In winter, staying warm has a lot to do with the coat, but it's also all about the accessories. I love hats in general, but in winter they are not optional as far as I'm concerned. I had ordered 1.5 yards of the velveteen in case I did need it for the facings, so I had plenty left to play with when my frilled coat was done. I was a little concerned it might end up too matchy matchy, but I had to go ahead and make some velveteen hats.
First up was the cloche from Saturday Night Hat. I previously made the newsboy. Although I still have and wear the hat, I wasn't crazy about the pattern as it was a little too puffy. The cloche looked like a good, standard pattern with no weird issues. I liked that the lining peeks out a little and thought it was a good opportunity to bring one of the lining tie silks into the mix.
The cloche is made of six identical panels. All patterns in Saturday Night Hat are one size and drafted for a 23 inch head. I shrank the pattern on the copy machine to fit my 21.5" head, but in measuring the pattern (seam allowances are conveniently marked) I realized I would do better with the original pattern and slightly larger seam allowances on a few of the panels.
I used the striped tie silk for the lining, as I didn't have enough of the paisley tie silk. I thought the stripes might be fun with the panels. They are fine but I think to make a cute striped hat using this pattern the panels would need to be cut on the bias in alternating directions. I used the lining to test the fit on the pattern.
The fit just needed a little bit of tweaking for circumference, but I found the hat to be drafted a little short. The narrowest part that should fit snugly around the forehead is a little high up on the head. This is similar to the issue I had with the newsboy--the hat must be worn very high on the head to have the right visual effect. For next time I have altered the pattern to add half an inch to the length about 3.5 inches from the top of the pattern piece, which should put the hat more firmly on my head.
I decorated it with a little bow and a button. The hat is quite cute, but not very useful as a winter hat because of the length issue. It does nothing for the ears and feels very insecure sitting so high on the head. A small puff of wind would blow it away. I think this is a better design for a Spring and Summer sun hat (with a slightly longer brim) than a Fall/Winter warmth hat.
All the Saturday Night Hat photos are here and the cloche pattern review is here.
The insecurity of the cloche was not a problem, as I had actually planned to make two hats!
Neighborhood Gal published a great tutorial for a beret back in December. The beret seems to be the hat this season. It's not a craze like the newsboy was, but I think of all the winter hats I see there are more berets than any other one style. Unlike Beangirl, I have had a longstanding love affair with the beret. My dad purchased a classic red beret at Disneyland (he grew up in LA) as a teenager that I rediscovered in high school. I named it Pierre and wore it all the time. I bought myself a classic red beret in Paris, just because. So the tutorial got me thinking about a beret, and a velveteen beret seems just about perfect.
The instructions are very clear, though I am math challenged. At first I ended up drawing a circle so huge it would have covered me to the shoulders. I really don't know how that happened, or why I didn't notice how big it was until I was done. I think it had to do with using a piece of tissue paper, a pin, and a pencil as a compass. It's really not an ideal setup.
Visit the tutorial, but basically you draw a circle the size of your head and then another circle with the radius of the circle the size of your head plus another 2.5 inches (including seam allowance). I tried 3 but it was too much. You cut two of the larger circles of fabric and from one of them you cut out the circle the size of your head, minus seam allowance.
Determining where to draw the seam allowance required me to think a little--normally you draw the seam allowance on the outside of the seam line, but for this project you draw the seam allowance inside the seam line--i.e., the small circle you cut out of the center of one of your large circles will actually be smaller than the size of your head by its seam allowance.
In the photo you see my pattern pieces. There is the large circle (cut 2). Then you see my reference piece that shows my head circumference. You can see that I originally cut this piece out with the seam allowance on the outside before thinking about how it would actually work. The top-most circle is the actual circle I cut out of one of the large circles with the seam allowance inside my head circumference mark.
I started by constructing the hat and the lining. Then I placed the lining inside the hat and serged the edges together. You can see I used some of the leftover silk from my McCall 5579 4th of July kimono-style dress.
As is my normal practice binding an edge, I first pinned the band to the inside of the hat and sewed in place.
Once the first pass is sewn, you then fold the band over to the outside, fold under the raw edge, pin in place, and topstitch. This is so much easier than the traditional way pattern instructions advise, of pinning the binding first to the outside, then turning to the inside and engaging in a nerve-wracking stitch in the ditch situation from the outside in which you do not catch the underside of the binding half the time. Here, I topstitched rather than stitched in the ditch because I liked the look.
And voila! So easy! I sewed on two buttons as decoration. I get a ton of compliments on the hat, even more than on the coat! Considering that I spent 3 weeks on one and about 1 hour on the other, it seems a little unfair. `-)
All photos of the beret project are here and the beret pattern review is here.