Friday, 19 April 2013

Reversible Baby Sunhat Tutorial

Slip, slop, slap and wrap - a sunhat is a sun-smart summer necessity.
Red and white reversible sunhat and a matching sunsuit (adapted from made-by-rae)
We had an unusually long, hot summer.  The baby took a while to figure out this new sensation of warmth and bare feet, and I went on an arduous mission to locate some baby friendly fabric for making summer clothing.  

The first garment I made was a sunsuit, following a very simple tutorial on made-by-rae.  I made a few changes to the design for a nicer fit and to better suit the very lightweight cotton fabric:
  • elasticated shoulder straps, so they don't need to be crossed
  • extra lines of shirring on the bodice
  • french side seams
  • stay tape inside the crotch closure to make it stronger
The left over fabric was perfect size for a sunhat!

I don't have a pattern.  I doodled it rather roughly.  However, there's a lovely bonnet pattern from Prudent Baby.

You will need:
  • lightweight cotton material in two colours (about 0.3m each)
  • thread
  • dome or button

1. Cut out the pattern twice from each fabric.  I underlined the white cotton because it was too see-through. That is the weird stitching you see on the white fabric.
Left, centre back, right, brim, neck tie
2.  Stitch together left and right sides of each layer, then attach the centre back piece.  It's best to leave the top seam open to reduce bulk.  Trim and clip seams before pressing with a hot (provided there's no synthetic fibre) steamy iron. 
Sew each layer separately
Trim and clip seams and press thoroughly.

3.  Stitch together the two layers of the brim, leaving the bottom edge open.  Trim, clip, turn right way out and press.

Here's where I had a design hiccup.  After gathering the brim and attaching it to the hat, I realised that it was way too floppy and completely out of proportion!
Floppy brim
I decided that gathers were unnecessary, so I changed the size of the brim.
Changing brim size
4. Turn the hat inside out, so that the seams are on the outside.  Sandwich the nicely pressed brim between the two hat layersThe whole brim will now be hidden inside the hat.  Don't forget to match the layers: i.e the red side of the brim should face the red layer of the hat, and the white side of the brim should face the white layer.  Stitch all the way across.
The gathers are from the V1.0 floppy brim.  There are no gathers with the small brim
5. Turn the hat the right way out through the open neck seam and press the brim seam.
Red side of the hat: all nicely pressed
 6.  Now there's an open, loose seam to take care of.  Using the longest stitch and no back stitching, sew all the way along it to keep the fabric layers from shifting when you attach the neck band.  This stitch will also be your guide when attaching the neck band.  You may want to use contrasting thread to make it easier to pull out once the hat is completed.

7.  Sew together one of the long sides of the neck band using the longest stitch and no back stitching.  If you now open this seam and press, you'll get a crease, which will be your seam allowance pressing guide a couple of steps later. 

8.   Don't remove the pressing stitch just yet.  First, sew together the remaining three sides of the neck band.

Note the crease line - this is a pressing guide
 9.  Remove the pressing stitch and turn the neck band the right way out.  Now, using the crease as the guide, you can turn the seam allowance inside the band and press.

Nicely pressed neck band
10.  The penultimate step is attaching the neck band to the hat.  Simply slot in the neck seam of the hat into the open seam of the neck band.  Use the stitching line in step 6 as your guide to line up with the folded edge of the band and sew from one end of the band to the other.  Press the seam.

11.  Attach fastening: button + button hole, snaps, domes.  I have a thing for doming, so I went with that (photos above)
12.  Laugh at your baby looking silly in a new hat.

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