Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sweaters and Hats Like Nothing You've Never Seen

Like nothing you've ever seen... because I forgot to blog them. Brought to you by in vivid low-res Instagram-selfie-o-vision because I can't manage to take real photos since we moved (where is that tripod, anyway?).

Hetty at last!

Anyway, I finally finished that Hetty cardigan (Raveled details here) by Andi Satterlund I started right before I got pregnant--it had been sitting around in need of bands, buttons and blocking for months. It fits nicely and I do love it, but I found the directions (especially for the lace pattern) confusing and I made an unsuitably rustic and weak yarn choice that basically required picking a barn's worth of straw out as I went. Still -- it is a done thing!

Sewn Hats: A Brief Obsession.

Two weeks before my maternity leave ended in June, I developed a brief fixation with sewing hats. My head is so large that "one size fits all" hats give me whamming migraines (if I can shove them on my head at all), yet I am also so pale and burn-prone that hats are a serious summer necessity. I became determined to master the not-so-arty art of sewing basic casual summer hats.

And because I was fixated, I became excessively concerned with trying to find the proper interfacing that would create "just so" hat results (and bags, too, because if I was going to get stiff interfacing, I might as well also learn to sew bags too, right? In all my spare time between caring for baby and trying to find an affordable apartment to move to and getting ready to go back to work?).

I spent way too many middle of the night nursing sessions googling "hat and bag interfacing types" and reading long forum threads and blog posts on the subject. My sewing club friend Valerie then accompanied me on a trip to the Garment District where we went into one of those stores where they have lots of interfacing but nothing is labeled and the staff seem to look with pity on those who ask questions but they somehow had none of the brands on my list so I panicked and bought like, 10 different kinds that I didn't note the brand or ... well, now I have a lot of interfacing. And no me-made bags. I could have bought several hats and bags with that money.

I started with a bucket hat for my daughter, using the free reversible Oliver + S pattern.

But the largest size of this pattern was no match for my then-four-year-old daughter's big beautiful Afro, and she couldn't wear it at all.

I did manage to make her a circular sleep bonnet (from some bright-patterned ITY jersey I had hoped to make into a dress until my husband declared it "ugly" and "terrifying). I can't find the exact tutorial I used, but it was basically like this.

It's just two circles of fabric sewn together, with an sewn elastic casing channel and it took maybe 15 minutes total. Yet it is one of the most practical things I have ever sewn (so much better than the cheap breakable drugstore ones) and she wears it to bed EVERY night. Hat win?

And I bought this fantastic book of hat patterns in a wide range of sizes and styles, Carla Crim (aka the Scientific Seamstress)'s Sewn Hats:

(Do note that the book has been sold to a new publisher, so to get the downloadable patterns, you'll need to email the author for a link).

Finally, hat success! I made a striped black denim "Liesl Cloche" from some scraps leftover from a skirt.

The largest size fit me fairly well (though next time I'll scale it up even bigger):

And it is only slightly too big on Ms. Z, who likes to borrow it:

4 other random things

And then I went back to work, but not before making this Spoonflower fabric headband:

And some bibs:


And I've been knitting all along, like this preemie K├╝rbis pumpkin Halloween hat (Raveled here) I made for a friend who was collecting them for the children's hospital her preemie baby spent eight months in:

Or these Embossed Leaves socks that are ALMOST done now (I am at the tip of the second sock toe):

Why the rush to blog the unblogged, you asked? Well, baby turns ONE this weekend so is waking to nurse less (just 1-2 times per night) which means I actually feel relatively rested these days (in between bouts of winter illness). AND I finally set up my sewing machine, which had been near inaccessible since our move almost five months ago...

So... SEWING. It may actually happen around here sometime soon. Stay tuned!

P.S. Please tell me I am not the only one who hates that women's hats are usually sold as "one size fits all"?

18 comments:

  1. I also have a big head! I often wear men's hats - though a lot of them are too small too! Lol! Nice to see you on the blog -having a sewing corner set up is 3/4 of the work right there!

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    1. Yeah, men's hats are still often too small and they never look right on me. The sewing corner is very exciting! I will have pictures once it is really set up.

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  2. I have big hair! Hats almost never fit. Nice to see you back at it. It does get easier when they start sleeping more!

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    1. The real victory will be when he doesn't wake up at all in the night, right? Someday... still a big improvement though.

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  3. Here at Big Heads Labs (23", Bald 23 1/2 and Mr Teen 24"), I've been making hats for a theater company, and I MARVEL at how tiny these people's heads are. Grown size adults with child sized noggins. So I guess they are the heads of that one size.

    Good work on that child thing.

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    1. Ha, that sounds like our family. Husband also has a huge head, and the doctor said baby D's head was so big it was "off the charts." :)

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  4. I have lots of hair- I rarely find a hat that fits.
    Your children are adorable!!!

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    1. Big hair makes hat fitting so challenging! There are some styles of hats that are open on top (not visors, more of a hybrid) but I still haven't figured out the ideal kind for Ms. Z.

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  5. I may have to look into that book, since I'm also burn-prone with a head that I can never fit comfortably into hats! And I'm very happy for you that the baby is only waking you up that little now. My 7-month old is still averaging 3-5, and nursing is often the only way he'll go back to sleep, so I like these reminders that it gets better.

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    1. It definitely gets better. My older one started sleeping TOTALLY through the night when she was 2.5 years old and it was life-changing. Hopefully this guy figures it out sooner. I do still nurse him when he wakes now, but I might start night-weaning in a few months.

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  6. I hate "one size fits no one" hats too. My head is tiny and I am humiliated at having to buy mine in the kids department. I would love a proper grown up hat that doesn't fall over my eyes.

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    1. That sounds so frustrating! Well, I do recommend the above book. I have only made the one hat so far but it was relatively easy and fun and the instructions are great.

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  7. I hate "one size fits no one" hats too. My head is tiny and I am humiliated at having to buy mine in the kids department. I would love a proper grown up hat that doesn't fall over my eyes.

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  8. I wear a pony tail most days, so hats never work for me. I use a visor in the summer. That pumpkin preemie hat is so, so cute!

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    1. I might make a visor for Z for the summer, I like that it could be easily adjustable (maybe with elastic in the back).

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  9. Heads are like feet: all different sizes, and all different shapes. A hat that fits a small, docephalic person perfectly will never do for someone with a big old melon (braecephalic) head. Fortunately hats are relatively easy to sew and to draft from the multitude of on-line patterns and designs in theater costume textbooks in public libraries.

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  10. Oh man, the one size fits all! I have a relatively large noggin, and it drives me nuts! I often end up buying men's hats because they DO come in sizes. Who knows why? Men won't put up with headaches? Who knows. I also hate the ones that come with an adjustable drawstring inside the brim, and they make them oversized so they fit everyone - then it's just all bunched up! Grrr!

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  11. Oooh I've only ever made a baby hat, but you have totally inspired me! My husband needs a hat made for him badly. He has the opposite problem in that he has a small head, so most mens hats are loose on him.
    P.S. Your kids are soooo cute!

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