Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bucket Hat

I know that there are a decent number of bucket hat tutorials out there, but I just had to post about these hats, because they just ended up being so cute!

The group I hike with has a hat rule. Specifically, you have to hike with a hat. Which is totally sensible, especially as we live in Australia, where it's nice and sunny.

I own a bucket hat, but it is made of terry towelling, and gets really hot to wear in summer, or early spring and late autumn while you're hiking for that matter. So, I set about making some bucket hats for those warmer months out of light cottons.

To start with, I simply created a pattern. I then made the hat following the directions from violentjayne at It looked hat like, but as it turned out, the band was far too big. The stripes were cute though. It kinda looked like a strawberry shortcake bonnet.

My strawberry shortcake bonnet.

So, I tried a different approach: looking for free hat patterns. And, lo and behold, simplicity has a free bucket hat pattern, available here.

So, I printed the pattern off. I knew that the band would be the right size, but one of the reasons that I originally set about making my own pattern was that I prefer a brim that sits a bit higher than most bucket hats, actually offering sun protection for my nose and neck.

So, after putting the pattern together, I set about altering the brim. 

To do this, I firstly traced a copy of the original brim, and marked in the seam line. The seam line was the most important part of the process, because by keeping the same seam length, I knew that my altered brim pattern would fit onto the rest of the hat.

Next, I cut the brim into twelve even pieces. Depending on how much you want your brim to stand up, you could cut more or less.

In changing the brim, there were two important things I had to keep in mind: firstly, keeping an even curve for the new piece, and secondly, adding space between the top of the pieces, while keeping the seam line at the bottom of the piece together.

The closest thing with an even curve was the circle for the top of the hat. So, I traced around it, giving me an even curve. You could also use a plate, a compass, or basically anything that gives you a neat and consistent curve (you could even free hand the curve, but I never trust myself to do that).

Using the line I had drawn as my guide, I arranged the twelve pieces around it, with the seam lines touching but not overlapping. I lined the lower edge of the pieces up with the line I drew based on the top of the hat.

Next, I drew along the top edge of the pieces, took the away and connected the lines. This became my brim pattern.

The new hat brim (upper), and the original hat brim (lower).

Then, I followed the pattern directions.

Sew the brim of the hat closed.

Sew the band of the hat closed.

Sew the top of the hat to the band.

Sew the brim to the band, leaving a small opening to turn the hat right side out. I use double pins to mark where I need to start and stop sewing.

Sew the brims together, then trim the seams.

Turn right side out.

Top stitch around the brim.

Sew the opening closed.

Your hat is now ready to wear.

I made a second version of this hat for a friend, Lola. She loves rainbow stripes, so it seemed only fitting that I made her a rainbow hat. To get the full effect of the stripes, I had to alter the pattern slightly.

To do this, I cut the brim pattern in quarters, and the band in half, remembering to add 1.5 cm seam allowance at each of the cuts. I then arranged the pieces on the fabric, so that the stripes went across them.

Now, the brim of the original is fairly floppy. I like this look, but Lola likes a more solid brim.

So, for the next one, I added iron on interfacing to the brim.

the interfacing is slightly smaller than the fabric, but that's okay, because of the seam allowances.
Then, I continued as normal, until the hat was finished.

Kiwi in her version of the bucket hat. Designed to be reversible, but I love the contrast of the purple and the blue.

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