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sarahkayla | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Dear Shelly et-al –

I was intregued by the description of the grandpa tailor making a kippah using an iron as a pattern. So i made one yesterday… It makes a great 5 sliced kippah that fits great… who would have thunk!!! Thanks for sharing a wonderful memory.

and what did I make the kippah out of?? Taupe brocade upholstery fabric lined with a small blue foulard print that ysed to be my very fancy kenzo bedsheets.




sarah in nyc



  1. Jean | | #1

    How about posting a picture?

    1. sarahkayla | | #2

      OK, here is my attempt to post photos of the kippah...

      1. Jean | | #3

        Good Job!! And what a handsome boy!! Thanks for posting.

      2. Michelle | | #5

        I love them both!  (ie the kippah and the guy that's wearing it!)



      3. carolfresia | | #12

        Splendid! Your son looks great in that kippah. How did you determine the radius length? Did you base in on an existing kippah? If you were making kippot for, say, a son, his father, and his grandfather, do you make different sizes? The men in my family don't wear these often, but we have a wedding to attend this summer, and I'm thinking the guys might enjoy having matching or coordinating headgear--otherwise I guess they'll collect yet another of those white satin ones they hand out.


        1. sarahkayla | | #13

          Splendid! Your son looks great in that kippah.


          !!!How did you determine the radius length? Did you base in on an existing kippah?

          I kind of guesstimated - I have a general idea of what size a kippah should be (after looking at them for the past 40+years!) 

          If you were making kippot for, say, a son, his father, and his grandfather, do you make different sizes?

          this kippah fit me well I have a med/large head. It fit my husband perfectly.. now I'm not sure if it would fit my father who has a real pumpkin head.. but If I needed it to fit my father i would test fit it on the little boy across the hall with a HUGE  head.

          The men in my family don't wear these often, but we have a wedding to attend this summer, and I'm thinking the guys might enjoy having matching or coordinating headgear--otherwise I guess they'll collect yet another of those white satin ones they hand out

          the time spent on a kippah is maybe 20 minutes. the white satin kippot are just ucky. But try to think sophisticated rather than cute.. I know a woman who makes a skirt for herself,  shirts for her husband and sons as well as kippot for all 4 of them all in matching fabrics.. the cumulative effect is kind of horrific.. think bright juvinile prints --- ohhh  don't make me look.

          we attended a wedding where all the groomsmenwore similar yet different bright floral ties.. it looked great as the theme gradually dawned on you rather than hitting you over the head like a ton of bricks.

          sarah in nyc

          1. carolfresia | | #14

            I agree about "sophisticated not cute." I'm thinking of something that might be suitable for an interesting but not too flashy tie. Actually, my in-laws all live in Hawaii now, so even a funky Hawaiian print wouldn't be entirely out of place, though I can't quite see it with a suit and tie! The only advantage to those freebie white ones is that they often have the bride's and groom's names and the wedding date printed on, so you can always remember their anniversary. Yours also appear to provide more coverage, with less call for bobby pins and such. My son's hair is about 3/8 inch long, so clipping is not an option.


        2. joress | | #15

          At our wedding 9 years ago, my husband picked the kippot--dark blue (the wedding color), thick suede--also printed with our names. They were elegant and also hung on better--they were a little flatter than usual (and we ordered the larger sizes only), and the texture seemed to helped them "stick." My husband still prefers wearing one of those to the standard satin ones--he would wear a size XL in a dress hat. (I wonder how he'd like to have a custom-fitted brocade kippah....)

          1. JeanetteR | | #16

            What a handsome lad!  Please excuse my ignorance, is kippot the plural of kippah?  Being (lapsed) Church of England, these traditions are outside of my experience.  I enjoyed reading this discussion and the one a couple of months back which previously dealt with using irons for templates.  Hoping the correspondant in Israel is safe,  with all the negotiations and recent and ongoing troubles

          2. rjf | | #17

            "Please excuse my ignorance, is kippot the plural of kippah?"

            That's what I was going to ask! I don't remember seeing "kippot" in this discussion before so it took me by surprise.                          rjf

          3. joress | | #18

            Yup. Kippot is plural--the English phonetical equivalent for a Hebrew word.

          4. JeanetteR | | #19

            Thanks, it's nice to have a broader understanding!

