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Saturday, 1 September 2018

Sew a Sun Visor for Glasses

sunglasses visor crafted by eSheep Designs
Sheep mascot wearing cool shades...
One of my first sewing projects was a hat. When I posted about it, I revealed that I am not really a hat person, preferring to wear a visor.

Well, last year, on a particularly rough boat ride on Lake Okanagan, I think — I believe — my white visor got tossed out into the wild waters. I am not 100% sure that's what happened, but at some point during that holiday, I could no longer find it.

I do have another, but while browsing online for one earlier this year, I saw this project for a visor that attaches to your sunglasses (or glasses) and thought, how neat!

This is from the blog of Denise Clason Studios (link at end of post), dating back to 2013. She provides a pattern. I don't know where/when the origin of the visor itself goes back to, as it was (and still is) a mass produced item.

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After making this one more or less according to the instructions, I found myself wishing the brim could be longer.

sunglasses visor crafted by eSheep Designs
The elastic opening may need to be smaller if your frames are the metal/wire type... 

I knew, however, that there is a limit to how much it could be extended, due to weight, balance and field of vision issues.

Still, I wanted to experiment and make a version with a longer brim. So I did. Here it is with my carnival plush dog as the model.

Sunglasses Visor by eSheep Designs
My "larger brim" version of the sunglasses visor...

Apparently there are some folks out there who will not "stoop" to wearing a visor, for various reasons (none of which I will enumerate here). Having long been converted to the visor world, however, I find this to be very handy, particularly when the sun is low on the horizon.

Sunglasses Visor by eSheep Designs
Top fabric is from my Spoonflower Canadiana collection...

The brim on my version extends about 3/4" longer than the original. Anything more and it would likely impede my line of sight.

Sunglasses Visor by eSheep Designs
My customized pattern piece in comparison with original...

I modeled my template after a ball cap brim, so the shape is also slightly different.

Sunglasses Visor by eSheep Designs
The bottom fabric seemed like an appropriate choice for this project...

The elastic support loops need to be adjusted for the type of glasses that you wear. I've seen manufactured versions of this visor with two different elastic supports: a smaller one for skinny wire frames and a larger one for wider plastic frames. I tend to wear mostly Ray Ban Wayfarer style sunglasses so the setup that you see here with the wide elastic works for me.

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As you might imagine, this is not a difficult thing to make. The trickiest part was getting the ends of the binding to behave. I actually don't like how the binding is folded at the corners, but haven't been concerned enough to figure out a better way. (Maybe no binding at all.)

The two pieces of fabric were interfaced. Because of the quilting involved, I used a piece of fleece as my "batting".

Sunglasses Visor by eSheep Designs
Quilting and binding are part of this project...

There is one extra step in the whole process if you plan on using my template (which can be downloaded here). After the binding was attached, I had to sew the elastic supports down in order to lift the visor higher.

Sunglasses Visor by eSheep Designs
Run a line of stitching along the base of the elastic supports to keep them pointed downwards...

If you don't do this, the brim will drop down into your field of vision. That little "fix" aside, this customized version works for me. It provides a bit more coverage without adding too much heft. I've worn it while biking in the evenings and it takes the edge off the glare of the setting sun.

If you scout around, you'll likely find other DIYs for similar visors, but here is the link to Denise's original tutorial that I followed.

This is one of those rare unisex gift ideas (as long as the recipient is not adverse to visors), as well as a good project for using up scraps. It also travels well, since it's flat when not attached to a pair of glasses.


  1. I could do with one of those when driving into the sun late in the afternoon. Clever!!!

  2. Rochelle,
    I need to make one or two of these for my mom. She's become increasingly sensitive to light. I think it's something that occurs with aging, but it may also be part of her macular degeneration. Either way, one of these visors on her regular glasses might help when her sunglasses either aren't handy or aren't appropriate (inside, for instance).
    I'll keep in mind the glitchiness of the binding at the corners. I think if you stitched it right sides together and before you turn it, clip, grade and notch all layers carefully around the curve you might make it work with careful pressing and a top stitched finish. Seems like it "needs" the binding at the base but I'm not sure why. Maybe fold the binding forward and cover that flap with a button? Maybe a flower on one side? I'm just brainstorming.
    These days I'm full of lots of ideas and little action. Should I get busy and make one of these I'll be back let you know how it turned out.
    Thanks for the easy instructions.

    1. You're welcome, Jan. And I look forward to seeing your alternate take on this project if you get around to making it. (I know that the binding makes it easier to hide the elastic loops on the underside of the visor, but yes, there must be another way of achieving this without it.)

      Good point you make about using this as an indoor solution to light sensitivity. Who knew?

  3. The sunglasses version won't mess your hair, lol! I think it a clever idea. Instead of binding, you could sew right-sides-together and turn it, and then topstitch all around. Have you tried that? Or sew the top straighter edge right-sides-together and turn and bind only the bottom curve? Either way could help with the issue of the binding coming together at the sides if that bothers you? Oh I just read that other comment about sewing and turning it. Ha! Great minds think alike.

  4. Oh, you have no idea how this meets my needs. I recently lost the sight in one eye, and I normally wear sunglasses when my husband is driving me on our monthly trips to my specialist, 100 miles away. I like to read on my iPad during the trip, but I can't keep the sunglasses on or else I can't read the screen. I still need to keep the sun out of my eyes and try to keep my hair looking presentable, so you have addressed both my issues amazingly well! YOU brightened MY day...er...year! Thank you, and with hugs!


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