Wednesday, August 3, 2011

LTTSA: Bucket Hats, Part 1

(Apologies, I know I said I'd post this yesterday. But I got home from work and just had to mostly tickle my babies and then put them to bed and drink wine with my man. You understand.)

Ok, let's start making bucket hats! A lot of this post is going to be really mundane for some of you. But I figured since this is the first of many patterns we are using, I would show some detail about tracing and cutting for any beginners out there. All sewing levels welcome here.

And this is just how I like to do things. Feel free to share how you do things differently or better or just any general tips.

 You'll find the bucket hats on the bottom corner of pattern page 2, which is on the back of page 1. First you'll need to decide what size you are using by measuring your child's head or just going with the age ranges they give for each size on page 33. But if your child has a particulary small or large noggin, you might want to measure. I'm making 2 hats, one medium and one large.

Obviously, you can't cut out the patterns from this sheet. You would lose not only the other bucket hat sizes, but also all the other patterns that overlap. That's why patterns must be traced first.

Here are my pattern pieces all traced in pencil, in both sizes. A while back, someone gave me a huge package of blank newsprint sheets just for this and other crafty purposes, which was very nice. This worked fine, but the tracing paper that you can buy from the craft or art supply store in big pads actually works better because it's easier to see through. I might get a large pad to use for the rest of our projects. But definitely use what you got. You might want to weight down your paper with scissors or other items so it doesn't shift around too much as you trace. Just move your paper to trace each new piece in a spot that uses up the least space. 

When I cut them out, I made sure to keep the different sizes organized. I also labeled them with the project, the size, the pattern piece (a/b/c) and how many to cut from each fabric. I cut out each notch. When you cut out your pattern pieces, make sure to use different scissors than what you cut fabric with.

Since we are cutting two of each piece besides the top piece, double up your fabric. It's probably easier to always do right sides together, since that's how they will be sewn together. But it doesn't matter if you do it the other way as long as it's a mirror image. Pin the pattern piece right through both layers of fabric.

Here's the medium brim piece pinned to my fabric. You'll notice I didn't exactly follow the grain of the fabric here, which is what that arrow on the pattern is supposed to indicate. For this project, I really don't think that matters too much. I was just trying to use this scrap of fabric wisely. This project is great for using up larger scraps, so arrange your patterns how you need to. It also doesn't matter because of the small print I used here, but later I'll show you what I did on a larger directional print.

After I cut along the top curve of the brim, I opened that section up to use for the top piece, since you only need to cut one of those out for each layer.  Remember, always iron your fabric well before pinning and cutting out the pieces. You can also iron your paper so that it lays flat and makes things easier to cut.

Now, for my large hat I decided to use this Michael Miller print called Groovy Guitars. I folded up the edge to make enough space for two layers and laid out my brim. With this large print, I had to pay closer attention to how I placed it. I used the notches to center it on that light blue guitar neck.

So here are my large hat pieces all cut. Groovy guitars, and a couple of solids left over from Hendrix's quilt. The two shades of blue just happened to match the blue guitars perfectly, and I didn't have enough of either of them do it all one shade. But I think having the middle section of the hat in the lighter shade will add some interest.

My medium hat is the green Hugs and Kisses print from Loulouthi and a couple of orange solids. I love green and orange on little boys.

Now let's talk a little interfacing. The book calls for sew-in interfacing, but I have about 6 yards of fusible (iron-on) interfacing on hand, so that's what I'm using. Interfacing is just something you add to a layer of fabric to make it a little thicker or sturdier, in this case the brim.  I folded it over to make two layers and cut out interfacing for both of my brims. (You will need just two pieces for each hat.) Obviously, don't iron fusible interfacing at this stage because it will fuse to itself!

Here are my interfaced brim pieces. I cut the notches out of the interfacing after ironing it on completely so they would be lined up right. A word about notches- They are meant to help you line up the pieces so that everything comes together in the right place. I don't know if some people just draw them on, but I always cut them. This way, you can see them from both sides. They get lost in the seam allowance, and they are on curves, which you have to clip later anyway.

