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"?

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