June 12, 2008

A Mad Hatter

I must apologize to those waiting on the Sophy Hat. I decided the hat needed a bit more work and wash testing. My hat pattern is designed for easy assembly. That means no pins, no clipping, no trimming, no "grading" the seam allowances, and no hand stitching. For the most part the pattern works well and I have the assembly pretty well nailed. I am not sure who is interested, but the hat assembly brings up a lot of issues with fabric handling and pinning. Nearly all of the pattern edges are on the bias, so one would assume that pinning is necessary. But if the pattern pieces fit perfectly on paper, than pinning should not be necessary. The key is letting your sewing machine do some of the work. Perhaps when I put together another hat, I can do a tutorial.

There is no clipping or trimming of the seam allowance because they are all 1/4". Home sewing patterns will require tedious trimming because they insist on 5/8" seam allowances on all edges. Save yourself the stress and make the seam allowances 1/4".

Anyway, the picture below shows three samples, each a little different. I decided the hat needed a little stiffening, so I started to experiment with interfacings. The Sophy Hat (left) has interfacing on the top layer, the red Aloha print has interfacing on the outer and inner layers, and the blue/green hat has no interfacing.

I am leaning toward the Sophy Hat with one layer of interfacing. Interfacing on both layers is just too stiff. But one other problem kept nagging me. I used the same pattern pieces to cut the outer and inner layers of the hat. It is kind of hard to see in the pictures, but the inner layer is simply too big. You see, I know the rules. I know that the lining pieces should be cut just a little bit smaller, but I thought I could ignore the rules. Funny enough, Kathleen must have caught my brain waves because she wrote a blog entry on outer diameter vs. inner diameters. Go see her blog entry for a better illustration of the problem. The blue/green hat below has been fixed. The green layer is just a smidgen smaller than the outer blue layer. The adjustment is rather minor, I think an 1/8" smaller on certain edges.

I still need to make one more version. The blue/green hat needs a layer of interfacing on the outer layer combined with the smaller lining. Unfortunately, I ran out of interfacing and now I am trying to decide where and much to buy. Anyone wanna guess how many total pattern pieces a simple 3 piece hat takes? I'll let you know once I finish up all the wash testing....

Parting shot: Petunias are supposed to be an annual flower. I left these in the ground last fall and they came back bigger and more beautiful than the little nursery plants I planted this year. I am going to try this again and see what happens.


  1. Great info on the hats. The petunias are lovely.

  2. Anonymous4:28 PM

    Off subject: Petunias are definitely annuals in anywhere with cold winters, but those look more like pansies/violas than petunias, and there are annual and perennial pansies. They are often called "short-lived perennials" for that reason.

    Your blog is really helpful, thank you!