Time taken: 5 hours
Materials:1m sage green polarfleece, 1m grey cotton lycra, grey and green thread, waxed thread.
Tools: Scissors, ruler, pins, sewing machine.
Techniques: Pattern making, sewing.
Difficulty level: Easy.
These were made for a team building exercise at work, in which our had to dress as a European country. Not keen to start going down the track of traditional dress, I figured Finland from Scandinavia and the World would make a recognisable group, and with just hats, white shirts and some blue duct tape, would be pretty easy.
As usual, the first part involved making a template in my quad book, based on head circumference and the idea that six pointy bits would make the right shaped crown:
Once I was fairly happy with this, I transferred it to the cotton lycra at full size. Normally I’d make a paper template at this point, but I wanted to be sure it’d come out the way I wanted so I sewed a mock up in fabric first. If it worked, it’d become the liner for one of the hats.
It worked! So the next bit was to transfer the same design onto a piece of paper, to use as a template for the rest of the cutouts.
Three of each were cut out, then sewed into little hats, and as a break in between I cut 18 thin strips of the polar fleece and plaited them to make the bits that hang off the bottom of the ear flaps:
The next bit always messes with my head, because you have to sew the two parts together in such a way so as when they are turned the right way out, the outsides are both showing. I have to think about this part every time, even though I understand the principle really well. Eventually I put the polarfleece part inside the liner part on each one, with all the seams showing to the outside. The dangly bits were placed so that they were inside the sandwich (which means that when turned right way out, they’d dangle). Then it was all pinned up, and tried on and trimmed to make sure it’d fit right around the face.
Because I’m always a bit nervous whether I’ve got all the bits the right way round, I sewed one and tested it before trying any more. Turns out I’d got it right, so then I did all three and sewed a seam right around the outside as well, to hold the lining in so it wouldn’t show.
Then I made three pom poms with the leftover bits of strip from making the dangly parts, and sewed them onto the top using waxed thread, right through to the inside to hold the top of the lining up in the top of the hat so it won’t go inside out every time you take the hat off.
The last part was to gather up a part of the back of the hat using the tag ends of the waxed thread that holds the pom pom on, to make it flop backwards the way Finland’s does. I think his is wool, which would flop naturally, but I didn’t have time (or skill) to try knitting these.
For a final touch, I used sharp scissors to split each strip in the pom poms in half, so they looked a bit fluffier. I was pretty pleased with the final result, and now I have a collection of Finland hats! I’m sure they’ll come in useful for something, right? Right?