Saturday, 2 July 2011

A Hat Experiment

Top Section of Sun Hat

Do you like hats? I think the 'correct' response most ladies are supposed to make is 'yes'. My sister in law, Lynne, delights in wearing hats and indeed always looks very glamorous wearing one. I'm actually sure that the main attraction for her in a wedding or a christening is the opportunity to wear a hat! Of course, weddings are the main event when hats get worn nowadays. This was most obviously evident at the recent Royal Wedding and who can forget the amazing 'hat' that Princess Beatrice wore? However, I was saddened by the vitriol some of the press gave to Samantha Cameron, our Prime Minister's wife, because she didn't wear a hat. It did cross my mind that she suffers from the affliction I have ........ a Big Head!!! :)

Yes ....... I can quite safely say that I Hate Hats  ......... because they never (almost) EVER fit!!!

When my brother got married a couple of years ago, when Lynne found out that I wasn't going to wear a hat, I think (bless her) she thought that perhaps I couldn't afford to buy a hat and offered me free range to look through her vast hat collection and borrow whatever I liked. To humour her, I did indeed look ....... but I knew what would happen. Sure enough, there was one that would have gone perfectly with the dusky pink suit I'd bought from Jacques Verte ...... but whereas on Lynne it fitted low over her brow in an almost 1920s style, with me, it perched on the top of my head in a wobbly way and one backwards tilt of my head and it was off!! Well ..... you could only laugh :)

Underside of hat, showing lining and the rip that led to James throwing these jeans out!!
Nevertheless, there are times of the year when I do have to wear a hat and that is on holiday or when out for long periods in the sun. You see, I was born a Ginger and, although the hair colour has faded and only resembles auburn thanks to the clever colouring skills of my hairdresser, I still have the fair skin that goes with being ginger and ..... boy oh boy ...... I burn very easily. 
The reverse of both layers of the hat
In my teens, our summer holiday was always accompanied by The Hat Quest! The quest to find a sun hat with a wide enough brim to shield my head and neck that would also fit! I did have a lovely straw one that was perfect and lasted for several years. However, being made of straw, it eventually started to show bad signs of wear requiring The Hat Quest to begin again.

My Mum (bless her) should have been a Girl Guide! She always has a tape measure in her bag and she would automatically measure any sun hat she came across to see if it was likely to fit! It didn't matter what it looked like! If it was big enough, it would do! Sigh!!

Of course, the observant might recall that on the 42 mile sponsored walk, I AM wearing a hat. Well, that hat is very special. Thanks to my ever observant Mum, she found an advert in one of her magazines that actually had head measurements for ladies hats. This sort of advert was (and is!) incredibly rare! Thankfully, they had my size and that beautiful cotton hat has been my saviour ever since. It was bought way, way prior to the Internet and I think the company no longer exists ...... so it must be well over 21 years old (I'm sure I had it prior to James' birth).

Anyhow, it is bearing up well but can't last for ever. John found a pattern for a sun hat and wondered if I would be interested. However, it is designed for a 21 inch head and mine is 24 inches! So ...... here comes the experiment ..... this is 9% bigger so I asked John to increase the size of the pattern pieces by 9% in Photoshop and thought I'd give it a go and see how it turned out.

I used a pair of James' jeans! They weren't very old but he'd ripped a tear in one of the legs and didn't want them. Seemed like the ideal material to try. I also made another change; my interfacing is only of medium weight so I ironed interfacing on both layers of material for the brim. I did really want to embroider some flowers in a hippyish sort of way over the denim but, given that I wasn't entirely sure the pattern would fit, I thought it would be best not to do this at this stage. This version is very much a trial run!

The instructions and photos are very clear and easy to follow. I made it up over the course of a couple of days and actually finished the last little bit last night.

Looking slightly manic wearing hat!!
How is the fit? Actually, not too bad. Funnily enough, it could possible do with being a little smaller round the head. I think I am going to have to sew in some ribbon ties as a gust of wind will blow it off!
Recognise the lining? From My first Ginger Skirt
Side shot showing crown
The crown could possibly do with being a little bit deeper. However, I'm quite pleased with how it looks. It would work well as a sun hat and would keep the sun off of both my face and my neck.

Doing a Witchy-poo impersonation. Flossie not amused :)
This last picture might mean it gets called the Witchy-Poo hat  .... but, I guess, if the hat fits ....  :)


joy said...

rog suffers from having a big head, too. we found his current sun hats in a hiking shop in kendal many years ago, and I have managed to wash them without shrinking them, so they still fit.
your hat looks great, really hope you are going to have a go at embroidering some flowers on the finished article, looking forward to seeing it.
hope you enjoy your holiday, looking forward to seeing your blog about it when you return.

Rachael said...

I have the opposite problem... a small head and I can hardly ever find a hat to fit either! I'm not going to go to the trouble of making a sun hat though as I wear factor 50 sunscreen.
You did a nice job of the hat and I too think it could do with some embroidery.

jetcap said...

You have done some nice experiment with hat and try to make it something unique. I like your creative work.

Ladies Hats

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