Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A taste of hat making.

This past Saturday, I was feeling grumpy. Very, very grumpy. So, my boyfriend suggested we go to Nihon Machi in San Francisco, which is one of my favorite places to wander around and window shop. It was a great idea. I love checking out the craft magazines and books in Kinokuniya. It greatly improved my mood and provided me with inspiration.

If you have never been to Nihon Machi, there are a bunch of little accessories store. A lot of what they carry just isn't my style, but this weekend almost all of them had dozens of really cute frilly hair clips. I was sorely tempted to buy them, but $8 for an alligator clip, some ribbon, feathers, and a tiny piece of tulle? I don't think so!

On the way home, we stopped at the craft store and bough a couple sheets of felt and some hair clips and this is what I came up with Saturday night. I am so incredibly proud of how it turned out. My very first sewn tiny hat! It isn't perfect, but I don't think the average observer would notice the flaws.

I made the pattern, and figured out construction as I went along. My first idea was to try to be lazy and glue the tube part of the crown, but the glue just wasn't sticking, so I sewed it instead. Then I stitched the top on. The stitches that hold on the top of the hat are visible if the light hits them right, and they are not as pretty as they could have been. Finally I sewed on the brim. I didn't cut the hole in the center of the brim out until it was sewn on, because having the solid circle was giving it a little more stability. That was really helpful because I kept feeling like I was about to crush the hat. The still eco-felt didn't really want to be sewn,particularly in the spots that had glue on them from my original bad idea.

I wanted it to match a corset I finished a few months back, so the hat band is a bit of scrap fabric leftover from it. I ran a straight grain strip through my 3/4 inch bias tape maker, and stitched it on. It is only held on in a few places, since it was difficult to get my fingers into the small openin in the hat, but it seems sturdy enough. The flower was an experiment, which ended up turning out well. I was going to put a little black bead in the center, but I couldn't find one I liked. Since I knew some of my friends had spent the day at the Nove Albion Steampunk Exhibition, I decided I gear I had from taking part some old broken watches was just what my little hat needed, and the feathers are a simple clip I bought at Joann's about a year ago to use as a hair clip. The feathers can be removed since they are just clipped to the hat band.

You may notice above that I said "first sewn tiny hat". That is because a couple of years ago I made one using poster board, glue, and lots and lots of glitter.

Don't you just love the big button as a hatband decoration? I think I had seen Coraline recently and was had picked up the buttons with no idea what to do with them.

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