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Butterick 5111 – Hat With Scarf

August 5th, 2008 Comments off

This was the problem: an unexpected week in a eastern city at the steamiest time of the year, and no hat to wear. Well, no hat that didn’t look as if I was ready for a ten mile trek in the woods. I needed something to keep the sun from my noggin, but it needed to be urbanish. And very, very lightweight and cool to wear.

Did I mention that we were leaving soon, and I had about two hours to left to sew? Rifling through my pattern stash turned up Butterick 5111, view C. In the fabric stash I found some brown linen, and I’d recently bought a brown/green/gold chiffon print that would work for the scarf.

Because I wanted it to breathe, I didn’t use any interfacing. Instead, I topstitched the crown very close to the seam line, which gave just enough support to keep the shape. Of course, this also meant that the hat probably wouldn’t be able to support four large carriers for the scarf, so I just tacked the chiffon strip in place.

I used my new narrow hemming foot to finish the edges of the scarf. Then I folded each edge of the scarf to the center, lengthwise, wrong sides together. Mine’s considerably shorter than the one shown on the pattern envelope:

I turned it over, putting the hemmed edges underneath, and again folded the outer edges toward the center again. This formed a pleat on either side of the center of the scarf. Then I folded the scarf in half, and tacked the center to the center front of the hat, securing the pleat invisibly. I repeated this on either side of the hat just above the ears.

At the center back, I made a chiffon loop lined with the linen, and pulled each end of the scarf through it:

OK, I didn’t read the directions and didn’t do the scarf the right way, but I still ended up with a nice-looking, quick-to-make head topper. I say the pattern’s good. It worked, it fit, and it was true to size (I did use the chart printed on the pattern instruction sheet.)

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Green Pepper F847 Norwester Hat

March 21st, 2008 Comments off

When I joined a local hiking club, I learned, much to my surprise, that hikers in my state share the woods with hunters in (at least during bow hunting season). Not surprisingly, blaze orange gear jumped to the top of my acquisitions list. Visible headgear was an absolute necessity, but I couldn’t find anything in orange in stores except baseball caps, and I loathe baseball caps. Sewing something was the obvious answer. I settled on Green Pepper’s Norwester Hat:

 

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This looked like a great hat, and it turned out to be even better in person. There are two versions: one with a brim that’s symmetrical all the way around, and a more traditional version, lengthened in the back. I made the long-brim version.

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For hiking, I omitted the earflaps and the velcro (I knew I’d only wear it with the brim down.) I didn’t make any other alterations; medium size turned out to be perfect for me.

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The pattern instructions were clear, and the pattern itself well-drafted and easy to use. The only real challenge this project offered was material — literally. It turns out that different states have specific requirements for hunter’s blaze — and orange ripstop isn’t it. Of course, I wasn’t trying to meet any legal requirement, but common sense seemed to dictate that I should go for the greatest visibility possible. (That is, if I planned to so anything as un-sensible as walking in the woods in the first place.)

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I solved this problem by buying one XXL polyester hunting vest, and a second vest made of orange blaze mesh. (By the way, this made for a very inexpensive hat. I think it was about three dollars for both vests.) There wasn’t enough contiguous fabric on the tabard style vest to permit cutting the brim sections all-in-one, so I had to piece it, but that worked out fine. (The seam you see centered in the picture below is the one I added.) I used the mesh to line the crown, making the hat cooler and lighter to wear.

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The prospect of looking at the world from under a bright orange brim didn’t thrill me, so I made the underside of black ripstop — very kind to the eyes. I wanted the brim to stand out on its own, but to be completely foldable and crushable, so I used a very thin, lightweight fleece for interfacing. It was a great choice.

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The instructions call for an internal band, but I wanted to be able to cinch the hat while it was on my head, so I left a half an inch or so of the rear crown seams open and threaded nylon webbing through them. A one-half inch nylon buckle allows plenty of options for adjustment. The underchin strap adjusts with a cordlock; see how I made it by reading this tip.

Hats like these were worn by fishermen in storm conditions (and may still be?); their best feature is that lengthened brim in back, which sheds water. That’s the feature I like best on my hat, too: that sweeping brim keeps the sun off the back of my neck.

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