Wow, that seemed like a lot of information just for getting everything cut out! Honestly, the cutting is my least favorite part of any project. That's why I like to do it ahead of time, like while Hendrix is watching his afternoon video or something. That way, I can come back to the project later and just get straight to the part I like, the sewing.

My fabric choices for both of these are pretty bright and loud, but I figure I am going to pick those kinds of things for my son as long as he's young enough to let me. But I also think this hat would be really cool made from some upcycled khakis or plaid shirts or something. So what are you guys using?

Any more questions or tips? Has anyone made this before using the fusible interfacing? Is anyone using any unusual materials for theirs? Comment it up. See you next week for the fun sewing stuff!


  1. I need to buy the book this weekend. Silly end of the month budgets. Lame. Anyways, it's more fun than I thought to see what everyone else is making at the same time.

  2. Cute fabric selections! I used medium iron-on fusible interfacing with all three bucket hats that I made, and they work perfectly fine. One thing I have done, though, is use a slightly heavier weight fabric on one side and quilting cotton on the other. Seems to give the hat a little more heft and structure. I'm sure either way works, though!

  3. I'll be cutting mine after lunch.

  4. I'm a little unhappy with the medium-light weight, sew-in interfacing I have. I just don't think it's heavy enough given one of my fabrics is a light-weight denim. Soooo, I'm going to try doubling it up and see what happens :)

  5. I was asking myself about making a rain hat, using coated cotton... I still have to think about it!

  6. I love the fabric you chose. I cut my pieces last night. I have a few scraps of Heather Ross' Mendocino left, so that's what I used. It just barely fit (and I fudged the grain line some). I'm going to make a second hat for my other little one, but haven't decided what fabric to use yet.

  7. I think I am going to love your "how tos" - I know a certain amount, but need to learn a lot more and will be reading them all. I am glad you brought up the subject of interfacing - I was wondering if I could use iron interfacing too as I have a crap load of it. But am thinking of getting of nipping out at lunch tomorrow and picking up some sew in interfacing just because I have never used it before and I am interested to see how it differs from the iron on stuff.

    Loving the guitar fabric - rockin

    Amanda xox

  8. I've made a bucket hat in the small size, but that's already getting a bit snug on my little one, so I guess I'll be getting out the tracing paper again and tracing the medium size. *sigh*
    I love Cécile's idea of using laminated cotton to make a rain hat, but I've never worked with that fabric before so it's a little intimidating.

  9. You guys have great ideas! The laminate would be adorable. We have a lot of it in our shop, and while I haven't used it yet, I've heard it's pretty easy, much easier than oilcloth. If you have a particularly shiny/sticky variety, you might want to you use your teflon foot, but that's the only special adjustment you'd have to make.

  10. I still haven't decided what I'm going to use for my hat(s). For tracing I prefer freezer paper because I'm generally anti-pinning. Of course it's probably more expensive than tissue, but to me its worth avoiding that pinning step, especially on patterns I'll use over and over again.

  11. I think the rain hat idea is super fun. I picked up a roll of paper at Ikea a couple weeks ago. It is the kind they sell for kid easels. I thought I might give it a try as tracing paper. It's great! Thick enough but still see through. Very inexpensive too! My pattern pieces are cut. Can't wait to get started.

  12. I'm in now too! I will start my hat this week. I love the ideas everyone is posting! I never would've thought to use laminated fabric but thats such a great idea that I'm gonna use!!

  13. I thought this pattern would lend itself well to using up scraps I had on hand! I had thought about upcycling some of my exhusband's long sleeved plaid shirts that just happen to still be hanging about the place... although I really like the idea of the rain hat as well! I may end up making several of these after all...

  14. just returned from holiday and got my fabric cut out. i'll be making two identical hats, one medium and one large. should all go well i'lll make a small one for my little man too.

  15. hello, where I can find patterns?

    1. Hello, Jonas,
      let me help you - you'll find the original pattern here - I made one, too. The hats are beautiful, aren't they?

  16. Hey, where I can find patterns?


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