Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Do you remember the Driving Cap pattern I made for Travis a few weeks ago?

I finished writing up the directions. I'm sorry I only have the pattern in one size right now.  I will post other sizes soon as I get some free time (this week is full of craziness at my house).  This pattern should fit a child 8-13 years old or a man with a smallish head  (I don't think it will fit on a big head). It should fit a 21-22 inch head just right (using  1/4 seam allowance).  My 4 year old daughter has an 18 inch head and it is loose on her.

To make a hat like this you will need
The pattern
A small amount of fabric for hat (thin fabric will need iron-on interfacing).
A small amount of fabric for the lining (you can use the same fabric you cut for the outside of the hat).
A small amount of very stiff interfacing (you can use plastic food trays, plastic file folders, or a in this case a cereal box will work).
Other than that you will need the pattern, scissors a sewing machine, needle and some thread.

This sample I've made from an old suit.  The lining was cut from the same suit. A cereal box was used for the brim interfacing.  It cost me $0 to make.

Print out the pattern and tape together lining up the registration marks.
I like to use masking tape or painting tape because you can reposition without tearing the paper.

When you snip along the corner registration marks and tape them together you should end up with a nice circle in the center like this.

Cut out pattern and you should have something that looks like this (my lining looks wrinkled because it isn't new fabric it's out of an old suit).

You can buy real interfacing for a hat.  It is often called buckram.  Joann fabric sells it here.  I have bought it at Walmart a few times  they don't always have it but when they do it's cheap (but I don't think they call it buckram).  It looks like regular interfacing but it is rougher, very thick, and stiff (just like a ball cap).  I don't know if you can see how thick it is from this photo.  Seeing it so bent makes me regret the way I've stored it but it still works fine.

If this is your first try at making a cap or if you're making it for a costume you can skip the trip to the fabric store and use plastic from a food tray (like the large plastic fruit/cookies trays and lids), plastic file folders, or even a cereal box.  You can double or triple the layers to make it as stiff as you like.  I have some cardboard brims that held up for years and I've had some made from buckram only last a few weeks (depends on how destructive the child you give it to is).  To keep this a free project I'm using my empty box of Post cereal for the brim.

I think this hat will hold up for a very long time (a few years).  Travis puts normal wear on his hats.  If this was for Demi, my middle child, I don't think a cereal box brim would hold up very long (she breaks 3 necklaces a week).

Here is my stiff interfacing layer.

Now we're all cut and ready to put this cap together.   First I like to put a pin, in the center front, on the cap top piece.

 And a pin at the center on the side piece.

 Lay right sides together lining up the pin in the center and pin both layers together at that spot.

This part isn't really tricky but it's hard for me to explain.  Look at the two purple pins below.

 Match both of them up.
 pin together like so.
 Take your time and pin all around.  Do this for both the hat fabric and the lining.
 To me it looks like a giant baby shoe.
 Pin the flaps together (the large V shape on the Top cap piece).  Do this for the hat and lining layers.

 With right sides together pin the brim pieces together.
 Sew around you hat.  Be careful to keep fabric layers smooth around the curves.  Sew around your lining being careful to keep layers smooth around the curves. Sew around the outside brim.  Snip all around your seams, use pinking shears, or cut right along seam without cutting into the seam. 
 For this hat I cut with pinking shears because I knew it would photograph better.
 Flip lining right side out and stick it into the hat keeping the hat wrong side up (right sides are now touching each other).
 Flip brim right side out and stuff in your interfacing.
 I like to stuff it in REAL TIGHT.  You will need all that extra room to sew.
I often put pins in to hold the interfacing down in place.
 Put brim in place between the cap and lining and pin around (I went pin crazy with this hat).
 Double check to see you've got all 4 layers of fabric around the brim pined in place. If one of the brim layers slips down you will have a big hole in your hat.
 Sew around the cap leaving a 3 inch opening in the back to turn the hat.  Then turn the hat right side out being careful not to wrinkle or fold your brim.
 Turn in your rough edges on the back opening and pin closed.  Top stitch all around or at least from brim on one side around to the brim on the other side (the area over the brim doesn't need to be top stitched because the cap and brim get sewn together over the brim).
 Sew the brim and top of cap together by hand with just a few stitches.

Then go wake your boy up to snap a picture so you can call this project finished. You might not want to do that but I felt to finish this tutorial up I had no choice (He's such a good sport bed head and all).

Then make one out of a beige fabric.

Make one out of leather (matching messenger bag tutorial I'll get posted in a few weeks when life slows down for me).

