November 21, 2008

Fabric flower hat

I promised to show you the flower on the hat, and here it is. This is one of the hats I’m bringing to Madrid for the Hat week. I’m very honored to be able to show three of my hats there, among those of people who have been in the business very long and are very experienced and well known. 

This pattern is a variation on the one I made from a play-doh model. This version is not only meant to be worn tilted to the right, but also has a shorter crown. I hope you like it!

August 29, 2008

Hat from self made pattern (from 3D shape) – persian lamb


A short while ago I tried to make a flat pattern from a 3D design that I had previously sculpted out of plasticine. It turned out pretty good although the resulting pattern had many darts (in order for it to stay flat). If you didn’t read about that process you can do it now by following this link.

This time I’ve tried to see what would happen if I eliminated the darts and compensated by cutting the pattern pieces on the bias.

First I’ve traced the pattern pieces onto another paper and reduced the width on the sides to compensate for the darts that I’ve eliminated. Only one dart remains, on the back, that will help to do last minute adjustments to the right headsize size. I’ve also modified the pattern so the hat has a nice tilt to the right by trimming the bottom on that side.

Once I traced the pattern onto the fabric and cut the fabric, I machine sewed the side panels together and trimmed the seam allowances. Finally I sewed the top piece on. The result was a bit flimsy and the top piece did not stay nice and flat, so I decided to zig-zag nylon wire to the top edge using the beading foot of the sewing machine.


Finally I zigzagged the seam allowance so that it all stayed in place. That was a bad idea because the zig-zag was visible on the outside. Fortunately brushing the pile with a wire brush helped to hide it, but next time I will do that bit by hand.

The hat is finished on the inside by slipstitching the hem first and a grosgrain ribbon onto it (which also helps to adjust the headsize). For the moment I’m leaving it without lining because it looks pretty neat as it is.


Here are more pictures of me with my hat (I’ve used a American vintage brooch -possibly early 50’s- to cheer it up):


July 18, 2008

Making a flat pattern out of a plasticine 3D shape

You might have been checking the website only to find out the same old posts. That is because both my mother and my mother-in-law have had health problems and of course family comes first.

While looking after my mothers I’ve also been busy working on fall-winter hats, and one of the projects was to make fabric hats out of my own patterns. A warning is due, I have no training or experience in making patterns, and I hope you will keep that in mind when reading this post.

Here follow the results of my attempt (click on the pictures to see them enlarged):

Plasticine hand modelled shape Shaped covered in plastic and then paper tape Pattern pieces cut out

First I bought myself 2kg of play-doh and used that, over an basic wood block, to make the shape I wanted (in this case a 40’s inspired head huggig shape), wrapped it up with plastic and then taped the hell out of it with masking tape (a paper tape used when painting walls and windows and that can be found on any hardware store). The theory is to then cut that open and voila! you have a pattern, but of course things are never that easy. In order to get a flat pattern I had to give a lot of thought as to where to cut, and even after that I had to do some darts (tiny but needed) to get the pattern pieces to lie flat (the picture above is before cutting the small darts).

Pattern pieces traced onto interfacing Sides of hat sewn Sewing the hat

Next I traced the cut out pattern pieces onto some magazine paper, cut it out and then traced it onto some heavy interfacing. I then cut out the interfacing and ironed it onto old curtain fabric (I was not going to use some nice fabric for this!). Finally I cut the fabric adding the allowance, and as a result the seam allowance has no interfacing which has made the seams lighter and easier to sew.

Here is the finished hat:

Finished hatMy thoughts on the whole process are (and I welcome any comment or suggestion!):

1. The question was… is it possible? And the reply is, YES, it is… although it’s hard to get an idea of how the hat will end up looking on the head of the wearer. It might be better to use a working head such as this one.

2. I’ve ended up with a lot of seams… where the small darts really necessary? Would it help to cut the segments on the bias and stretch the lower part when ironing the interfacing so it has a slightly curved shape? Is that even possible?

3. I’m happy I did a prolongation of the pattern on the bottom edge (by flipping the pattern) so that the lower edge could fold under still conforming to the shape. It looks really neat and the lining can then be sewn to that bit.

I believe I will open the center back dart and put an elastic there, so the hat will be easier to put on and adapt to different head sizes.

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