I was so uncertain about whether I was going to enter anything for the Independent Pattern Month challenges over at the Monthly Stitch this year. I was worried about the tight deadlines, which hit hard when you have to order fabric online (Bricks and Mortar shops are a bit lacking around here at the moment and ordering can take a while). But then the new challenge ideas came up, and Anything But Clothes really sparked my interest!
I decided to use some scraps from previous makes for this challenge, so no visit to distant shops or ordering online was necessary. I used some grey corduroy, which had previously been used to make this Grainline Moss skirt. I also used some light-blue cotton lawn with stars on for the lining, which had previously done service for pocket making on these Papercut Wolf-like jeans.
My reason for choosing to make a hat, is that somewhere between the sun caps I wear in summer and my woolly winter hat, there is a gap. The mornings are cold and I really fancy wearing something on my head, but I haven’t got a good hat for the Autumn. I specifically chose a Lekala pattern too, for one important reason; I have a very small head. Apparently, the average head is 56 / 57 cm, whereas I’m about 51 / 52. Essentially that means that no ladies’ RTW hat has ever fit me and even finding a motorcycle crash helmet has proved tricky. (My current one is actually a child’s crash helmet). Anyway, Lekala do custom-sizing and you can enter your head size when you buy the pattern. I have made a Lekala shirt before and this particular aspect really appealed. (Check out my previous post for some notes on how the sizing works)
I think this hat is called a “Baker Boy Hat”, but I haven’t really seen many bakers wearing these! Mostly the hat reminds me of Sybil Fawlty’s golfing hat or the worker’s hat favoured by Jeremy Corbyn. Without the peak it’s even a bit Samuel L. Jackson. Not sure I was aiming for any of these looks!
The instructions with the pattern were not particularly clear. I would put them on par with the instructions suffered by those of us who are familiar with Burda magazines. The drawing of the hat, with all it’s top-stitching lines was probably more help than anything else as a guide for the hat’s construction. I would say that I had fooled myself into believing that the small size of the hat, meant small effort was required, but this was definitely not the case. These was a huge amount of top-stitching required on multiple layers of fabric, which were hard to manipulate and feed through the machine because of the hat’s shape.
Although, the fabric came from my scraps bag I did visit my local haberdashery shop and purchase some self-covering metal buttons.
The self-covering metal buttons were a dream to use. I was anxious that the corduroy was going to be too thick to cover these buttons, but following the instructions on the packet, I moistened the fabric and then pulled the fabric over the button. There are lots of little gripping teeth on the underside of the button and these held the fabric in place well, while I snapped the back into place.
The only other thing I needed was something to make the peak rigid. I struggled with finding anything suitable, but after raiding my stationery drawer found what I think was a thick overhead acetate sheet. I did look in the recycling first and couldn’t find any suitable plastic there (I think the plastic used in cold meats packages would have been equally good). This make is really turning into a tale of using up old odds and ends!
I went out to the park for some photos. It’s really windy today, but that hat sat on my head fine!
All in all, I’m proud that this make came out my scraps bag. My only spend was on some thread and the self-covering metal buttons. Although I mentioned above that I do indeed wear caps in the summer and a woolly hat in the winter, I’ve never considered myself a “hat person”. A long history of buying hats that were too large or being stuck with children’s hats has made me a little wary of headgear. But the joy of sewing is that you can of course, made things that fit!