Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Baby sun hats, two ways

Not bad. But not finished.
We're going to Dallas, Texas on Thursday. I've heard it is hot and sunny there. On our agenda -- an afternoon trip to the ballpark, an outdoor wedding and some time by the pool. Which means, my little guy, who is coming with us, needs a sun hat. 

I have spent parts of the last two days trying to make him one. I don't know that I've succeeded. 

Exhibit A and exhibit B. Two sun hats. Two different ways. Perhaps two different sewing fails. 

 Let's start with this sad little fellow. 

The tutorial for this one came from one of my favorite crafty Web sites, Prudent Baby. The tutorial doesn't include sizes for a wee little 3-month-old like Jack. It was originally made for a toddler. So I decided to shrink the free downloadable pattern. But not too much. Some people in the comment section complained that their hats turned out doll-sized because they printed the pattern much too small. I tried to compromise and printed it at the intended size and then drew a line about a half-inch in around each pattern piece, to create a new, smaller pattern piece. 

Scientific? Hardly. And perhaps the beginning of my problems. 

The hat wound up... not right. Too flat and boxy around the dome with a droopy brim. It doesn't stay on his head because it's just too shallow.

See? Here's me trying to get it to sit there. Nope. Not gonna work.

 I also had some confusion with the final step. Someone, quick, explain "sewing in the ditch" to me. What I did: folded the lining of the brim over the seam on the inside of the hat, and then sewed through that flap of fabric. This created a sandwich with the lining on the outside and the seam in the middle. See?

I did not sew through the top layer of the hat. Was that wrong? 

In any case, the whole thing was wrong. And I was sad. 

But I did rally to try again. This time, I used the tutorial at Merriment Design. It calls for a girly version with a ruffle. Easy enough to make it boy-worthy -- just skip the ruffly bit. 

This seemed more promising from the get-go. The crown of the hat was a nice bowl shape. The brim pattern was constructed differently and seemed to make more sense. Things were going well. 

Until I attached the brim to the hat. And found that somehow, despite doing what seemed like a very fine job of cutting accurate pieces out of my fabric, my crown was much larger in circumference than the brim. I tried to pin and pin and pin and get it to all line up. It wouldn't. No matter what I did, I'd have some unintentional pleats. 

I sewed it on anyway. I didn't know what else to do at this point. And result isn't as bad as I thought it would be. See the pleats?

They're noticeable. But I don't think they ruin the hat. But there are two more problems. One: unlike the first hat, this one might be too large. 
Hello?! Is there a cute baby under there?

 Problem two: this one is also not finished correctly. It is supposed to have a lining. But since I sewed the too-big crown onto the too-small rim, sewing the lining in would just be an even bigger mess. It's too big for the rim, too. And you have to sew it in blind. And I'm just not gonna deal with that, and don't know what else to do. So here is the inside of my hat. 
 From the outside, honestly, it is pretty cute. Just big. 

 Doesn't seem like such a big deal to me. But I think Jack is worried. 
He is if it is on his head, anyway. If it is just sitting nearby, lookin' kinda cute, he's cool with that. 

He would love it if someone out there could help me! Any ideas what I can do to finish this thing? Get my lining in without it all being a mess? As it is, I will still take it with us. But I'd love to hear some advice from you other sewers out there!
What am I supposed to do with this, Mom?


  1. Aargh ... I hate it when those things happen. If you want to line it, I'd adjust your lining first - resew the seams on your lining so that you've taken off the same amount you had to adjust on the outside. Does that make sense? Then it'll fit into the brim.

    Sewing in the ditch is when you sew right into the seam (on the right side) ... you can't even see the stitching on the right side. Try googling it ... it might help to see a video.

    The hat fabric is super cute and a big hat is always better than a small one! :) Enjoy Dallas ... it really is sunny and fairly warm these days!

  2. That is so so helpful. Thanks so much, Randi! I'd been thinking about trying that -- making my seams smaller on the crown. Just wasn't sure I was thinking it through the right way.

  3. Hey Krista, sorry it's taken me a bit to get back to you. Busy week, this one. Anyway thanks for trying out my tutorial at

    First of all the hat fabric you chose is adorable. I love the the solid lining with it.

    Randi is right - go ahead and re-sew the seams to take in the crown and the lining a little bit. Two of the seams on your crown should match up to the two seams on the brim. Then the crown should match the brim and hopefully all will be right. But keep me posted - I want to make sure my hat tutorial is clear and error-free!

    Did you sew the brim also at 3/8″? One time when I made this as a gift, I sewed the crown at 3/8″ and then the brim at 1/2″ - tired momma that night.

    Thanks also to you and Randi for reminding me about stitch in the ditch - I forgot that from my old home ec class days.

    Elise is 1-1/2 now and needs a new hat. You have inspired me to try to make a new hat pattern that doesn't require blind sewing -- I hate it too. Please look for it soon.

    Thanks again for all your feedback!

  4. So cute! I love the hat and your cute little model! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I hope you get a chance to plant some seeds soon!

  5. Awww, so adorable! My niece would look cute in one of these. I'll try as soon as I figure out the adult version of a hat. Sigh.

  6. I had the same problem with the merriment design hat -the brim was too small for the rest of the hat. But it still turned out fairly cute (from the outside) so I guess it's good enough :)

  7. Totally cute :)))

  8. I like all lovely pics.He is looking good to wearing baby sun hats.I like this pattern.

    Sun Hats