Amy Butler – Blue Sky Hats – Sun Hat
One of the perks of being a teacher for a quilt shop is being able to try patterns that we carry in the shop, review them and then demonstrate the 'how to's'. This is the first pattern I’ve been asked to demonstrate so needless to say I was a little apprehensive at first – but after having completed the project, I can’t wait to try another one. The next one I have my eye on is a sewing machine cover and matching pin cushion – more details to come!
Now back to the Sun Hat – first I have to be honest and tell you that I am not one to wear hats simply because other than baseball caps, hats don’t seem to look too cute on me – but this is a great project for Summer and has the versatility of being made in a smaller size for children and also includes instructions to make a skull cap. Overall I give this pattern 4 out of 5 stars!
This pattern is fairly easy to follow, is great for beginners and can be completed in half a day if you have four or five hours to spare – which I almost never do- so it took me about two dedicated days of about 3 hour chunks to complete – mind you that included lots of coffee breaks and lunch. J One of the things I especially love is that it only requires using two pattern pieces!!!
Tricky Parts: For me it was constructing the crown, which could have been because I’ve never sewn a hat before but figuring out how to sew the crown pieces together while keeping the seams flat and open was a little confusing even after reading the instructions a few times.
So here’s a helpful tip: After sewing two crown pieces together – press the seam open and then when you go to line up the third crown piece make sure that you line up the points at the top – it will look a little weird and may seem like it won’t turn out flat but it all works out in the end. See…
Another helpful tip: The pattern calls for measuring the circumference of your head to determine which size hat you will make. Since I wasn’t going to wear the hat, I skipped that part and after trying it on when I was done, it fit ok but I probably would have preferred that the crown not sit so low on my head – so be sure to measure your head first to ensure a great fit.Recommendations: Use medium weight fabric for the outer portion of the hat and under the brim. For this pattern I used a Kaffe Fasset Radiation print which was a medium weight fabric and lightweight canvas for the lining (as per the instructions). This keeps the hat somewhat sturdy but still allows enough flexibility for the brim to flop. You can use a lighter weight fabric for the lining since it doesn’t show.
I also strongly recommend using a Tailor’s Ham if you have one. If not, you can easily find a free tutorial online on how to make one. I don’t have one so I used a rolled up towel (their suggested alternative) but I could see how much easier it would have been to press the seams of the crown if I had a Tailor’s Ham – so I’m adding that to my list of future projects. I found a great tutorial here.
Finally, I took the liberty of adding some pizzazz to my hat my making a little fabric flower to add to one side of the hat where the crown and brim meet. It was really easy to do and I made it with the fabric I had left over from the project. I found a great tutorial here to make it.
All in all, a great pattern for Summer or any season – try lining it with wool for winter or making it out of velvet for Fall. I’ll be demonstrating this pattern tomorrow in the shop - more pattern reviews coming soon! Until then…
Happy Sewing and maybe try a new project – like a Sun Hat ;-).