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Saturday, 4 April 2015

Designing and Making Children's Hats and Caps Part 1

When my sister-in-law saw the beret I had made for myself, she asked if I would make hats for her kids as well. Of course I agreed to it. So she went off and bought a whole lot of fabric. Laying it before me she asked if I thought I could do something with it. She was thinking hats, handbags, trousers, waist coats and all sorts of cute things. Cute things? I am in! Show me a seamstress who would not like to be given free reign with a pile like this!

I decided to focus first on the fabric intended for my nephew, which had a decisive nautical theme. When conceptualizing an idea or pattern, it is important to focus. You can always expand from the original idea, but if you start too wide, you tend to miss the point entirely. I also decided to begin the design process on the hats, since this is what got my 'client' excited in the first place.

I made a couple of quick designs for caps. I then used the illustrations on the fabric to put together a picture of my own. This settled my mind on the idea I was working with. I immediately realized that with only a few minor adjustments, I would be able to make a number of different hats from the same basic pattern. This was done with an H pencil in a sketchbook.

I coloured the sketch with Inktense pencils, which are known for their vibrant colours.

I used a fine-liner to outline the sketch.

Finally, I washed the Inktense with water to dissolve it and bring its true vibrancy out. I used an Aquash brush with water in the reservoir, but any watercolour brush will do nicely.

When I was done, I decided to put a colour wash in the water. I laid the Inktense pencil on a washable surface and using a wet brush, I picked the colour off the tip of the pencil.

I washed the 'sea' in with this loaded brush.

To complete the storyboard, I added the fabric swatches to the picture.

It was time to design the pattern and I'll tell you more about that in the next blog. Before I leave off with this blog I want to show you what I do with my patterns. I slide them into an envelope, just bigger than an A4. I clearly mark the outside of the envelope so that I will know what is inside. You can do the same with the patterns you download from If you don't feel like drawing your own pictures, simply stick a photograph of the finished product(s) on the envelope, or capture one from the blog to print out and stick on.

Here is a close-up of the detail I wrote on the envelope. The pattern for this blog will literally allow you to make all of those options. Actually you will be able to do a little more with it. I'll include a blog in which I show you how to make your own minor adjustments to the pattern and get something completely different.

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Remember to keep nurturing your TALENT for making PRETTY things.
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