Make one out of a pair of jeans. This shows how this hat pattern will fit on a 4 year old.

Here is a cap made from cotton fabric with stripes.

Make sure you line up your stripes when cutting the pattern. Please ignore the very wet hair on my son (he was getting ready for school).

I hope you have as much fun making Driving caps or Golfing caps as I did.

My favorite. is the leather one with the cool looking worn/dark marks on the top (hat on the left in above photo).  My son loved the beige hat at first (he picked out that fabric) but after a few days he decided the denim cap was his favorite.  That is until tonight when I gave him the one made from a suit (that's now his new favorite).

Only the cap in the tutorial was made using a cereal box but I think they will all hold up about the same amount of time (this wasn't my first time using cereal box for brim interfacing).

When working with leather I use a walking foot, a leather needle, a stitch length of 3.5, and a bit of plumbers Teflon tape on my sewing machine.

disclaimer this pattern was drawn in the PatternMaster Pattern Editor and posted with permission from Wild Ginger Software, Inc.

If you have any questions feel free to write me.  I usually try to take my time to write tutorials but this week is such a mess I feel like I have to rush this and hope for the best.

I'm linking up at... Somewhat Simple Photobucket

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sock Hop

This week we're on our way to the Sock Hop.  I made it for this weeks Project Run and Play week 3 Sewing through the Decades challenge.  I designed this pattern using Child's Play software  I love using CP software when I don't have time to draft my own pattern (I think it's so worth $125.00 to make any type of pattern you want for kids clothing when you can't draft by hand).   I did have to draft the scallops by hand because the program doesn't have a large scallop hem choice.

In the photo above if you notice a small spot of the pink showing on the back left side hem and an odd scallop in front of it.  That spot is not an unfinished area or mistake on the dress.  Zehira's hand is pushing in the dress and underskirt making it look off  in that spot (my cousin told me it looks like a mistake).  I'll post a photo of the hem laying flat soon as it is washed.  Sorry, I was in such a rush I didn't notice that in my photos (I was more upset over the ugly shadow in the picture). 

Zehira LOVES her new dress.   She danced around the house all day today.
The sweetheart neckline on the polka dot print feels so 1950s to me.
I added a chiffon scarf around her neck.  The sleeves are simple cap sleeves with piping along the hem to give them shape.
 A circle skirt with a scalloped hem.
I cut up an adult turtleneck sweater to make a cardigan with lace trim, 3/4 length sleeves, and a button-lace loop closure.
 I added a green polka dot scarf to her long ponytail.
 I made a 1950s sweater pin from some charms, a chain, and some findings (all bought at Walmart). 

The sweater fits more snug when worn with jeans or with this dress minus the underskirt that's hid under the dress.  She can wear the sweater with anything (good news in my drafty house).

I am very happy with how it turned out.  I'm sad that I didn't finish making all the things I had started.  I wanted to finish saddle shoes and bowling bag purse to finish this look.  I also have to finish a poodle skirt, dress top, and leather coat for my other daughter.  AND a wool skirt, a stiff crinoline, and cardigan sweater that I also have started to go with this 1950s challenge.   Honestly it might take me a week or two to finish all the things I have started... I think I will put them all to the side for now.  I will stop sewing for a bit to get that drivers cap pattern posted (the ones I made last week).  I can go back to 1950s sewing later on (so much for my promise to not leave any WIP around).  I hope you all had as much fun sewing this week as I did!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Hello Kitty

I've been making a lot of crochet hats over the last few months.  I like to crochet but only one or two projects a year then I'm ready to put away my hook and get back to sewing.   I don't like making the hats that much because it takes a full day to make one and my hand hurts for the next day or two after I finish.  As I've been making all the hats for friends (and friends children) my kids kept asking when I was going to make them a sock monkey, hello kitty, or bear hat.  This weekend I couldn't put it off any longer I had to make Demi her hat.  Today was hat day at my kids school. Neither of my kids wanted to wear the large stack of hats they already own.   Travis had the 3 new hats I made him last week to pick from.  Demi wanted a Hello Kitty hat.  Last night I stayed up very late to finish this hat.

 She was a very happy girl this morning. 
I have a few more hats to finish for friends before I can put away my crochet hooks for the year.  The hats are so simple you don't need a pattern at all.  Just crochet around increasing until it is wide enough to fit a child's head. Keep going around until it's long enough.  Then add yard tassels to braid, a few buttons, simple ears, and a bow.