Introduction: Cat in the Hat Hat and Bowtie

This was a quick project to cure the afternoon blahs.

Make a fun to wear Cat in the Hat (great books by Dr. Suess) hat and matching bowtie.

Reading is good. Read. Read to your kids. Read to others.

Step 1: Sergers and Strips...

I made the hat and bowtie out of red and white microfleece fabric.

There are really no measurements and you don't have to be exact in your sewing since that adds to the character, kinda like the wonkiness of Instructables Robot.

I had a head form to do the initial fitting and the rest is freeform from there.

You can do hand sewing, with a regular sewing machine, or if you are lucky, have a serger.

I have found a serger is great for prototyping sewn items and it makes quick work of sewing a seam shut, trimming and binding over the raw edge into a finished look all in one pass.

You can also use a sewing machine or serger to piece together smaller pieces of scrap material to make it useable as a bigger piece of fabric.

You need a few strips of fabric to make the brim of the hat, the main striped upright section of the hat and a small piece of any leftover scrap to fill in the top of the hat.

I used some scraps of fabric to make the bowtie.

A little bit of fiberfill batting was layered in with the brim and bowtie parts to make it somewhat thicker.

Step 2: Filled to the Brim...

One thing the serger does not handle well is punching through a lot of layers of fabric or going through where the seams are. You do have to watch that the excess material being trimmed is not caught back in the needle and thread part. I did break a needle but keep spares on hand to change out because it happens. It also cannot handle doing tight curves since the whole tension/interlocked 4-thread sewing mechanism is so fine tuned to work as it does.

When constructing sewn items, you usually work with things inside out, sew and turn them out to present a nice clean seam. You really have to think beforehand and prepare your layers that you sew to come out correctly when you do sew. I've ripped apart many a seam but that gets old fast.

I first constructed the brim.

You could cut a a circular piece but that would be a waste of material. I constructed the brim by piecing together strips. They are joined at an angle so when the whole brim is laid out, it gives a more flat ring-like shape. I then serged around what would be the outer edge of the brim. It is them flipped inside out.

Serge together the striped upright section of the hat. Red - Whte - Red - White - Red.

Fold that in half along the side so that we can form a tube. It should be sized to fit the opening that the brim forms to fit your head. Sew or serge the upright portion into a tube.

Since the serger is really not a free arm sewing machine, you can't slide the tube on to the machine to work it, you have to scrunch up the excess material to get the sewing needles to the seam. Sew the bottom edge of the tube to the opening in the brim.

Sew a piece of fabric to fill in the opening at the top of the hat. You can rough cut an oval or circle that fits the opening of the top of the tube to help guide your fabric edges when you sew it together.

Step 3: Support the Cause...

Once the hat is fully constructed, trim all the loose threads and turn inside out. Test fit.

It turned out to be a floppy tall hat so I mounted a wire support inside. I just bent a piece of stiff wire to go up the back seam of the upright portion and bent it into a ring to fit the top circle of the hat. The wire is held upright with a fabric tube pocket sewn to the seam of the upright tube of the hat.

Since I had the serger out I might as well make the bowtie.

It's just a matter of sewing a "pillow" in the shape of the bowtie and another small strip for the "tail" that hangs down.

The parts are sewn with a layer of fiberfill batting so I don't have to stuff the shapes later.

I sewed the bowtie shape completely around and cut a hole in the center to turn it inside out.

The tail is sewn closed at one end and turned inside out.

That is then sewn to the bowtie which also closes off the opening cut to turn the bowtie inside out.

The tail is then brought around and tucked in a half-hitch to form the center knot of a bowtie.

Adjust all the creases to make it a presentable bowtie.

This is one of those faux "clip-on" style ties. Wear by attaching with a safety pin or sew on a back strap with snaps or velcro.

Since most things made with microfleece and fiberfill batting are good at diffusing light, I stuck in some LED lights to make it glow. It's just a fun thing to do. Always be experimenting. I used my Adafruit Circuit Playground Express board that had a few Neopixel strips attached and was programmed for another project.

So the moral of the story is just go make something. Even better when it has blinking lights.


Book Character Costume Challenge

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Book Character Costume Challenge