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Monday, March 8, 2010


Here are the instructions on making your own hat.  The hat was extremely easy to make, and took very little time and don't be fooled by the instructions.
Tools and Materials

-Measuring Tape
-Tailoring Chalk
-Iron & Ironing Board
-Sewing Machine
-Fabric Scissors
-5cm (2") long piece of 2.5cm (1") wide elastic
-Sturdy Woven or Felted Fabric (You need approx 0.4 meter)
-Matching Thread
-Small Piece of Buckram or Cardboard

Pattern Drafting/Fabric Cutting Instructions

1. Measure the Circumference of you head.  Cut 2 pieces of fabric 5cm by this measurement plus 3cm (1 1/4").  This is going to make the band that goes around your head (One piece will be used as a facing).  If you are using a thicker fabric to make the hat you can use a thinner fabric for the facing piece...I actually used a lightweight knit for this.
2. On your paper draw a circle with a 15.5cm (6 1/8") radius.  You can use a protractor to do this, or I use a measuring tape that has a hole in the one end (which I put my pencil through), and then use a pin to hold the tape down at the correct measurement and serve as you anchor. (Hard to explain)

Yes that is our messy computer desk you are seeing in this picture!
3.  Cut out you circle and fold it in half. and half again.  Mark a notch on each folded edge.
4. Place the circle on your fabric and Cut out one piece.  Use tailoring chalk to mark on the fabric  where the notches are.
5. Make the pattern for the hat brim by either tracing a brim to a hat, or copying the one I made.  I made mine by tracing a brim of a hat I already had.  Because the measurements are hard to explain I took a picture of the one I made and placed it on my measuring grid so you can see the approximate measurements.  The grid is in inches. 
Make one pattern piece with no seam allowance (Shown below) and one pattern piece with a 1cm (3/8") seam allowance (not shown)  Fold the piece in half so and mark a notch in the center (closest to where your forehead would be)
Place the pattern with the seam allowance onto the fabric and cut out 2.  Mark the center notch onto both pieces of fabric using tailoring chalk.
Place the pattern with no seam allowance onto the buckram or cardboard and cut out 1.  This piece will be what makes the brim stiff.  Don't use corrugated cardboard.

Sewing Instructions

1.  Take the band and facing pieces and fold each in half right sides together so the skinny edges are lined up.  Sew both using a 1cm (3/8") seam allowance.
2.  Divide each band into 4 quarters and mark with tailoring chalk. (The seam will serve as one marking)
3.  Take the Large Circle and Gather between notches (you can do their by either hand sewing a long running stitch and pulling it, or doing a large running stitch on the sewing machine and pulling one thread to gather).
4.  Pin the circle onto the fabric band matching notches (The seam on the band will act as a notch..and will be the center back of the hat).  Make sure the circle is gathered tight to the band.  Be sure to place many pins for this step.
5.  Sew gathered circle to band piece using a 1cm (3/8") seam allowance.
This is what the hat should look like at this stage.  If you wanted your hat to look like this (The band would be slightly narrower) you could skip to step 10.
6.  Now take the brim fabric pieces, put them right sides together and sew along the outer edge using a 1cm seam allowance.
Take your scissors and trim the seam allowance so it's a bit narrower and cut out small triangles around the curves.  Make sure you don't cut through the stich line during this step!!
7.  Turn the piece so it's right sides out and press everything flat with an iron.  Insert your stiff brim piece into the opening and pin into place.
8.  Sew some parrallel lines of stitching onto the brim starting at the outer edge making your way in.  You don't actually have to sew all these lines, but I highly reccomend stitching at least one row because it helps hold everything into place.
9.  Pin the brim onto the hat with right sides together, making sure to match the center notch on the brim to the center notch of the hat (this will be directly opposide of the back seam on the hat band)
Sew the brim to the hat using a 1cm (3/8") seam allowance.
10.  Now it's time to sew in the elastic.  On the inside of the hat measure 4 cm (1 5/8") on each side of the center back seam and mark with tailoring chalk.  Pin the elastic on each edge so the edges are lined up with the marks you just made.  Sew around the elastic while pulling it tight.  I sewed just slightly in from the edge of the elastic.
11.  Take your band facing piece and pin it with right sides together onto the band of the hat, making sure to match up markings, center back seams, and being sure to sandwhich the brim between the layers.
Sew using a 1cm (3/8") seam allowance.
12.  Press seam allowance up towards the top of the hat.  Fold the facing up into the hat making sure none of the facing is peeking out from the bottom.  Pin up into place and sew the facing to the hat using the stitching in the ditch method.  (From the right side of the fabric stitch in between the seam that joins the gathered top of the hat to the band)
All Done!!
I swear the hat is way easier to make than these instructions make it look!!!!!

When your hat is complete you can add all sorts of fun details, such as covered bottons, regular buttons or flowers on the band...tastefully of course!

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Kimberellie said...

Wow, that's a totally awesome hat! And a fantastic pic of you! I think I may show this to my husband to see if he'll make me one (he does that sort of thing). I love the colour too! Thanks for the how to!

Brianna said...

I cannot wait to do this! My head is so big, none of the hats at the shops ever fit, so this is perfect! You are magical!

Marie McGrath (The Joy of Fashion) said...

Wao!! It turned out so cute! congrats!

Jacinta said...

Hey I love this! I hope I get the chance to try this out one day. I also love that brown top you did with the cut on the shoulder. Cool DIY's. I'll let you know if I try any out. :)