I wanted to design the WALL-E hat to be able to go into the wash, just like any other crocheted garment I would create.
I decided to clip on clear plastic lids that I got from the tops of containers that were originally meant to organize my pony beads. They weren't being used yet and were clear, the right size and shape for Wall-E's distinctive viewing sockets (what I call eyes.)
The idea I had to do these clear-plastic eyes was to sew the felt pieces down to the hat while being able to remove the plastic "lenses" and binder clips.
As you can imagine, the clips can be felt on your head if the hat is pulled over it. As you may have seen on the first photo, the clips are high enough on the hat that it shouldn't press on your head if you wear the hat upright and not pulled over the top of your head.
Here's what I did and I encourage you if you make your own hat and use these instructions as a basis, that you let me know if you changed the method to make it better.
My own personal notes:
You can get embroidery help with this Instructable: Embroidery 101.
Planning the Eyes
After watching the movie with my children and doing a google search for images, I used a sheet of paper to create a similar version of the eye areas that move up and down on Wall-E's (uh...) head.
I placed the clips from the inside of the hat on round 11. There are four stitches in between the clips for each plastic cap (also called a lens in this instructable.)
There are six stitches in between the two inside clips. (See the photos.)
Using an 8-1/2 x 11-inch sheet of paper, I placed the hat on top and marked out an "X" approximately where the lenses would be on the sheet. I also drew a dashed line on the side of the hat on the paper just in case.
I then traced the plastic cap around the "X" to make the pattern of the outer eye. It took me a couple tries to get the shape I wanted, but I cut out the pattern from the paper to use on the felt.
I used brown felt for the part of the eye under the pupil (I call this the iris.)
I used black felt for the pupil part of the eye, and it was as large as a penny.
Cut the outside part for the Eyes
The first piece I worked on was the outer part or covering of the eye system. Using the pattern I cut out from the sheet of paper, I traced around the pattern on the back side of the mustard colored felt.
I folded the felt in half to get the other eye to be exactly the same size.
To create the lens opening, I marked spots around the lens on the backside of the cut-out felt piece. I then cut a hole SMALLER THAN (by about 1/8-inch around) the spots I marked on the felt. The lenses push through the felt to give the eyes the 3-dimensions I was going for.
Cut the inside part for the Eyes
I placed a small mark where the outside circle lands on the brown inside felt. Mark both sides (or two places) of the hole on the brown.
Take off the outside part of the eyes that cover the brown (iris) piece and place the plastic lens over the marks from the outside circle. Make two marks, one on each side of the lens using a pen. Those outside marks will be where you will make small cuts to push the binder clip through.
Cut just enough material in a line to push the binder clip through, even if it's a little short of the clip length.
Perform the above instructions for both inside brown pieces.
If you haven't cut the black felt circles (penny sized) for the pupils, then please cut those now.
Optional - Stitch around the Clip Opening
I chose to do small stitches around the clip opening with black thread. I was trying to think of the wear on the felt, and hopefully the clips won't catch on the thread in the long run.
Create the Eyes
Using Lion Brand Bonbons in yellow, I did a simple stitch around the edge of the black pupil, in between the two clip openings. After sewing down the pupil, I added two french knots at the 2 o-clock position for added details.
I placed the newly created eyes on the hat to ensure that the hat was going to look like I imagined in my head. When I placed the outside covering on the eye, a bit of brown felt stuck out. I trimmed the corner piece off on both sides.
*Real Quick REMINDER - I did not follow this same process as I wrote here so the photos do not show exactly what I am suggesting, but I tried to clarify that in the photos for your reference.*
Plan & Cut the Felt for the Neck
I drew out an example Wall-E head and neck based on the photo I found on the net. I labeled this drawing with what colors I was going to make the felt pieces.
The next drawing I made was the pieces of the neck themselves. As it may be difficult to see that photo, I labeled all the pieces of the neck from the head down to the bottom of the hat for reference.
All of the pieces were made up as I went along so I did not use a pattern, other than the reference page for the shapes.
Piece 1 is an oval. I used two (American) pennies and a quarter to create this piece on black felt.
Piece 2 is a brown half-circle that sits under the black oval (piece 1.) I used the oval to measure the half-circle by placing the oval on top of the brown and making the half-circle bigger by about 1/8-inch around.
Piece 3 is a "Y" shaped black piece that sits under piece 2 and eventually over piece 4. I ended up trimming the original size I made and that is shown on the photo for piece 3. (I mention this below in the sewing-the-neck description below.)
Next, I made pieces 5 and 6. I started with a brown rectangle for piece 6, with a small black strip over the center.
Piece 5 was a black rectangle with a half-circle as the bottom half of the shape. I used the size of piece 6 to determine the size of piece 5.
Pieces 4 and 7 are both brown rectangles. I started with one large brown rectangle and measured it against piece 5. I trimmed the rectangle to make it a hair smaller in width as piece 5. I flipped piece 5 over and cut the brown rectangle for piece 4 from piece 7. Piece 4 lays over piece 5 and under piece 3.
Crochet the Eye Connectors - Make 2
With black acrylic yarn, and the smaller crochet hook, ch 12 and finish off with a long end for sewing.
Sew the Iris (inside part) to the Hat
I used brown embroidery thread to sew the iris part to the hat with a running stitch. To ensure the felt piece stayed in place, I sewed it with the clips and lens cap on.
Begin to Sew the Neck to the Hat
If I were to do this over again, I would sew the neck pieces to the hat next, before sewing on the outside cover of the eye. (In the photos, the right outer eye covering is almost completely sewn on.)
Note that I used black thread to sew the neck together and to the hat.
In order to sew the neck to the hat, I sewed piece 6 to pieces 5 and 7.
Next I sewed piece 1 to piece 2 using a blanket stitch. I ended up trimming piece 2 on the hat because there was too much brown sticking out around the bottom of the black oval - but I didn't realize this until I began sewing it to the hat!
I placed the nose in between the two eyes and used a blanket stitch to sew piece 1 to the hat.
Sew the Eye Connectors to the Eyes
Using a photo of Wall-E as a guide, slip the end of the crocheted chain under a running stitch of the eye, near piece 2. Sew both sides.
Sew the Outside of the Eye (Eye Covering) to the Hat
I pinned down the outside eye coverings in place prior to sewing it to the hat. I used a brown thread with a blanket stitch to sew the eye covering over each eye. Again, if I were to do it over again, I would have sewn over piece 1 (his oval "nose") on both sides.
Complete Sewing the Neck to the Hat
I started sewing the bottom piece 7 to the bottom of the cuff and worked up to meet piece 2. I used a combination of blanket stitches and running stitches to sew this neck in place.
I sighed a huge sigh when I finished this Instructable. Somebody give me a shout out that you made it to the end of it and (perhaps even) enjoyed it... PLEASE!
Thanks for reading and I hope you make a square hat of your own. I've already had one child request a red one.
Yes, the crafting never ends in my house. I'm sure many of you can relate.... =)