Intro: Princess Hat on the Cheap
This is a fun project I thought up for a neighbor's 4 year old girl, they've moved so I haven't got a model but, I think you'll get the gist.
She never wants to wear a hat unless it's special, pretty, frilly, girly, especially when the weather gets a bit warmer.
This hat design is fun and I think she'd like it, It's girly but, not too warm. I may have to make something similar for myself now.
Step 1: First Collect Your Materials
Collect materials, I started with $1 clothes from the thrift store- I look for seasonal stuff; in the summer there's lots of nice unworn polar fleece, then pick up bits and bobs from all over. Wash it all first- our local shop uses some strong flowery smelling stuff so I always wash even the never-worn clothes. I had some triangular scraps of brocade -local upholstery and drapery companies sometimes have scraps of gorgeous designer fabrics in decent sized pieces for cheap (or free) and too small for them is often project sized for me. I had some netting, stuffing, beads and imagination. Get out your scissors, a rotary cutter and matt (optional), a needle, thread, a sewing machine (meet my trusty but oooold Singer), tape measure, cereal box for patterns, colored pencils (that wash out.)
Step 2: Math.....
Second step: The Math dumdumdadum... really not all that bad, but useful. You'll need two measurements: circumference is taken around the head just where the edge of the hat should come- you can use an existing hat to show you where then measure. What I call "top" is taken from the front center to the back center over the you guessed it- top of the head, see, we're going to get along just fine.
Step 3: The Pattern
Now for the pattern&this is for a hat to fit a 4yo girl; a 17" head circumference and 6 points (no reason- it just looked right. Adjust as needed. It has the "points" shown- different shapes get different results.
Step 4: The "Patrick"
This edition has been named the "Patrick" in honor of a well-known starfish, these points were much narrower. Points for the "Patrick" are shown in red on the pattern. These hats allow for a lot of "artistic license", enjoy!
Step 5: Trace Your Pattern
Iron your fabric only if it needs it **never iron polar fleece- it will melt, get crunchy- and stink** Trace pattern onto fabric- on the diagonal (bias) if it's not very stretchy; it will have some stretch on the bias, be sure to have a bit of extra in your pattern if using a no-give fabric. I find the polar fleece seems to be stretchy enough on its own. I trace the pattern onto the fabric because I don't like to pin- but do it as you like.
Step 6: Cut Out Your Pieces
Cut out your pieces, carefully!! *Very carefully, especially if you use the rotary cutter* Keep kids and pets out of the vicinity and always close it when you put it down!
Not that I've ever cut myself so quickly and deeply that I needed stitches using this wonderful tool that is the equivalent of a circular razor blade possessed by the demon of sewing, but please be uber-careful or use a scissors- (and I trust you'll not run with them).
Step 7: Sew
Sew your pieces- pretty sides together, use the 1/4" seam we allowed for, just keep sewing the pattern pieces together until they are gone. WAIT to sew the first edge to the last, it'll make this next bit simpler and you are well on your way to a cute hat!
Step 8: Turn and Check
Turn the hat "right-side-out" and check all of your seams- after this point it'll be a real pain to fix them. Find any funny spots? Just go back and you get a "sew-over"- I love those! Measure the "base" edge- is it the right size or a little bigger? If not you may have to add in a small triangle to allow for the space you need around the head, or if it's too big don't worry- we'll call it growing room and fix it in the next step.
I used the glass rod from an old chandelier as my turning tool.
Step 9: Finished Edge, Elastic Pocket, Cuff
Take the bottom hem of the color polar fleece you've decided on and sew it into the inside of the hat with the hem upside down, the hem will be a great little pocket for elastic -to adjust size later! Now, sew the longer bit of fleece to the outside- if you have an embroidery machine this could be a really pretty step but, you've met "Old Faithful" and she doesn't mess with that stuff. On the next hat I may take some time to scallop and sew the edge down (be careful and don't sew your elastic pocket shut!!)