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Jun 6, 2014

100% INDY PATTERN TESTING free + New Hat Muslin!



If I learned anything this week unrelated to indy pattern testing, it's that a good hat is hard to make.

After mixed results from McCall's 2205 (too shallow for my head as drafted), I decided to give another hat pattern in my stash a try: Vogue 8893 from 1994.

This pattern includes what one might call a bucket hat, fishing hat, or rain hat.





I call it a fiasco.

NOTE: It has come to my attention that if you cover the nose of the model on this envelope (below), he looks like a sun-damaged version of me.  I do see the resemblance and if I had a more conventionally shaped head, perhaps I'd be modeling Vogue hats too.



Anyway, rather than cut the pattern in (what I thought was) my size, I traced it, something I almost never do -- that's how excited I was about this project!





I needn't have bothered.  It was a mess: nothing fit right, the crown was too high, the brim was too narrow, I could go on.  Finally, having invested twice as many hours on this hat as I had in reading about the indy pattern-testing controversy (six and three, respectively), I decided I was going to throw the instructions out the window (figuratively) and just make it work.

My fabric was the same vintage gold toile de jouy I'd used to make that double-breasted jacket muslin.  I interfaced everything, as directed.  PET PEEVE: Vogue has you use the same pattern pieces for the interfacing as you do for the hat, but cut off 1/2" around each piece of interfacing -- that a lot of wasted interfacing!



There are a few things I do like about the style of this hat.  The top has a raised, topstitched rim around it, giving the hat a more constructed look.



And rather than stitch the brim right sides together and turning right-side-out, the two layers are stitched wrong sides together and the outer edge is finished with bias.  That turned out well.  In retrospect, however, I think I prefer the way the edge looked unfinished -- more fishing cap-like.  Live and learn.



I ended up not lining the hat but just finishing the inside seams with rayon seam binding.



I like this hat, even if it's not as flattering (imo) as the McCall's hat I struggled with earlier in the week.  If I'm going to make any more hats, I'll work from my own head measurements rather than from a commercial pattern.  There are just too many fitting variables for these things to work right out of the envelope.   Or maybe I just have a weird head.









I doubt I'll be using this pattern again although you never know.  I can't recommend it.

And that, my friends, is the end of my hat adventure for the week.

Have a great day, everybody!

42 comments:

  1. I admire your resolve in making something great out of a bad pattern. iI would have chucked it out of the window by now.

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  2. Have you tried Wind Ginger's WildThings?

    http://www.wildginger.com/products/wildthings.htm

    You can enter your own measurements and then print out a pattern.

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    1. I was just going to suggest that also!

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  3. I did wonder if that hat model on the pattern was your brother-- very similar smile. I've never used an actual pattern for a hat; the theater books had drawings of the patterns, and you measure the person and adjust and draw your own pattern. I used rim wire and buckram both. I got them (back in the day, but I think they're still out there) Richard the Thread.

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    1. I actually own both, but I haven't used them for anything yet.

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  4. I too read far too much about this Indy pattern nonsense over a glass or three of wine. I found it to be time I will never get back.

    I used to buy every single Vogue hat pattern that came out. Until I realized that I never make hats.

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    1. What little I read of the Indy patten "controversy" and subsequent comments made me feel embarrassed for my gender. Women have the stereotype in business and professional situations as being wishy-washy, overly emotional, lacking confidence, and lacking analytical skills. I saw comments from women who felt that posting a review of a commercial product was 'brave' and somehow a BIG BIG deal. Normal people are comfortable posting critical reviews (good and bad, see Yelp) for business transactions without having an anxiety attack. A critique of the patten ease isn't the equivalent of posting a blog about a human rights topic where you might receive death threats. Too many comments seem to view a 10 purchase as a grade A moral decision that defines how worthy they are to sew. To many Indy pattern makers make whiny posts about how difficult their lives are starting their business as though we should pity them and buy from them like this is an elementary school fundraiser.

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    2. I could kiss you for this comment

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  5. Oh, I also thought the guy on the cover looked like you upon first glance before you said anything!

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  6. Peter people don't realize that heads are as individual as any other torso part! Making your own draft of a pattern is definitely the way to go. May I suggest that a more oval shaped crown may fix some of the issues you are facing?

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  7. before you give up on hats you should definitely make the deer stalker! very Sherlock
    Frankie
    http://www.knitwits-owls.blogspot.co.uk/

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  8. Yours are the best comments on indy pattern testing I've read so far :-)

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  9. Looks a little small. I know a certain six-year-old who might fit it a little better. She cares little about indy pattern-testing. ;)

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  10. Oh there you go bashing the big 4 like faceless hulks while the indies can do no wrong.

    You can use multiple layers of interfacing if you want a firmer brim, or something like hair cloth instead. The fit on the last one was looking better.

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  11. I'm disappointed there's no picture in both the hat and matching double-breasted jacket! :P

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  12. My $0.02: I prefer the prior hat.

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  13. You know how if a brim is too round it dips front and back, if it's too oval it dips at the sides...? How about using a flexible ruler (or just a piece of wire) to transfer your perfect inner-brim shape onto a pattern?

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  14. The brim does seem to flutter a bit. But kudos to you for trying and modelling. I am looking forward to the vlog.