          5. Michelle | | #20

            Thanks for your concern  - We are all (thank G-d) very well, and are being kept very busy with wedding preparations - our eldest son is getting married in a months time :)

            In our circles, kippot (or yalmukas as we call them) are standard attire at all times, (among men of course) and black velvet (or perhaps a very dark blue) is the order of the day :) This might sound very strange to many of you, however, I have no doubt, that if any of my boys were to show up to school in a different coloured kippah (other than black) he would be sent home!

            Warm regards from the Holy City (Jerusalem)


          6. JeanetteR | | #21

            Dear Shelly,

            Glad to hear that everything is ok in your corner of the world, I sincerely hope that it stays this way.

            Thank you for your info about the yarmulkahs, yes that was the term more familiar to me, very conservative colours in the schools, huh?

            What a coincidence!  My 2nd daughter (21 on 30/6) is getting married on 19/7, so we're both nervous mothers at the moment. My twins are only 3, so there'll be a long gap till the next wedding panic ensues.

            Best wishes from sunny Sydney!  Jeanette

          7. Michelle | | #22

            Hi Jeanette,

            Mazal-tov on your up and comming wedding - we should be busy with only good things!  Actually, this the first one I'm marrying off so everything is a little strange  (like becomming a 'mother-in-law' ..... I'm really not the type!)

            Warm regards from the other side of the globe!


          8. JeanetteR | | #23


            Thank you for your good wishes, and they are mirrored for your busy time ahead!

            More and more of the wedding arrangements seem to be falling back to me lately!  Not so much time for embroidery or leisurely anything!  I shall be really glad when it's all over.

            I hope all the differing factions in your part of the world can somehow continue to proceed with peace talks, the news sounds very bad this week. Jeanette

  2. joress | | #4

    What wonderful kippot you created! They would make terrific gifts. What model of iron did you use for the pattern, and how did you line it? I'm new at this sort of thing and would love the directions. Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. sarahkayla | | #6

      I used a very standard black & decker iron as the pattern.. i think any iron would work.

      1 - cut out 10 pieces - five for the outside and 5 for the lining. my son loves stuff that is reverseable.. so I make the weights of the fabrics on the inside and on the outside consistant.. so it is in fact reversaable

      2 - piece pairs of triangles

      3 - add the third triangl to one of the pairs and then attach a two to a trio - i have foudn it easier to start attaching from the middle and then working down to the hem

      4 - once you have completed an outside and a lining.. put the two together Rs together and stitch around the hem. I usually stitch the whole thing closed and then use my seam ripper to cut an opening

      5 - turn and then topstitch...ta-da! a kippah

      it would be nicer if you pressed before you attached the lining.. but that is a step i often skip

      1. joress | | #7

        Thanks so much--they look beautiful! A great gift for my nephew who wears them all the time. Maybe for my husband, too--something truly shaped for his head that will stay ON. I've enjoyed the kippah threads and the stories about relatives--a true connection around the world and through thousands of years.

      2. User avater
        ehBeth | | #8

        SarahK - the kippah is gorgeous, and the model is a stunner!

        Can anyone recall a book that had a story of the iron as pattern? I've been wracking my brain with this for months. I know that I read some 'classic' in my 20's that had this in the story.  I have this weird idea it's a Herman Wouk, but I can't get any further with it. Then again, it could have been an Edna Ferber. This is buggin' me!

        1. Michelle | | #11

          I'm not aware of any books written referring to the use of irons for patterns - there is a famous play written by Wolf Mankowitz called 'The Bespoke Overcoat' about an old Jewish tailor, which was made into an award winning (short) film starring David Kossof.

          The 'iron' method of drafting a kippah was one that I inherited from my late grandfather, (as many of you have read in a previous posting on the same subject) a highly skilled (but modest) tailor whom to this day I visualize sitting at his ancient treadle machine (believe it or not,) - I sincerely doubt that the name 'Bernina' would have ment anything to him!


      3. rjf | | #9

        Great looking kippah and kid.  It must be fun to make them because you can get any fancy fabric you like since you don't need much.     rjf

        1. sarahkayla | | #10

          the brocade was a scrap given to me by my across the hall neighbor. She is a costume designer and had gotten it from a department of sanitation program where manufacturers and designers donate stuff (for a tax cresit) t o arts programs in the city. Most of the brocade was used for a king's robes for a theatre camp.. I got about a foot of the brocade.

          I have made kippot out of vintage upholstery velvet( think of what would look great on a chrome couch), out of smaple cuts from the decorator who works down the hall from my husband and out of scraps too nice to throw away.

          sarah in nyc

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