE EXTERIOR FABRIC PIECES
If you are using a directional print, lay your 6 pieces out and arrange them in the order you want them to appear on the Kippah. If using a toss print, this step doesn’t matter. (see figure 1)
Right sides together matching edges, SEW from the wider part of the fabric towards the center, using a 1/4″ seam. (see figure 2)
Use the dots on the template as a guide of where to start and stop sewing. You will basically stop in the center of the short side about 1/4″ from the edge of the fabric. (see figure 3)
OPTIONAL: You can press the seams open as you go but I find it just as easy to do at the end. It also saves time moving from my machine to my ironing board and leaves the iron on to heat up the room a little bit less!
Continue to SEW additional pieces until all 6 are together. As you add pieces, flatten the seams at the point (unless you press your seams as you go) – stopping your stitching and knotting the thread as you reach the last seam stitching. (see figure 4)
SEW all 6 pieces together and then sew the last and first pieces together to complete the circle. (see figure 5)
STEP 3: SEW THE LINING FABRIC PIECES
SEW the 6 pieces together the same way you did for the outside fabric BUT not the last seam.
When sewing the last seam to complete the circle, leave a few inches in the center open so you can turn the fabrics right side out after sewing together. (see figure 6)
STEP 4: PRESS THE SEAMS
PRESS the seams open. (see figure 7)
If you don’t have one already I highly recommend you get a mini ironing board that is designed for sleeves or cuffs – sometimes called a “Tailor’s Ham”. It makes ironing these small curves much easier and I also use it a lot for small bags.
After you press the seams be sure to put the iron on the center to flatten where all of the pieces of fabric meet to decrease the bulk. (see figure 8)
STEP 5: FINISHING THE KIPPAH
Right sides together, CLIP or PIN the exterior and lining, matching seams. (see figure 9)
SEW together with a 1/4″ seam, going all the way around the circle. (see figure 10)
TURN the kippah right side out through the gap you left in the lining. (see figure 11)
Use a point turner or finger-press to get the edges out and in a nice curve. Press.
TOPSTITCH about 1/8″ from the edge. (see figure 12)
Use thread that either matches or complements your exterior fabric. For example I used silver for the kippah made from fabric with silver sparkle.
HAND SEW the opening in the lining closed. (see figure 13)
LOVE THIS PATTERN AND WANT MORE?
This Kippah pattern is part of “Sewing for your Hanukkah Home” by Tara Reed. 12 illustrated patterns are included in the 84 page ebook with step-by-step instructions and lots of photos to help even the newest of sewist.