Hey Sewists, I’m back at the machine!

After breaking my wrist almost two months ago I’m just under a week away from working as a hairdresser again. I’ve got a way to go still to strengthen my wrist and hand, and my range of movement is very limited but, the more I can use it (without, of course, overdoing it) the stronger and more flexible it will become. Phew!

Over on Instagram I’ve been limping along with this years #sewphotohop. September hasn’t been my month for sewing. But I posted a holiday picture and asked for suggestions for a men’s hat pattern. I have to say a big thank you to Jane (of CraftyJane) for recommending the Elbe Textiles Bucket Hat Pattern! To really add the icing on the cake IT’S A FREE DOWNLOAD! Simple to ‘purchase’ it prints on 3 separate sheets of A4 (or Letter) and comes in 4 different sizes. And as luck would have it, it looks almost exactly like the one I’m wearing in the holiday pic.

(Photo from Elbetextiles.com)

The pattern pieces are printed to be placed on folded fabric, but to get the most out of your fabric you may want to trace the pieces fully and cut them out of a single layer of fabric. This is how it is shown on the layout diagram. I was using up scraps so the folded pieces were fine. I even had to put another seam in the centre back of the brim, but I managed to cut it all out of some pretty skimpy leftovers!

The wax print cotton is from Shepherds Bush Market (there’s a great stall there with loads of wax print choices) – these are the off cuts from a pair of pyjamas I made for MrA. The denim is left over from the rainbow sewing machine shorts I made for Pride earlier this year.

So, I followed the instructions diligently. No deviations, no winging it!

It comes together reasonably quickly, but I would urge you not to rush it. Don’t skip any of the guide stitches or notching as it all really helps to maintain the accuracy and get all the curves in smoothly.

I decided this was definitely a project for my rainbow thread: I really like how it’s turned out on the brim…

The bit I didn’t expect came right at the end when the seams are pressed under on the main body of the hat and it’s topstitched on all the way around.

I thought this might be a bit awkward but everything fit together really well and it turned out very neatly after all. It’s a great looking hat and it would be an understatement to say that I’m happy to have started making again.

I made the medium size and the fit around my head is perfect. However, it should be noted that I am notorious for looking terrible in hats. Very rarely do I find one that suits me well. Conversely, MrA looks great in every hat he puts on his head and I think this will end up being his! He likes it inside-out because it matches his pyjamas! … I’m wondering how much wear he’ll get out of this specific combo…!

For me, I think I should shorten the height a bit and make the brim a bit smaller. So I took 1.5cm off both and made another. (Not only rainbow thread, I’ve also got rainbow sellotape!)

This denim is thicker. It’s earmarked for a pair of winter jeans… when I get to make them, I’ll know where to look if I run out of fabric for the waistband! The lining is a piece of fabric that a hair client of mine gave me, I think she said it’s from Tonga… I think it’s beautiful and wish I had more. I drafted a band to go on it which I folded and topstitched to the main pieces first. It’s 2.5cm wide with 1cm seams.

Everything else was exactly the same as before, except I got my clips out at last. I love this photo!

For a finishing touch I decided to add some eyelets to the sides to add a bit of ‘breathability’ – it’s a feature I like in ready to wear hats of this style. Just punch the hole, line up the eyelets and whack it with a hammer (I’m only slightly over-simplifying it!) and there you have it!

Needless to say, I’m really happy to be sewing again. The wrist ached a bit after (… Jeez, am I STILL going on about my wrist…!! I promise, after today, no more!) but it felt like a good workout. I won’t be attempting any big coats for a while, but I’m BACK!

We had a lovely day out with some friends and the hat was the centre of attention! Proving that this pattern is suitable for all…

Until next time,

Happy Sewing!

Notes to self:

  • This is another great scrapbusting pattern.
  • Use an interfacing if using a lightweight outer fabric.
  • I’ve got a bit of leftover fun fur I could line a winter one with…