How to Sew a Kippah


Jewish tradition requires men and boys to cover their heads as a sign of respect for God. A simple dome-shaped disc, called a kippah, is a common method for covering the head. In Hebrew, one dome-shaped head covering is a kippah, two or more are kippot. Lots of different materials are used to sew kippot. Different Jewish communities have their own traditions for kippot, from basic black velvet for modern American Jews of Ashkenazi descent to intricate, ornate and colorful Yemeni designs.

Measure the heads of those who will wear the kippot, and alter the below measurements accordingly.

Start with four triangular pieces of fabric or leather. They can be the same color or complementary colors. You can also use patterned fabric.

The sides of the triangles should be about 5 inches long. This allows for 1/4-inch seams. If you have chosen flimsy material, iron fusible interfacing on the backs of the triangles.

Place the right sides of two triangles together, and sew or stitch 1/4-inch seams on one side only. Repeat with the other two triangles. You now have two separate pieces of fabric or leather.

Place the right sides of the two pieces of fabric together. Sew a 1/4-inch seam on both open sides. To create a dome shape, start the seam in the middle of the kippah and sew until you are an inch from the edge. Turn the fabric (if using a machine) and create a dart by adding no more than another 1/4 inch to the seam for the final inch.

If using fabric, then while the kippah is still wrong side out, stitch a 1/4-inch hem along the edge of the kippah. Turn right side out. If using leather, your may not need to hem. Turn right side out.

Decorate and personalize kippot. Create a simple, repeating pattern with fabric paint along the bottom edge of a fabric kippah. Sew or stitch decorative edging on leather or fabric kippot.