If you need to, click the image on the right for a closer look.
Now -- start joining the pieces. Match two pieces (matching the same side) and sew them together with about a 1/4" seam allowance. Keep doing this until you have four sets of two joined pieces.
Now, join the sets so that you have two sets of four joined pieces -- or a "right half" and a "left half". You don't actually have to do this -- you can keep joining single pieces together one at a time -- but I found it a lot easier and less confusing to do it this way.
Note how the tops of your teardrop pieces will stick out in a little tuft. This doesn't affect anything since they'll be on the inside.
Now that we have two halves our beret -- let's join them together. Be careful to keep your seams on the same side! When you sew the top tufts together, it'll get a little squirrely -- not a problem, this doesn't have to be perfect at this point.
When you're done, you have a beret that will fit VERY loosely. We need a band around the bottom to make it fit and lay properly.
To make the band, measure the circumference of your head, then cut a piece of fleece of the same width, but between 3 1/2 and 4 inches tall. The fleece will stretch -- and we want the fit to be a tiny bit snug (so the beret won't fall off), so we're not adding any cushion to the band. However, after you make the band and try it on, you might decide to cut another one and make it looser (or tighter) as you prefer.
Once you've cut the band, fold it in half width-wise (keep the good side on the outside) and sew along the length to close the band.
Note that we now have a seam on the good side!?!?! This is okay -- because we're going to hide it in the next step.
If your seam allowance is a little ragged, you can trim it off now. I used a rotary cutter -- made it really easy!
Now, join the two ends of the band together. You can get fancy here -- like a felled seam -- but you don't have to. You can simply straight seam the ends together -- we'll put the seamed part on the inside when we join the band to the cap.
Check the band for fit -- if it's too loose, you can sew another seam. If too tight, then cut another strip a little longer and try again. Normally, circumference of your head will give you a good fit.
This is exactly how we want it! Since fleece will stretch, we'll stretch the band to fit the bottom of the cap. This will also "pull" in the sides of the wider bottom and give us that "mushroom" look of a beret.
Start by turning the cap inside out -- all seams to the outside. Now, set the band inside the cap and match it up with the bottom of the cap. Have the seamed part of the band matched up with the bottom of the cap. When we later turn the cap right-side out, the seams of both the band and the cap will be on the inside.
I started by pinning at two positions -- 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock.
This positions the band and puts half of the band on one side of the cap and half on the other side. Now, pin the middles of the band to the cap at the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock positions.
If you want, you can add more pins -- but four should position the band properly if you're careful.
Now -- stretch each individual segment (between the pins) of the band so that it's the same length as the cap bottom -- and sew the band to the cap. If you find this hard to do, you can add another few pins.
And ... you're done! Turn the cap right-side out -- note the neat "mushroom" beret shape!
I left my beret just as it was -- but you might want to consider adding some sort of pom-pom to the very top where all the teardrop segments meet. You could even cut thing strips of matching fleece to make the pom-pom. That's kind of girly, but it might work just right in the right situation.
And -- here's my model again. I think she's practicing how to flop the beret in just the right way for her fashion statement!