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Friday, 10 April 2015

Designing and Making Children's Hats and Caps Part 7

In today's blog we will be making the round beret of the pattern we designed in the first few blogs. I will attach a cap to this beret, but it is also possible to make the beret without a cap, as I will show you in the next blog. The patterns can be downloaded from here. Here is a summary of the blogs:
Part 1 - Conceptualization
Part 2 - Design the basic pattern
Part 3 - Variation: design a round beret
Part 4 - Variation: design a flower beret
Part 5 - Constructing the flat top cap
Part 6 - Variation: sew an open cap
Part 7 - Variation: sew a round beret
Part 8 - Variation: sew a flower beret

Pattern Layout
My intention is to make the beret fully reversible. With this in mind, I cut 2 headbands from a gingham fabric. I want the headband to be very narrow, so I take the liberty to adjust the width to my liking. Actually, I cut the headband on the fold and will simply cut it in two a little later.

I cut two cap patterns from a second fabric as well as 1 ring and 1 lid. The pattern has a very definite direction and I need to take this into consideration when laying out the pattern.

I cut a second ring and lid from a third fabric. If you do not want to make a reversible hat, these pieces can be cut from lining.

I cut two cap inserts from a stiff denim. This will be used to stiffen the cap with.

I cut vilene stiffening for the denim as well as the headband. I am already working with a very stiff fabric and won't be stiffening the cap's outer fabric. If the fabric was flimsy, I would have done so.

Iron the vilene on the required pieces.

I lay the denim inserts on top of each other and join them by randomly sewing zigzag stitching all over.

Construct the Cap
Lay the cap pieces on top of each other with right sides facing.

Stitch the outside of the cap with a seam allowance of 1,5 cm.

Trim the excess fabric by cutting notches in the seam line, as well as to cut the seam closer to the stitching.

Having created space for the excess fabric, turn the cap right side out.

Iron the cap flat.

Insert the inner to stiffen the cap.

I wanted to show you an alternative to the top stitching we did in the previous blog. This time I set my machine to a simple embroidery stitch. I could have used a high contrast thread, but opted to stay with the pink I was already using. I did not want the top-stitching to be too prominent.

I stitch all aroud the outer edge of the cap, maintaining the same distance from the side throughout.

This is the result. This step is of course optional.

Attaching the Cap to the Headband
I still needed to cut my band in two in the length in did so now. I then found the centre on one of the headbands as well as the cap. I attached the two at the centre. 

I pinned the headband to the cap as illustrated.

 I then attached the second headband in the same fashion, sandwiching the cap between the two bands.

I stitched from one end of the headband, through the centre where the cap was (a tricky part) and all the way through to the other end of the headband. Seam allowance is 1,5 cm.

I put the two ends of the headband on top of each other, right sides facing and sewed it with a 1,5 cm seam allowance.

It is very important to iron this seem open. I used the opportunity to iron the headband flat as well.

Constructing the Beret Tops
Whatever you do with the fabric, you will repeat with the lining in this part of the construction. That is why every step will show you two photos, reminding you to repeat the step with the other part as well. Start by laying the ring and the lid on top of each other, right sides facing. Pin this in place.

Sew all around the outer edge, allowing 1,5 cm for the seam.

Trim the excess fabric in the seam to ensure a smooth line when you turn the fabric right side out. If your beret is not going to be reversible, you can put the lining aside and don't need to do this step or any of the ones to follow in this section.

Cut notches in the seam to make it easier to turn the beret inside out.

Now turn the berets inside out.

Iron the berets flat.

Attaching the Berets to the Headband
Put the lining (or second beret) inside the beret. This time the wrong sides should be facing. Pay very close attention to this. If you are making a reversible beret, you will have to turn ONE of the berets inside out again.

Pin the insides of the berets to each other with lots of pins, spaced 2-3 cm apart.

When designing the pattern, we worked a 1,5 cm seam allowance into the inner circle, effectively making the space too small for the head to fit. We now need to make space for the head. Cut approximately 1 cm into the fabric, making a small snip between each of the pins. Do NOT cut 1,5 cm into the fabric. Because we have a circle, a large portion of the fabric is automatically on the bias and will give way to make up for the extra space we need.

Fold the headband open and pin the band to the berets as shown. The right side of the fabric of the outer beret should face the right side of the fabric of the headband. Pin the inner circle of the beret to the band. You might have to stretch the circle a bit to fit the band. Keep working round and round until you have the perfect fit.

Sew all around, allowing 1,5 cm for the seam.

Turn the beret inside out, fold the headband back and pin the top of the headband to the beret. Fold the seam allowance of the headband in as you pin it all around.

Sew by hand to close the beret, tucking all the seams neatly inside.

This is what the beret looks like turned inside out.

And this is what it looks like on my niece's head.

In the next blog I will show you how to make a flower variation of the beret.

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Remember to keep nurturing your TALENT for making PRETTY things.
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