Steely Seamstress

Sewing for life


IPM 2018: Lekala #7090 “Baker Boy” Hat

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!

Lekala 7090 hat

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!

Hat Models

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.


Lekala Hat Technical Drawing

Although, the fabric came from my scraps bag I did visit my local haberdashery shop and purchase some self-covering metal buttons.

Self-cover 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.

Self-cover button instructions

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!

Half-way stage (Lekala Hat)

Half-way stage (Lekala Hat)

Inside of the hat before lining added

Inside of the hat before lining added

Inside of Lekala hat lined

Inside of Lekala 7090 hat lined

I went out to the park for some photos. It’s really windy today, but that hat sat on my head fine!

Lekala Hat 7090

Close-up of hat

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!


I’m an Indie Fan Girl

I’ve entered a second challenge this month on the monthly stitch, their final Indie Pattern Month challenge – Indie Fan Girl. I chose another pattern from Be My Goth, as per the rules of the competition. The pattern I chose is the Madelaine Skirt. This is quite a simple circle skirt. Hey, I needed something simple after that blouse!

The pattern is free as well, so check it out!

Whilst looking for the fabric for the blouse, I browsed a few online fabric sites and came across this striking paisley mono-print in cotton on the Croft Mill website.

The skirt itself was a very easy make. There is a comprehensive tutorial on the website, but I didn’t really follow it. I used my own method for inserting the invisible zip, and finished the hem by hand, rather than machine stitch. I think hand-sewn hems just make a garment look better. I can’t remember where I heard this, but women used to re-hem their shop-bought skirts and dresses to get that blind-stitch hem look. Can’t imagine anyone doing that now!

Madelaine Skirt

I love the way the skirt looks. The fabric has just enough “stiffness” in it to give shape to the skirt. The only thing that annoys me is my expanding and contracting midriff. This morning the skirt was too loose and this evening it is just right after dinner. Of course, I’m not tucking a t-shirt or shirt inside it as it is too hot today, so I think that I have got the waistband size right to account for winter and summer use. For the last skirt I made, at the beginning of the year, I added belt loops and made a belt. It just makes sure that the skirt stays on the waistline properly in the mornings. Perhaps I’ll do similar for this skirt. Does anyone else have this problem? Or am I just odd?


Madelaine Skirt

I’m trying at the moment to photograph my creations better. As I get home from work late, even at this time of year it is hard to get the light right. Rather than buying a better camera, I’m wearing more of my creations to work (especially since Me-Made-May) so that I can take photos in the park at lunchtime. It gets some odd looks as I walk backwards and forwards to set up the camera.

I’m really happy with the photo below. Quite an accidental pose, which looks very natural. It was taken on the timer while the camera was sat on a litter bin – you can see it at the bottom of the photo!

Madelaine Skirt



Monthly Stitch – Two flavours of Sorbetto

Sewing Double

This month I joined The Monthly Stitch Collective. The theme this month was “Sewing Double”. Quite a broad theme, the idea to sew something that you’d already sewed before. Must admit this was more difficult than I thought, since I have only sewed a limited number of garments. On top of that I was on holiday for a week in April and I wouldn’t get the time to sew two of the same garment in a month. I decided to create a second version of the Sorbetto top by Collette Patterns. I’d sewed a standard version of this top last month. It’s a straightforward pattern, but I thought I’d add a couple of variations to it and create it in a completely different fabric.

My inspiration came from a RTW top I saw in a shop window. It has a high-low hemline and is made from a sheer fabric (no doubt polyester).

Sorbetto inspiration

I bought a metre of cotton-silk blend fabric from Calico for the project. I inverted the pleat and added the new hemline. The hem at the front of the top was roughly the same length as the standard Sorbetto, but at the back about 20 cm longer.

I did make a couple of extra changes to the steps, using French seams for the side and shoulder seams. I thought this would be a good precaution with this delicate fabric that frayed easily. I also increased the size of the pleat slightly to pattern match at the front of the garment.

I must admit I did struggle with the fabric somewhat. It was virtually impossible to get the creases in the self-made bias binding to stay put, they fell out somewhere between the ironing board and attaching the bias to the inside of the garment. Plus, the fabric had a nasty habit of puckering. I thought that the garment just wasn’t as crisp as my original, but then no-one is taking a magnifying glass to it! I did notice whilst window shopping a silk top with bias neckline and noticed that it wasn’t pucker free either – made me feel better about my creation anyway!

It was one of my greatest aims when starting out sewing my wardrobe to be able to use a photo, drawing or item in a shop window as inspiration for a project. So, all in all, I did feel that I had achieved something with this project.

Sorbetto Variation

I’ve had a few requests for more photos. I was a little rushed last night to post both my Monthly Stitch post and the one on this blog. So here we are:

Hi-Lo Sorbetto

And side on to see the full effect of the hem:

Hi-Lo Sorbetto