Introduction: Uzbeki Spy Hat (or Wizard Hat)
Pashmina Suleyman (below, in the only clear photo of her known to exist) and her partner Kutchima (AKA Koochie Mama), the famed Uzbeki spies, wear these to blend in with the San Francisco natives during intelligence-gathering missions. They are often mistaken for wizards, but that is silly because wizards aren't real.
You COULD, of course, wear a hat of this style if you were dressing up in a wizard COSTUME. That would be silly too, but in a good way.
Step 1: Tools & Materials
- a half yard of some fabric or other
- a half yard of stiff interfacing
- a small amount of polyfil or other stuffing
- optional decorative trim
- sewing machine (you could sew by hand if you had to)
- measuring tape
- pins are helpful but not vital
Step 2: Hat Base
Cut a right triangle from the interfacing, by folding one corner to meet the opposite side, and cutting along the fold. Fold the resulting triangle in half and stitch from the point downwards to form a cone. Put the cone on your head. It should come down somewhere between forehead and nose level; trim it so it doesn't come down much below where it sits on your head, and you can see properly.
Lay the cone on your fabric, with the seam next to one edge, and cut around the bottom leaving about an inch of seam allowance. Roll the interfacing cone over towards the adjacent side of the fabric to cut the other half. Stitch a cone of this as well.
Step 3: Hat Base, Cont'd
Trim the tips, and turn the cones inside out. Fit the interfacing cone inside the fabric cone and stitch them together near the base of the interfacing. See pictures!
Step 4: Stuffed Brim
The brim consists of a stuffed tube whose inner circumference is the same size as the bottom of the cone. To make this, you'll create a tube out of fabric the length of the brim's outer circumference. To determine the outer circumference, tuck the fabric inside the cone and set it down; lay a tape measure around the edge at about 2 inches out from the hat. Add an inch or so to the result for seam allowance, but this doesn't have to be very accurate. (It will probably be between 34 and 38 inches for an adult.)
Cut a strip of fabric 6" wide and as long as you just measured. If you're putting trim on, sew it on now, however you want it (a single stripe is elegant looking but you can also go crazy with it). Now fold the strip crosswise, right sides together, and stitch the ends together.
Fold the resulting circle together, lengthwise, to create a doughnut shape. This time you want the WRONG sides together, with the seam allowances sticking out, as you'll use them to attach the brim to the hat. Sew most of the way around, leaving 3 or 4 inches open to stuff the brim. Stuff gently, the brim should not be stiff. Then stitch the hole closed.
Step 5: Attach Crown and Brim
This is the only slightly difficult part. You now have a cone whose lower edge is length X, and a stuffed doughnut shape whose circumference (taking into account the folding that occurs on the inner sides) is Y. Y is bigger than X and yet they must be sewn together. Enter the concept that we in the Uzbeki spy hat industry call, 'ease': just mush it together and make it fit. Here's how.
Using pins or a marker, or paper clips, or any method, really, mark 4 equidistant points on the lower edge of the hat - quarter it. Similarly, mark 4 quarters on the seam allowance sticking out of the doughnut brim. You can do this by measuring, but it's fine to do it by just flattening the pieces to get halves, and then bringing the halves together and flattening the other way to get quarters.
Now place the cone through the doughnut and pin the two together, matching up each of the quarter markings. Match the stitching line on the doughnut up to a bit below the end of the interfacing on the cone. You can pin at the eighths, as well, if you want. Sew the pieces together, smushing the extra length up to fit the shorter length. This is a bit tricky to sew as the hat is fairly stiff and wants to come out from under the needle. Just go slow and reposition the hat as needed. It isn't all that long of a seam, after all.
Step 6: Gather Intelligence About the Native Population
Observe the rare security camera photos below of Pashmina and Kutchima. As you can see, wearing this hat, you can go absolutely anywhere without being spotted as a spy. There are many additional advantages. It's very effective for peering around corners of buildings, for example, as the stuffed brim provides a nice cushion for the head. You can also measure the height of doorways without a ladder (a very conspicuous item!) and hide, unfindably, the exploding pens, poison pills, communication modules, and other small items a spy should always keep handy.