A couple of my dear friends are also still here, but are experiencing the chemo thing, and I wanted to make them some head coverings that didn't scream "I'm balding and I'm wearing a chemo hat!" One would think that this issue has been dealt with so much that you just find a pattern and whip something stylish out, but I wasn't finding it all that easy...
Until I came across McCall's 6521:
For my first version I used a soft knit for the band, and a thin cotton for the body of the scarf.
It's a nice color combo, albeit a bit flying-nunish, bit the knit was really a bit TOO wimpish, and the cotton a bit too heavy. I wanted to be aware of the possible sensitivity of the skin, due to the chemo treatments, so really soft & comfy fabric was a priority, but the length of the scarf on this one really added weight, and the headband needs to support that weight, so the 2 fabrics need to work together well. I cut the scarf fabric on this one about 6" shorter than the pattern called for, just because of the weight of the fabric, which was probably fine for most purposes, but I wanted to be sensitive to the needs of someone who was possibly both weak and might have uber-sensitive skin.
I decided that a heavier, but still soft & comfy, fabric for the band is necessary, and a very lightweight fabric for the scarf is also important. For my second version I chose a tightly woven & heavier weight bamboo for the band, and a lightweight rayon challis for the scarf.
The cool aspect of this particular version of the pattern is that it can be worn in SO many different ways!:
Knotted at the top, and looped with an elastic scrunchie (scrunchie included in the pattern):
Scarf looped and tied at the nape of the neck, and held in place with two mix-n-match scrunchies:
Scarf moved to the side, so that the bunchy knot is at the ear:
Scarf twisted & wrapped around the cap, then pinned in place:
One hat/scarf thingy, numerous different looks, what's not to love?!? And the pattern has a number of other different views to sew - 2 thumbs way up on this one!
I did make a couple of construction changes. The pattern just calls for stitching the band to the scarf, and then trimming the seam. I might have been going into over-kill mode, but in an effort to be sensitive to the tender skin aspect of someone experiencing chemo, I didn't want any raw edges, so I gathered the edge of the scarf a bit, and trimmed the scarf layer and the inner layer of band close to the stitching...:
...then turned the outer layer of the band under, enclosing the trimmed edges, pressed it, and sewed a hem, enclosing the raw edge so that only the softness of the hat band would be felt against the skin.
Some other notes: To achieve the finished look of the lovely knot in the pattern envelope pic, I REALLY think that a pin (safety pin, fun or elegant pin....SOME sort of pin) is really a necessary accessory. Getting that knot to lie so perfectly against the side of the head like the pattern envelope shows does not happen without some manipulation, trust me! But with a bit of futzing, it's really a very cool look :).
I'm about to send these off to recipient #1, and will make another couple for recipient #2, and wait for the feedback.
If anyone has other pattern ideas or thoughts for more fun and/or elegant versions of "chemo hats", please feel free to chime in!
And yes, I'm back! I have a LOT of blog reading to catch up on, and a whole lot of blogging to catch up with as well, but I'm still here with y'all! :)