Tuesday, January 8, 2013

January's Hat: Snow

Those glist'ning houses that seem to be built of snow
Oh, to see a mountain covered with a quilt of snow
the song "Snow" from White Christmas (movie)

This photo won 3rd place in the local county fair in the category "Shadows."
I was so happy to have no interruptions for the first day when my daughter resumed school after the winter break, I made my January hat. My inspiration, though it's been scarce this season so far, was snow.

It didn't start out that way; it started out as another practice hat. I had tried the video tutorial for making the pillbox hat and it didn't work. I'm betting operator error, but it looked like she was using felt to make the one in the vid, and since it's naturally more structural, she didn't use any interfacing or lining. I lined mine, but without interfacing or some kind of stiffening going on, my pillbox is too soft to hold its shape. Also, her instructions were not all that clear. The sides of the hat have a bit of a peak; the center of the band is taller than the back of the band, but she doesn't say which side to sew the crown to, and I didn't mark it (she didn't) so once it was cut and the pattern piece unpinned from it I wasn't even sure which was top and which was bottom.

I'm nearly happy with it. I think my contrast-stitching has too much contrast,
and it desperately needs something to give it some body, but it almost worked.
Anyway. I decided to modify (again!) that McCall's pattern #2692 from '86. This new hat uses the same pattern pieces as the hats I made in fleece! I reduced the pieces using Photoshop, scanning them in and reducing them 85% and printing them out. The sides were too long to scan, so I folded it at the center and marked that end of my new pattern piece "FOLD."

Scanned, desaturated, and reduced pattern pieces
I found the random polka-dot patterned dotted swiss material, saw how much of it there was, and figured I'd use that, and added medium-weight sew-in interfacing. I didn't line it. After I cut everything out, I machine-basted my fabric and interfacing pieces together. I stitched the short ends together, pressed open the seam (I didn't use her technique in the video of sewing that down). When I started pinning on the crown, it became pretty clear that reduced the same percentage or not, it was a bit too big. I ended up pinning it together from my basting stitch rather than matching the edges, and then trimming the excess and notching it as usual.

Once I got it all sewn together, I turned under the raw edge and checked the height, turned it some more, adjusting the size of the band until I was happy with it. That got stitched down twice, which gives it a little more firmness as well as securing hem. Most of the side band is now doubled fabric and interfacing, making it pretty sturdy.

Thrilled with my creation, I used matching ribbon and white tulle to make a pouf for the side (sewing the ribbon to the tulle, then gathering the opposite side), securing it with a silver and light blue button from my stash. It still needed something, so I looked to see if I had any white sequins the right size, thinking I'd sew them onto all the smaller dots on the sides. I did have, but didn't like the way they looked, but found some flat clear sequins that I used instead. Each one sewn on using two stitches of white thread... that took far longer to do than sewing the hat! I tried to keep the thread from showing where I could, going between the layers of fabric to the next dot. I could have skipped that and gone faster, but it looks nicer and the threads are not in danger of snagging and breaking.

I have not yet decided what means I will use for securing it to my head, and I'm not certain that it still doesn't need something -- it still looks kinda plain -- but I'm calling it 97% done.

To me, the white spots on an aqua field on dotted swiss looks like snow falling from a blue sky. So, my inspiration, born of a casual "eh, I'll use this," turned into something I'm really quite proud of.



left side

right side
Making it up as you go is kinda fun!


Sharon said...

You totally rock!!

Sharon said...

You totally rock!!