It's about exploring and sharing my creative adventures (mostly sewing these days) ~
~those activities that sometimes obsess, usually inspire, occasionally frustrate
~and always provide a delightful maze to wander through.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Short Hair, Cold Weather and HATS!

My long hair days are so over.  I tried to let it grow out...really, I did... but at about 3" I couldn't take it anymore, and chopped it off.

In the middle of winter.

A cold winter.

So what does one do after making such a drastic move?  One makes hats to wear, of course!

I went through my fleece stash (I'm desperately trying to sew down the stash just to make room to store everything, and if you have any fleece, you know how much space it takes) , and my hat pattern stash (that would be two patterns...I'm slacking there...), and spent my sewing time on New Year's Day making not one, but two warmers for my frosty ears & head.

In spite of the fact that I made two versions of the same hat, I'm afraid I can't give 2 thumbs up to the pattern, Simplicity 2494.

If you take a good look, you'll notice that nearly every single model looks like if they move wrong, the hat they're wearing will either fall over their eyes or blow off their head.  Pattern Reviews at PR said the sizing either runs too large, or too small, depending on which review you read.   I think it's just a poorly drafted pattern.

I used View E (the orange one in the corner), and cut a Medium - the 22" measurement they give is exactly the size of the head circumference I wanted the band to fit on.   However, because of the questionable sizing, I decided to cut & baste a mock-up hat before slicing up my precious Malden Mills tech fleece.   

Let's just get the pattern problems out of the way first:  
  1. It calls for 7/8 of a yard of 60" fabric for this little old hat.   Really?   I used a square of fabric about 2' x 2'.   A large scrap, in other words.  Sheesh.
  2. Once I basted up my mock-up, my conclusion (for this view, anyway) was that the hat portion was way.  too.  large.   And the band portion (which I noticed was the same length in all of the hats that called for band) was way. too. small.   They didn't match up.  Not even close!  The allowance given for "turn of the cloth" was just poorly calculated.
  3. Not really a major problem; more of a humorous eye-roller:  The pattern goes into great detail explaining how to sew up the seams and top stitch half of the hat.   Then it repeats these detailed instructions for the other half of the hat.   Then it completely skips the step where you sew the two halves together.  They just want to make sure you're on your toes, I guess.   
  4. The last issue is what I mentioned above - the hats as drafted just aren't going to stay in place on a head.   Which, I'm pretty sure, is what a hat is supposed to do.   Right?
Onward to the made hats.  Well...a side trip down the path where this sewist does her usual "jump right in without looking at the details" -  I do tend to visualize something in my mind's eye that doesn't always match up with the reality of what's in front of me.  In this case I saw these cute little pleats on the orange hat, and not until I had my pieces cut & started reading directions did I realize that those cute little pleats aren't pleats at all; they are actually exposed seams, showing the WRONG side of fabric.   This would completely change the look of my intended fabric, and made the mock-up hat un-doable because the inside of the fabric is not something one actually wants to look at.   Operator error, in this case.

Oh.  Another little moment of brilliance on my part.....I merrily started tracing the pattern, because that's what I do.   After I got my pieces traced and cut, it dawned on me that every. single. piece. in the pattern is drawn separately from every.  other.  piece.   In other words, one pattern piece for the S size, one for the M, one for the L.   Absolutely no need to do any tracing!  The good news is that there are only 2 pattern pieces for this hat, so my time and paper wasted was minimal.

::sigh::

Was this pattern not meant to be?   Hah!   Give me a challenge...I will carry on and make it work!  (homage to Tim Gunn, whom I adore)

Now we can move onward to the hats:
I hate close-ups.
Getting over that, but still......

I won't get lost in the crowd wearing this hat!

The pattern for this hat actually calls for a binding, not a band, but I wanted the grey fleece to show at the lower edge, so I added a band instead.  I rolled the band outward at the front of the hat, so that it's wider at the front than at the back.   This was both for a better fit, and I liked the look better.   Oh, and I cut the band about 1" longer than called for, and also took a smaller seam.  Then I eased the body of the hat into the band, because the body was still way larger than the band.

The mock-up hat.  Which will probably get more wear than the other one!   Neutral colors, you know....
I added a zipper flower -
I've done a separate tutorial here on how I made it.


This shows the yummy texture of the faux fur :)
For this hat, I sewed the pieces right sides together (instead of the wrong sides together that the pattern calls for) and then top-stitched them.   I still had the hat-too-big-for-the-band issue, so for this one I simply took a little 1/8" pleat near each seam line (there are 6 triangularish pieces that get sewn together to make the hat).   I also made the band longer, as in the orange hat.   This allowed the hat and the band to actually match up.  :)

I may be on a hat-making binge here.   I'm probably done with this pattern, but I just purged about 20 patterns from stash, so I think I can justify another pattern or two :)   

Do you have any favorite hat patterns to recommend?   Are you a hat wearer, or do you let your head brave the elements?   Or do you have one of those luscious, thick, curly heads of hair that keeps you nice and warm (and brings out the jealousy in those of us with skinny hair)?

28 comments:

  1. I have a few hat patterns in my stash, but I have yet to make any. A few good hats would be great for days I don't want to deal with my hair (it is long and curly, which is a pain to dry).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll give you that! My limp & skinny little hairs take about 3 minutes to dry.

      Delete
  2. I'm a headband chick. It's hard for me to find hats that will still keep my ears warm after I've stuffed all my hair up into them. But on the rare occasion that I want a hat (when I'm going to be skiing for a long time in very cold weather, for instance), I'll wear one that has a place for a ponytail to hang out the back.