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  16. I think this is a great hat, actually I prefer it to the 6-hour hat. But I do like gold toile. As to Indy testing, well, Peter, I quit reading when my eyes started crossing, long before 3 hours were up!

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  17. Ha ha, love the title of the post. I have a great book called Hats on Heads, spare photocopy of it if your interested.

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  18. I've made a few hats here and there. I would cut it out of brown paper bag first and tape it together as a mock-up to test for fit.

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  19. I'm thinking maybe take a piece of soldering wire or something easily bendable but that will hold its shape, and wrap it around the head destined to be under the hat. That might give a good general oval shape. But the tricky part is then the curve of the sides. There is a way to draft that curve, sort of like making a lamp shade. You draw an elevation where the bottom and top are flat with the amount of slope or angle that you want (which is created by the difference in the circumference around your head and the top of the hat). Then extend those angled side lines up until they cross. (That can be very far depending on the angle of the sides.) The point they cross is the center point of the radius to then draw the curve of the bottom and top of the sides. Of course that drafting is more exact for a circular hat than for an oval. So maybe it isn't worth the effort. Forget all that - probably better just to eyeball it and then trim the pattern down until it sits flat on the table when you tape the ends together. Good grief. What gibberish. I'm going away now.

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  20. I always wonder why most hat patterns seem to be round, when most heads are oval! Mine is certainly oval and so's the rest of my family. Knit hats are much more forgiving.

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  21. Hat is too small, needs more crown for your head or more brim one, I also think the brim needs a little more interfacing to keep its shape, and while I love toile a little goes a long way, so a nice band like you added to the other hat would break up the color a little and give the eye a rest or a place to go. Hats are hard to make, but I do think there is a shape that is perfect for each head, and we just need to be willing to find the right one for us. You head is very oval, long forehead, and I think you need more hat, looks too small to me.. Keep stitching, I love reading about your adventures into the sewing world...

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  22. I think you do have a face for hats, however maybe not the right skull shape for patterns? I know that personally my cranium is 3cm (1 & 1/4 inches) bigger from ear over the top to the other ear than average. Yes, my broad skull matches my glove size 9 hands, and EEEE width feet (and I'm just under 5'3"). So any hat I've made has to be altered or it perches on top. Maybe it's your shape that's different.

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  23. I admire their seams, know that you have a fan here in Brazil.

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  24. I think you are back to square one on this one. You need to slash and insert like on the other one and work your magic. The problem is we are all telling you what we like in the way of the fit and you like the fit of the one you wear all the time and keep trying to get them all like it. You should of course ignore us and make the fit you like. You are the one that has to like how it fits or you won't wear it.

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  25. I believe that style of hat is also known as a "porkpie" hat. Make of that what you will.

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  26. Not meaning to re-inflame the Big 4 vs Indie debate but the pattern makers at Vogue and McCalls are definitely NOT milliners. There is a lot more to fitting the head properly! Subtle shaping tricks that make a big difference. I have made many hats over the years and the only one that really worked well for me was designed by an actual milliner. Unfortunately that company has folded and I have lost my copy of my favourite pattern. Boo. Must attempt a rub-off of my (barely) surviving hat.

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    1. Do you recall which one that was? I am sure that there are several of us who might have the dang thing in the box.

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  27. I think you do have a "hat face", it's just that as you are finding out, patterns aren't matching your head's shape & size. How many dimensions to get a hat to fit right.....circumference, shape (round/oval), crown depth, symmetry (are the front/back shaped differently?). And let's not forget hair - how much and how it's styled. Hats that I can wear when my hair is short do NOT work when my hair is long and worn clipped up, and vice versa. And not every style of hat suits everyone - I must have a brim or fullness somewhere.

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  28. I know yer SUCH a sewer, but DUDE! If you want hats, learn to KNIT! If you can tie yer shoes, you possess all the manual dexterity needed. And the groovy thing about knitting is that you create the fabric while yer shaping it - very good for those of us who enjoy puzzles. Then if yer head is not round, the knitted fabric conforms to yer head. Give it a whirl. :)

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  29. The model looks like a cross between you and Peter Wingfield. That's very fine with me. :D

    I have a feeling you need some shaping to the brim for a hat of this size / shape to look good on you...

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  30. http://www.marthastewart.com/907171/reversible-hat came into my Pinterest view today, and reminded me: I think a part of the wavy issue is putting an oval head into a circle hole. The circumference is the same, but the seam is not; straightening out the sides makes ripples (well, big fat waves when you get that far from shore/yr head). Grainline probably plays a part in it as well, but not like the oval/circle issue.

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  31. This general style of "bucket" hat would indeed be very flattering on you, but I agree with others that the wavy brim is part of the problem. It's a little too Gilligan.

    An adult-looking hat should have a gently sloping and conical (not wavy) brim. See picture here . (Not advocating for the pattern, just think that picture looks representative.)

    It may be that the measurement of the inside brim edge is smaller than the circumference of the side piece, and so the sewn seam is stretching out the brim and making it warp/wave.

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    1. Search for "craftsy bucket hat" for the link. Again, not pushing a pattern, just a good photo.

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  32. I've got to find this pattern, now! Vogue makes some awesome patterns, albeit some of the most expensive. :/

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