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Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Designing and Making Children's Hats and Caps Part 5

In the first four parts of the series we were working on a concept and designing patterns to realize the ideas we had. We have finally reached the stage where we can bring out the fabric. But first a quick recap:
Part 1 - Conceptualization
Part 2 - Design the basic pattern
Part 3 - Variation: a round beret
Part 4 - Variation: a flower beret
Part 5 - Constructing the flat top cap

Fabric Layout
The first thing is to lay out the pattern on the fabric. This hat is completely reversible when complete, so all the parts can be cut from fabric. I cut the cap and top from the nautical patterned fabric. I cut two of each.

I then cut two headbands from the denim.

I cut two inners for the cap from the very stiff denim as well.

I cut vilene for all 4 parts of the cap. I don't need the extra thickness in the seams, so I cut the vilene for the caps from the pattern for the inner.

The headband always gets vilene.

The lid does not usually get vilene to stiffen it, but in this case it did since the fabric I was working with was rather flimsy and wouldn't maintain its shape without assistance.

Iron the vilene on all the pieces before you start sewing. It speeds things up later on.

The vilene for the inners of the cap is ironed on to the right side of the denim so as to mask the very dark fabric and to prevent it from showing through the patterned fabric.

Constructing the Cap
We start by strengthening the inner of the cap. Lay the two pieces of the inner on top of each other and join them with random stitching all over the top. I used a zigzag stitch because it is wider.

Pin the cap pieces face to face on top of each other and sew 1,5 cm from the outer edge to form a kind of pocket.

Cut little notches in the seam allowance to create space for turning the cap over. Take care not to cut into the stitching.

Trim the wide seam even further by cutting the excess fabric away.

Turn the cap inside out and iron it flat.

Insert the inner into the cap.

Attach the cap to the Headband
It is time to attach the cap to the headband. Find the centre of the cap as well as the centre of one of the headbands. Attach the two pieces at the centre.

Pin the cap to the headband.

Find the centre of the second headband and pin this to the cap as well. The cap should now be sandwiched between the two headbands.

Allowing for 1,5 cm seam allowance, stitch from one end of the headband through the middle section where the cap is and all the way to the other end. Go slow. It gets tricky around the cap.

Iron the headband so it will lie flat.

Lie the two ends of the headband right side to right side on top of each other and sew, allowing for 1,5 cm seam allowance.

It is important to iron this seam open, or you will have a hard time later on with extra thickness that need to be worked away.

Attach the Lid
We are now going to attach the lid or top of the cap. Pin the top of the cap to one layer of the headband, right side to right side, as illustrated.

It is easier to sew if you fold the headband open.

Sew the lid to the headband at 1,5 cm seam allowance.

Cut notches into the seam to create space for turning the hat right side out.

Turn the hat right side out.

This is what it should look like if you folded the headband back in.

Attach the Lining to the Headband
I did not cut the inside of the lid from lining, but instead I cut it from the same fabric as the lid itself. This means that the cap will be reversible when completed. However, both sides of the cap will look exactly alike. The only reason for this is because I know the recipient of the cap is a very active four-year old who loves the outdoors. This way the cap can simply be turned over in case of emergency boyhood intervention. Lay the lining inside the cap. You will find it is very difficult to work in there.

A much simpler solution is to simply 'unfold' the headband again and to attach the lining RIGHT SIDE TO RIGHT SIDE. Pardon the capitals, but I want to draw your attention to this as it might easily be missed by a quick look at the photo.

Pin all the way around, folding the seam allowance of the band and the lid in so it is hidden.

Stitch the seam by hand, as this is the method that delivers the tidiest results.

Now sit back and enjoy the happy responses.

In the next blog I will show you how to make a variation of the cap, leaving the top open.

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Remember to keep nurturing your TALENT for making PRETTY things.
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