Introduction: Sew a Woman's Summer Visor
This custom sewn visor is the perfect spring and summer accessory. The long brim is both functional and fashionable. Once you've made your pattern, the hat is simple enough to create and embellish that you can make several to coordinate with your outfit or mood. Because it only takes 1/2 a yard of fabric, it's a perfect way to use some great fabrics as features in your warm weather wardrobe.
To make one visor, you will need:
Paper for tracing out patterns
1/2 yard fabric -- I used cotton but fabrics with similar properties should work as well
1/2 yard heavy fusible interfacing*
1/2" elastic (about 7")
*The interfacing I purchased was Pellon 931TD, labeled as "medium to heavyweight" which isn't particularly thick or inflexible. If your interfacing is quite stiff and thick, it's too heavy for these instructions as I've written them.
Step 1: The Brim Pattern
On a large sheet of paper, draw a vertical line 9 1/2" long.
1. Draw a half circle with a 3 3/4" radius using the bottom of the line as the center.
2. Measure up 4.5 from the bottom point and draw a half circle with a 4 1/2" radius using this point as the center.
3. Draw vertical lines down from the sides of the larger arcs and connect them to the bottom of the smaller circle using gentle curves.
Step 2: Cutting the Fabric
You will need:
2 pieces of fabric cut to fit the brim pattern
2 pieces of interfacing cut to fit the brim pattern
2 pieces of fabric 2" X 19.5" (for the crown)
1 piece of interfacing cut 1.5" X 18.5" (for the crown)
1 piece of fabric cut 2" x 8" (for the elastic sleeve)
Be sure to look at your fabric as you line up the pattern, making sure that patterns and designs are oriented the way you want.
Step 3: Forming the Brim
Place brim interfacing on the wrong sides of the brim fabric and iron to fuse in place.
Layer the brim pieces, right sides together and pin along outer arc.
Stitch together brim pieces 1/4" from the large outer arc.
Clip toward the stitching along the curved sections of the arc.
Step 4: Reinforce the Brim
Turn brim right side out. Press the outer edge.
Clip the points off so the inner circle edge is smooth and neat.
Topstitch close to the edge of the brim along the large arc. Then topstich a series of lines parallel to the outer edge. I do this by lining up the needle on the far left and following the line of the previous stitching with the right edge of the presser foot.
TEST YOUR BRIM
To see if your brim is stiff enough, hold it up against your head now, putting it against your forehead and around, pressing the ends against the sides of your head. If it keeps its shape, it should work fine. If not, you can add more topstitching between the lines you've already stitched.
Step 5: Preparing the Other Pieces
Place the crown interfacing on the wrong side of one of the crown pieces. Line up one of the long edges of the interfacing with the long edges of the fabric. (This edge will be the bottom of the crown, so orient the fabric with this in mind.) Center the interfacing between the short edges and iron in place.
Fold down the top edge of the interfaced crown piece 1/2" and iron to create a crisp edge. Repeat with the top edge of the other crown piece.
Fold the 2"X8" fabric piece in half lengthwise, with right sides together. Stitch along the long edge with 1/4" seams. Turn right-side-out using a safety pin or turning tool. Press flat, centering the seam on one side.
Insert the end of the elastic through the length of the elastic sleeve, gathering the fabric as you go. Stitch to secure in place. Be sure to leave the elastic sticking out from the bunched up sleeve. You'll be adjusting this later.
Step 6: Adding the Crown
Select a side to be the top of the brim.
Center the interfaced crown piece right side down against the top side of the brim, with the unfolded edge of the crown piece lined up with the inside circle of the brim. Center the other crown piece against the bottom side of the brim in a similar fashion, with right sides together. Pin the center point in place. You should have a sandwich with the crown pieces on the outside and the brim on the inside.
Pin the three pieces together along the edge of the brim and the crown pieces together where they extend beyond the brim.
Stitch together the pinned edge using 1/4" seams. Keep the crown lined up under the presser foot and pull the brim's edge flat as you go.
Slash the fabric along the seam ONLY along where the brim's edge is also sewn.
Step 7: Finishing the Crown
Fold over the short edges of the crown by 1/2."
Press the crown strips toward each other and away from the brim. Work carefully to create smooth seams and pinning as you go. (I use a mini iron for this step.)
Laying the visor top side up, topstitch along the bottom edge of the crown, close to where it meets the brim. Pull out the brim so that the crown's edge goes under the presser foot flat. (see picture)
Pin together the top edge of the crown and then topstitch along the edge.
Step 8: Adding the Elastic
Making sure the seam is down, tuck the sewn end of the elastic sleeve into one end of the crown. Topstitch along the edge of the crown to secure.
Push the sleeve down the elastic and fit the visor around your head. Hold it so that it is slightly snug and mark where the elastic meets the crown on the unattached side.
Cut the elastic 1/2" longer than the mark. Pull the end of the sleeve up to meet the end of the elastic, pin and tuck into the unattached end of the crown.
Topstitch to secure the elastic and sleeve.