Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hats: The making and wearing of.

I know, I know... it's been over a week since I was in these-here parts. 

I've been a bit frantic, making up for the four days that I was away last week.  There has been a lot of communication, research, form-filling and emailing going on.  There has been good news and bad news, curve-balls and things falling into place.  There was no laundry done and no blogging (something's gotta give).

In between times, this week there was also a spot of hat-making. 
Carmel is having a hat-making sew-along on her blog (links removed 2019).

I have a few hat-making workshops coming up and needed to make some new samples. It seemed like a good idea to blog them and share them with the hat-sew-along-er-ers.

Time, being as precious as it is, inspired me to give a few more birdies a good wholloping with the same stone, so I'm also adding in another thing I've been meaning to blog for ages...

Some of you may be aware that I used to make hats for a living.  I sold a lot of hats to people who walked away feeling fabulous.  What used to get me, though, were the people who'd say "I can't wear hats" and then proceed to jam one straight down on their head and turn up the brim like Paddington Bear or Chad Morgan

I mean, does anyone look good like that?

I used my Hats pattern for these (available from lots of my stockists).  It was developed over 10 years and has been made in all manner of fabrics and styles.  It has 4 brim widths and 3 brim finishes, so can be everything from a wide-brimmed summer hat to a little woollen cloche. It's a practical hat, designed to stay on the head even in a strong breeze, while still looking stylish.

Whichever way you make it, the way to wear this one is pulled down over the back of the head.  If the brim is wide, it needs to turn up at the back more than at the front. It will still shade the neck and the sides of the face as it's brought in and around the back of the head, and it won't get bumped off on a collar or shoulder.
The mid-width brims can be worn in lampshade style, but the brim should frame the face, not cut it off below brow-level.  It still needs to sit lower on the back of the head, even if the whole hat is sitting higher around the crown.
Or you can pull it down on the back of the head and flick up the edge of the brim to make a flattering  line, following the arch of a sardonic eyebrow.
Another thing that makes the difference between looking good in a hat and not looking good, is choosing the right hat for you. 

There's something about bucket hats that makes me feel like I'm about to go fishing.
I feel like a character from M*A*S*H, which isn't often the look I'm going for.

Even so, I pull it down at the back to make it frame my face (and stay on in a strong breeze).  I make the best of it, not the Chad Morgan worst.  But mostly, I reach for a style and colour that is more flattering.  I'm just not a bucket sort of girl.
The other way to wear a hat well, is to wear one that fits.  My hat pattern makes hats in three different sizes.  I can fit into the small and medium sizes (as modelled, above), but the large sizes would only look fabulous on a large sized head.  Here are a couple that I made this week, modelled on hat stands.
The hat at the top of this photo has a bias binding finish othe brim.  The lower one has a straight grain binding.  Can you see how it turns the brim up higher?   You'll also notice the flat edge on a couple of the hats that I'm modelling, above.  Those three brim finishes, combined with the four brim widths, combined with all the different fabrics you could choose to use, make for a hat pattern that makes an endless range of individual hat designs. 

I know.  I've made them. Thousands of them.

And the last birdie to cop it in this post, is that I'll be needing a new "Author photo" pretty soon and have started staring down the barrel of the camera ...and trying not to look too critically at the results. 

Only....I just wish I hadn't worn a toile (muslin) today when I decided to take all these photos.  Looks like I killed the well-cut and stylish birdie, stone dead.

By the way - another hat-making class was scheduled to take up the waiting list for the class on 30th September at Addicted to Fabric in Canberra.  I believe there are still 2 places in it (on 14th October).


Katy Cameron said...

Oh I don't know, you can totally stand out as a tourist when rocking the Paddington Bear look ;o) I think it'll be baseball hats as usual this year for my holiday though, too much to do and too little time to make one in the meantime...

A Peppermint Penguin said...

Hat's the way to do it!


You are right about the bucket, but you still never look bad.


I recognise that first fabric - basic grey isn't it? botanicals... or something I think the range was called. I like it when we have the same fabric ;-)

Flippers crossed that good things come out of all that other stuff.

Chiara Z said...

Gotta love a good sardonic eyebrow!

breakfast Jo said...

Wow! As usual you have LOTS to say, and as usual all of it is worth reading and provides a chuckle. l will be in Melbourne at the very end of January (lucky me got tickets to C de Sole) gee l hope there's a class on the Friday!!

Tania said...

Well I think you're gorgeous. Even you could rock a size 'Large' hat.

CurlyPops said...

Love the headshot with your cool funky haircut!
I really need to find my hat pattern today and finally cut it out (after buying it about 4 years ago).

Raisa @ Endless Wardrobe said...

Love all your designs! The red is the personal fave but all the prints are just so easy to fall in love with!

Visit the fashion blog at

Unknown said...

I love that last shot of you, toille or not. Love the Paddington Bear look on you too. Hilarious!

Lisa H said...

I love hats. Thanks for your expert advice on how to wear the different styles correctly. I will be purchasing this pattern.

Annie said...

I think I'll have to make one

bec said...

I curse you for making me click on the link of Chad Morgan- guaranteed to have nightmares about those teeth now haha Great hat modelling!

Fer said...

Thanks for reminding me to buy your hat pattern before the sun gets too nasty!

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Virginia@sewing machine reviews brother said...

:D Hat lovers will be really glad to see these!

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