Thursday, April 5, 2012

Hopeful sewing...

As in hopeful that the weather will get warmer soon.  If you sew it, summer will come, right? 

We were recently teased with really warm weather, in the 80s, and when I pulled the kids’ summer hats out, I realized they’d gotten a tad too small.  So, I set out to remedy that.  I was determined to make the kids new summer hats.  Sure, I could have run out to Target and gotten them some hats for $10 each.  But it’s the principle.  I wanted to make them.

I wanted to try the bucket hat pattern from the Little Things to Sew book.  I had an idea in my mind of what fabrics I wanted to use, so we (my two little helpers and I) headed out to Joann Fabrics for a little fabric shopping.  I found two linen blend fabrics that fit the bill of what I wanted for one side of the hat.  Since the hat is supposed to be reversible, I browsed the store for something that I thought would work for the other side.  I normally spend a lot of time deciding on fabric.  Once I’ve picked something out, I start to second guess myself, so then I spend a lot of time in the fabric store, wandering the aisles and putting things side by side to see if they would work together.  But having my two little helpers helped to speed the process along, because they don’t always tolerate extensive browsing.  I did second guess the fabric choices, but by then, the fabric had already been cut and paid for and we were out of the store.  And because my two little helpers were so helpful and patient, they each got a $1 toy from the bins near the checkout line.  Of course, the $1 items were immediately wrecked and torn apart before we got home, but oh well.  That’s why they are only $1, I guess.

Even though the fabric purchase was slightly rushed, I really like the way the fabrics turned out on the hats.

This is the two sides of the boy hat.  I did a neutral linen-type fabric for one side, and for the other I tried to find something boyish but a little more interesting.  I wasn't sure how the stripes would sew up, but it turned out really nicely, I think.  I like the brown side a lot, and the little guy likes the blue side.

And the two sides of the girl hat.  I picked out the embroidered fabric totally on a whim, and I really like the way it looks as a hat.

Whenever I make something from an oliver+s pattern, I always feel like a real sewer, because they turn out so awesome.  I love the little details that went into these little hats.  The topstitching, the lines running around the brim.  I confess to sometimes just staring at them, because they are so darn cute.
I’ll also confess that I had to make the baby girl’s hat twice.  The first try, I got stuck on the last step, where the hat is practically completed, but I had to attach cap B onto the rest of the hat.

This step calls for hand stitching.  I was too lazy to hand stitch, so I tried to do it with the machine, and the fabric was not cooperating.  Maybe the fabric was too slippery, maybe it was too late at night, but the cap just seemed too big to fit onto the brim.  There didn’t seem to be a way to make it fit.

It seemed some people over on the oliver+s forums had this problem, too.  (Maybe next time I should read the forums before I start sewing.)  And I found this link that suggested sewing the inside and outside of the hats first and then attaching the two pieces by sewing together the brim.  This worked so much better!  I did the little guy’s hat this way, and it was a breeze.  I had enough fabric to cut out another hat for the baby girl, so I redid her hat this way, too.  I still had a little trouble, though.  It must be the fabric (it can't possibly be me!).  While sewing the brims together, one piece ended up bigger than the other, so I had to take out some seams, cut off some fabric and re-sew it, so that it would fit.  I don’t think you can really tell, though--if you don’t look too closely.

The kids were so into their hats, they wore them for several days straight right after I made them.  Ah, that makes a mommy’s heart sing.  However, right after our bout of nice warm weather, we had several gray rainy days, so I couldn’t quite get everyone outside for a “photo shoot.”  For now, these are the best pictures I have of them wearing their hats.

She's a natural, isn't she?  ;)  More on that butterfly dress peeking out later.

Here’s to hoping (and waiting) for warmer days ahead.


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