Thursday, December 6, 2012

It's cozy hat season!

I was in the mood for hats today, I guess!  I made seven of these:

The Snowblossom Hat from Made by Rae

And I also had to do some hat surgery.

My kids' preschool teacher approached me yesterday and said, "I know you sew headbands, but do you ever do alterations on...other things?"  

I asked her what she had in mind, and she told me about her hat dilemma.  She had one hat with a floppy bill that drooped in her face.  She had another hat with a perfect bill but an impossible-to-get-rid-of mothball smell. 

Two sad hats
She wondered if it would be possible to merge the two, resulting in the perfect hat.

It was.

Mirror self portrait.
I was able to carefully snip the bill on the crocheted hat open.  I did a quick zig-zag stitch down the raw edge so it wouldn't start to unravel.  Then I cut the brim off of the smelly hat (I had to trim the bill a bit to fit inside the crocheted bill.  Then I could pull the edges of the crocheted bill back together, tucking the rigid bill inside, and zig-zag stitched the hole closed.  Easy peasy!  Took me less than 10 minutes.  The hardest part was the worry that the whole thing would unravel when I cut the bill open (it didn't).  I wonder if she'll give me a discount on my tuition?

So while I was in hat mode, I pulled out the bag of fleece.  I buy fleece remnants throughout the year because they can be picked up for so cheap when the fleece is already on sale, and there are lots of things you can use it for.  In particular, I love these adorable, super warm hats from Made by Rae. I made some for my kids last year, and I also made some for the preschool winter hat drive

Well, it's that time of year again--winter hat drive at school!  And the hats I made for the kids last year are getting pretty snug, so I went ahead and made new ones for them as well.

Hat models need to eat dinner too!
A couple of things I figured out as I went:

1.  If you're using printed fleece and you don't want a seam in the front (so you don't have to worry about matching the print up), you can just cut one big piece of fleece on the fold.  Just make sure you cut the earflaps slightly closer to the open edge, not the fold, to leave a big enough opening for your kiddo's face.

2.  Approximate sizing:  My almost-five-year-old's head is about 21 inches around, so I cut two rectangles (one exterior, one lining) that were 22 inches by 13 inches, then cut the earflaps out according to the tutorial.  My two-and-a-half-year-old's head is about 20 inches, so her rectangles were 21 inches long, and just a litle over 12 inches tall because that's how big my fleece remnant was.

3.  When you sew the seam up the back of the hat, stop sewing about three inches from the top of the hat.  That way, you won't have to cut the stitches out when you're making your poof at the top.  (Or if you're like me, and forget to stop three inches from the top pretty much EVERY OTHER TIME, you can just START three inches from the top and sew all the way to the bottom edge.)

That's about it!  I was at it for about 2 hours, and I made seven hats.

Little Sister got two hats, because she's spoiled rotten.
And while we're at it, how about that coat?  I got it for her last year at Goodwill for $5.  It's a really cute Columbia Sportswear coat.  Yes, she did wear it all last winter, but this year it actually fits her!

Side view
Oh!  Friends!  If you want me to make a fleece hat like this for one of your little ones, just let me know!  I have more of the green stripe fleece The Boy is wearing, and more of the red flowers on the cream background fleece Little Sister has on.  I also have solid black, solid dark plum, and solid turquoise.  All I need from you is a head circumference!

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