    :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wait.....I think I know who you are.....do I know who your are? Yes yes, I think I know who you are!!! :D (unless you don't want me to know who you are, in which case I'll forget that I think I know who you are.....)

      Delete
    2. Pretty sure you know who I am -- your snow-loving friend who recently moved to New York :)

      Delete
  3. I'm a big hat wearer, but I haven't made any...bought them on Etsy. Yours are VERY cute and look cozy warm...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Margy I think you need to make yourself a hat! Because it would be AWEsome!

      Delete
  4. Cute hats! I am with the Fun Chick. I love my head bands. I wear hats in the summer, mostly baseball caps. I do have a knitted wool hat with a brim that I wear to the barn and do chores in, but I also find hats don't keep my ears warm either. Too much hair.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't even relate to too much hair......

      Delete
  5. I am in inveterate hat-wearer, in wintertime for warmth and to keep the rain off my head, and in the summertime to hide from too much sunlight... I have very very thin hair, quite long, that only looks well just after being washed, for a few hours...

    My favorite hat pattern is the Green Pepper - Norwester Hat, which I no longer use the directions for at all, having come up with my own way to assemble it. I love hats with brims! It only takes a few hours at most to sew up, less if you use ordinary fabric and not faff about with Goretex and seam seal tape...
    Here it is made up as a rain hat:
    http://artisanry.blogspot.com/2012/12/raindrops-are-not-falling-on-my-head.html
    And here made up in brushed heavy twill:
    http://artisanry.blogspot.com/2012/09/autumn-6pac-update.html

    I recently made up a new "pillbox" style hat, using Vogue pattern 9082 view B, and was quite happy with the result, though I should have allowed for how much the doubled folded over brim would constrict the hat. The turn of the cloth was no problem, but it did make the hat a little smaller than I wanted, since the pattern calls for velveteen and not heavy melton wool...
    You can see here how the brim is not as flat as I would like, but it is certainly wearable
    http://artisanry.blogspot.com/2012/11/friday-fragments_30.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alison your hats are exquisite! Such beautiful technique and creative eye for detail! I think I need both of these patterns, but it will take some doing to live up to your standards! (and you just got a new reader, thank you for posting the links) :)

      Delete
    2. Oh, and it sounds like we have the same hair. Which is one of the reasons I cut it all off - I don't need to wash it that often anymore :)

      Delete
  6. I love your hats. I love hats in general, or rather I love purchasing them. Then I wear them, but not nearly often enough. This is a great look for you.

    I keep thinking I'm going to cut my hair short, but then I'd have to learn to use product, or something, right? Anyway your look is always great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Martha :) Your style is always inspiring to me, and I think you would look good in any number of haircuts!

      Yes, I do need to play with product - especially when it's as short as it is right now!

      Delete
  7. Jilly, you look fabulous in both hats! I'm really digging the faux fur. I have a hat pattern that is really cute - I've never made it though, but I'll check my stash and send you a note. Ever since we sold our little place in Pennsylvania, we don't get to the really cold weather much anymore. Plus, I've got a boatload of hair, and live in Florida. What can I say?

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love the hat with the zipper flower. I'm glad you ended up with a great hat from a questionable pattern.

    ReplyDelete
  9. That pattern does sound pretty poorly drafted! I do buy hat patterns, so this is good to know. Having said that, your hats are cute, especially the faux persian lamb hat!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm w/Shams - the black hat is tres chic! Esp with the zipper flower. Last night I made a very easy and fast chic hat that has much potential for styling, the Egg Hat from the Center for Pattern Design http://www.centerforpatterndesign.com/collections/patterns/products/mv-egg-hat

    I love hats! And now I'm inspired to dig out my faux fur collection and see how the unnatural combination of Egg Hat in Faux Fur turns out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I like that Egg Hat pattern! Thanks, I'm putting it on my list :)

      Delete
  11. Cute hats, Jilly! I love hats too though I admit that most of mine are knitted rather than sewn. IMO, dress pattern makers aren't at all good at drafting millinery patterns. It's a different skill set. The best hat pattern I ever had (which of course I lost somewhere!) was drafted by an actual milliner and of course her indie pattern company no longer exists. I can't even remember the name now. Darn. I do know it went together perfectly and fit well. I'm even considering taking apart my hat to recreate my lost pattern.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Gosh, Jilly...I have that pattern. Haven't made it yet...that's good...better to learn from you! I like both of yours, but the mock-up the best.

    It's cold and almost always windy here, so yes I do wear hats and love them...that's why I want to make some. I hope hope HOPE you make some more...yes I sure do!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Geez I wish it got cold enough here to wear hats coz I love the hats you made!
    Pity about poorly drafted patterns with pathetic instructions... I am battling through terrible Burda instructions with my latest sewing too. It makes me want to scream!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love to wear hats! and I like to design my own.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Your hats are really cute. Forgot to add that to my last comment. Sorry!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Gorgeous! I have similiar ear chill in the winter and love to see the more stylish chapeaus- new pattern to buy!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Jilly,
    I have this pattern and have only made the view on the bottom right in the yellow. I made mine out of fleece and was happy with the end product. I did notice that the seams are only supposed to be 3/8" I also noticed the many different pattern pieces.
    I have made many hats out of straw and wool felt that I blocked. I hadn't made many sewn hats before. I will have to try the view you made and see what I think. Thanks for the tutorial on the zipper flower I want to make on of those too.
    I do like your hats and wearing hats with short hair can be tricky.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you so much for an excellent review! Your hats look great. When I first saw this pattern I contemplated not getting it. For the simple reason that you described at the beginning of the post. But then, I decided to go ahead with buying it hoping the hats would look better on my head.

    ReplyDelete