Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lil' Red Hat

It's always fun to take on commissions, and one of the latest completed was that of the "Lil' Red Hat". This is for a choir show for O'Gorman High School out in South Dakota. It seems they are very serious about their chorus shows out there, so I was glad to be able to help them out. They needed 22 red pillbox hats- and if you have read this blog before, you know that I know how to do pillboxes!

How it was done:
For this, we were under some time and financial constraints so, the method I used was a little different than before. Previously I showed how to make a frame, but this time I began with a purchased frame from a theatre supplier.
Ta da. Hat frame fully assembled. Time to make the patterns.
I traced the outside of the crown of the hat in order to make the lining for the crown. I measured around the inside of the band and added seam allowance, and of course it is important to cut the band lining on the bias. I marked equal quarters on both the crown and the band in order to match those spots up while I was sewing. I also pressed the seam allowance of the bottom part of the band so it would be prepared for later.
Here is a lining fully assembled. After sewing all the linings, all the machine work was done, the remainder was completed by hand.
See? Fits nicely.
To cover the crown, I draped a square of fabric that was large enough to cover the crown fully. This fabric is called crushed panne. It is a kind of velveteen and has a good deal of stretch to it, so I need to keep the fabric taunt as I stitch around the edge of the crown.
After stitching, I trim the fabric just under the row of handstitches.
To cover the band, I fold under seam allowance and pin it over the stitching I just made on the crown. The band cover is then slipstitched together, so all the seams are virtually invisible.
The remainder of the band fabric is folded to the inside of the frame to await the lining.
Now, how to hold those hats in place?? This is a point I have struggled with in my pillbox hat wearing experiences. I have tried elastic with loops, plastic hair combs, swimwear elastic, and normal elastic (which was the only thing that worked!). But now, I've found something better, hat elastic! (duh, right?)
This round elastic is designed for hats, it is strong and nude color, and it also has these little metal barbs on both ends to attach to the hat with ease.
To attach to the hat: one inserts the metal barb through the fabric and through one of the holes in the ultrastraw frame. Then, you allow the metal barb to take on a "T" shape and the metal part lies flat against the hat. As the elastic is stretched, the metal barb is braced against the hat frame, so it is very secure.
 After attaching one side of the elastic, I pop the lining into place.
 Then attach the elastic on the other side. The lining is hand stitched into place, again, being virtually invisible.
Can't forget the label!
  A lil' red hat completed! This fabric has some great sheen and will look very dynamic under bright lights.

1 comment:

  1. These hats exceeded our expectations on every front! Not only are they completely adorable, but they were delivered two weeks ahead of schedule. Gina is fantastic to work with! I'll try and send a pic of the girls performing with their "Li'l Red Hats!"
    Amy Olson
    Sioux Falls SD