Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Ombre Sweater Hat

When I saw this cardigan, I loved the neck detail and the buttons. I was sure that I could flip that over and make a hat using the neckband as a headband. Didn't know how, exactly, but I was pretty sure I could do it. Plus, for $4, how could I go wrong?

Like with the cashmere hat, I cut open the seams -- but not completely! I needed some of the sweater to complete the bottom of the beret. I cut the sides open to the armpit, and the seams of the raglan sleeves a little. 

I placed the round beret pattern piece over the top of the sweater, to get a general idea of how far out I needed to cut, in this case, about three inches out from the neckband.

I couldn't find any chalk, and my tailor's pencil wasn't marking the knit, so I used a crayon.
I didn't want to pin my pattern piece to the sweater and try to cut it that way, so after I marked a few dots all around the neckline, I traced the circle on a piece of cardboard to use that for a template to mark my cut line.

Looks awful, but it worked fairly well.
I lined up the edges of my template with the dots I'd marked, tugging the sweater in place where I needed to. Pressing down hard on the cardboard, I marked the line. (Note to self: get chalk.) After the work I had to do for this, cutting the top piece was a cinch.

I had initially planned to line the top part of the hat with some extra suit lining, but decided not to after recalling what a pain in the butt the satin was from the cashmere hat. I sewed around the edge with a quarter-inch seam allowance, then did a tight zigzag between that and the edge to prevent raveling.

It ruffled the edge beautifully! I turned the hat right-side out and topstitched through the zigzag (inside), right along the edge of the hat. I wanted to stiffen it a little more.

I went around a second time in the same place, this time pulling the knit taut using both hands to encourage ruffling and reenforcing the hem.

In these photos, I had not yet done the handsewing of the buttoned cuff.

Sewn placket
In the end, I have a very funky and unique beret, that looks a little less like a beret and a little like textile art. I love that the button placket stiffens the side, so I thought I'd try to treat the shoulder seams the same way I did the crown's hem, but without the ruffling. I zigzagged up and down those seams, and what do you know - it worked! I might be able to get them even stiffer, but I don't want to mess with it when I'm happy with how it is now. My other option would be to sew in some boning, and that might be overboard.

Those seams did curl a little, but not very noticeably from the outside.
Proud of it? You bet!

I am going to need to annex that closet soon...

No comments: