Search This Blog

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Designing and Making Children's Hats and Caps Part 8

Phew! This was an extensive series of blogs. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I want to show you one last beret before we leave off. Once you understand what I did here, you will know that the world is your oyster when it comes to berets. You can literally do whatever you want with this fun and easy hat. Think of the next Halloween or dress-up party. Or what about that school play. You will be the talk of the town showing off your millinery skills! But I'm getting ahead of myself. A quick reminder of what we've covered and where to find the patterns. 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
When given lovely fabric like this to work with, one can barely wait to get started. Do you know the feeling? The hat was intended for a little three year old girl who loves picking flowers in the garden and presenting them to grandma. A flower was an obvious choice for a beret for her. She loved the shiny fabric in store and her mom and I figured we might as well incorporate this somewhere.

I lay the pattern pieces of the beret out, trying to save as much fabric as possible since I want to make quite a few more items from the fabric.

I try to cut the centre of the ring out neatly, because I want to use this elsewhere in the beret

Although you will have seen me cut the wide headband, I am going to cut this in half and leave one half for another project I am working on. I want a narrow headband on this beret. The width of the headband is always a personal choice.

I have decided that I want this beret to be reversible. My choice for a lining is therefore a second fabric. If you are not making a reversible beret, these two pattern pieces can be cut from lining.

I cut the centre of the flower from the shiny fabric that was so adored in the shop.

The headband gets vilene. I am also ironing vilene on the shiny flower centre since the fabric is very soft to work with.

Applique the Flower Centre 
I start on the centre of the flower, pinning it securely to the lid of the beret.

I am going to use a satin stitch to machine applique the two flower centres to the beret lids. I make the necessary adjustments to the machine.

All that is left to do is to embroider/applique the pieces onto the fabric.

Construct the Beret
In the next step I lay the beret lid and ring on top of each other, lining the flowers up correctly. I do this with both the fabric as well as the 'lining' beret pieces. Pin them securely.

I sew the two pieces together with a 1,5 cm seam allowance. You will need to keep guiding the machine around the 'petals' on the outer rim of the berets.

The flowers will not press out flat when turning the berets inside out, unless we work away the excess seam allowance. I trim it and cut notches all around. I do this with both berets, since the hat is going to be reversible. If the beret is not meant to be reversible, you don't have to cut notches in the lining beret.

Turn the fabric beret right side out and press it flat. Do the same to the lining beret if it is meant to be reversible. If not, skip this step with the lining beret. I did not iron the second beret, even though the beret is intended to be reversible. The reason is that I wanted to retain the softness of the unpressed beret when turned over. I was a bit of a risk, but I think it worked in the end. You can judge for yourselves from the photos.

Put the lining beret inside the fabric beret. Line the flowers up correctly. The wrong sides of the fabric should face each other.

Pin the two berets securely with pins space 2-3 cm apart. Make small cuts into the space for the head, approximately 1 cm. This is to recreate the space lost when we added the seam allowance when designing the pattern.

Attach the Beret to the Headband
It is time to bring the final piece to the table, namely the headband. I begin by folding it in half lengthwise and ironing it flat to retain its shape.

I then put the two ends on top of each other, right sides facing, and sew it together with 1,5 cm seam allowance.

It is very important to press this seam open to prevent creating extra thick spots on the band.

Pin one layer of the band to the fabric beret, right sides facing. You will probably need to stretch the beret a little, but it will be happy to give way since large parts of the circle are cut on the bias. Keep going round and round till the two pieces fit snugly.

Sew, allowing 1 cm for the seam.

Fold the headband and lining beret in at the seam and pin in place.

Sew by hand, which always give a very neat finish.

The reversed beret. Note the softness due to me not ironing this beret.

The inside of the reversed beret.

The beret. See how much more defined this beret is, since it was ironed.

The inside of the beret.

I had a really hard time capturing these photos since the little model kept twirling, but I could tell she was very happy.

For more crafty ideas and great products, visit
Remember to keep nurturing your TALENT for making PRETTY things.
You can subscribe to this blog and receive regular updates by email by simply registering your email address at the top of the current blog.