Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Stylish Cloche Japanese Hat Making Book Project and Review

Stylish Cloche Thumbnail

I ordered Stylish Cloche from Amazon.jp after seeing the project made by Diary of Matter Hatter and falling in love with it. I did a google search, but didn't find it anywhere. I should have done a little bit more research; although the book was a reasonable $18 the shipping was $35 so the total cost was over $50. I see that it is now available on Etsy for $28 with $10.50 shipping, which is a little bit cheaper.

Pattern Options in Stylish ClocheThere are some pattern books for which I might be willing to pay $50, but when I received the book I realized it has just three crowns and three brims, and one of the crowns is a top-hat style crown and I already have several serviceable patterns in that style. The options are stylish and (judging from this one) well drafted, but had I known there were so few patterns I don't think I would have ordered it. Oh well, it's only money. Although there are limited options, the fashion photography in the book showing many different versions and combinations is beautiful and inspiring, as you can see in this image.

The patterns come in three sizes:
S 56 cm (approx 22 inches)
M 57.5 cm (approx 22 1/2 inches)
L 59 cm (approx 23 1/4 inches)

Instruction sheet in Stylish ClocheSeam allowances are included appear to vary somewhat depending on the piece (they are marked in the construction diagrams), but it is generally 6 mm, approximately 1/4 inch. The text is Japanese but the numerals are Arabic and the instructional diagrams are extremely clear and detailed. There is no real language barrier to using this book, which is quite a feat on the part of the technical illustrators! Hats off to them, if you'll pardon the pun.

My head is actually 21.5 inches rather than 22, but with the small seam allowances I figured I'd just sew them a little bigger if need be. However, those tiny seam allowances turned out to be a problem in my relatively thick fabric, and in fact the hat turned out too small, which is so annoying! It spent several weeks on my hat block stretching, but the stretching didn't really take. Sad. The upside is there is no chance of it getting blown off in the wind; the downside is the large welt it leaves on my forehead. In the future, I will plan to trace the pattern and then strip out the allotted seam allowances and add back my own, larger SA (I prefer 1/2 inch). Although seam allowances aren't marked on the pattern in the traditional Western manner (a dashed line along the entire perimeter), they are marked with little lines topped with a circle at various points so it shouldn't be *too* difficult.

From Above For this project I used Crown M and Brim B in size small. I used wool tweed left over from making this pencil skirt. Actually, I cut out and made the hat at the same time, and there was pretty much nothing left of the fabric, which I thought was quite a coup.

The pieces fit together well and create a pleasing line. The crown does seem to be a smidge too tall for my head, but that may be because it is too small to properly pull down all the way.

Inside Finish I lined it with some of the Vera Wang Silk/Rayon blend (it's great for hat-lining, thick and slippery), and finished off with a ribbon.

Because it's too small I haven't gotten a ton of wear out of it--there is a small window of weather in which you can wear (1) a wool hat but (2) it doesn't cover your ears--but it was a promising foray into the book and I can correct the size issue on the next one. All photos are here and the pattern review is here.

23 comments:

Victoria said...

I think you look FABULOUS & All so SHARP in this hat! I love it! I wouldn't have known it was too small if you hadn't said anything. I'm horrible when it comes to knowing hat-wearing rules, but couldn't you make it in a much lighter fabric and wear it through the Spring? No matter what you decide---it really does look great:)

Sheri said...

Wow! Such an attractive head shot! You are beautiful. Love that picture of you in the blue ruffle dress as well. You are looking so pretty these days.

Nancy K said...

You look fabulous in this hat. Really cool book too. I love the hat on the cover. I wouldn't have known it was too small either.

Vicki said...

Cute hat and it suits you so well. Shame it is a bit small.

Adelaide B said...

CUTE! (Yeah, I yelled that at the screen.)

Little Hunting Creek said...

I love this hat! You look good in hats - make more :)

Reethi said...

This is awesome, and so stylish. Great looking hat.

Trudy Callan said...

Oh my gosh! Your hat is so darn cute!

McVal said...

I made a ton of hats last year similar but not as striking as that one! Very nice!

KID, MD said...

Adorable hat!! You are so cute!

Tany said...

You did an outstanding job!!

AllisonC said...

You look so cute in your hat. You've got to make another one you feel more comfortable wearing. In fact make a bunch of them and get your $50 worth!

kbenco said...

Having a small window for wearing this hat surely means you need a new one in a less warm fabric :). It looks very smart.

Uta said...

Very stylish! You wear a hat well, you should do it regularly! I have the same issue with winter hats - the nice ones usually aren't warm enough - so I'm definitely looking forward to summer. I wear sun hats a lot (the only one in Germany it seems).

Isabelle said...

Love the hat, Trena! You look great in them.

Eugenia said...

I love that lining and ribbon - that's a nice surprise for the inside. You look super cool in this hat!

countrygirlcouture said...

Bummer about it being too small, but definitely try it again because the hat is adorable!

~buzzybee~ said...

It looks fabulous!
Lovely photo too!

Angela said...

You look great in hats! Great job!!

Noile said...

So cute! Love the style, and it looks great on you. It LOOKS as if it fits perfectly . . .

My wool Tilley hat has a hidden flap inside that folds down over the ears and the back of the neck when it's really cold. It's not at all bulky, but it makes the hat (brimmed, like yours here, but not as cute) wearable all through our Mid-Atlantic winter. It would be really easy to add to any hat pattern.

Marie-Christine said...

Oh, ouch! Next time try http://cgi.ebay.com/STYLISH-CLOCHE-Japanese-Hat-Making-Craft-Book_W0QQitemZ360237511482QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item53dfd4333a it comes in a flash, and no extra hidden costs..
Great hat though, really cool..

Katharine in Brussels said...

I am still amazed at your prolificness, and the fact you hold down a demanding career. Wow! You really get so much done, and your technique is improving all the time. Way to go :) (And how do you fit in working out too? Amazing!)

Cristina - madhatter wannabe said...

How great that you bought the book and gave it a shot. Thanks for linking to my blog!!

I must confess that my hat also turned out to be a little bit too tight (oops), but in the end I gave it away to a smaller headed friend who has worn it a lot!