Sew Hat Binge & the Gunmetal WINNER

I’ve had a rather bumpy start to the year – I managed to put my ‘back outta whack’ on New Years Eve… not doing anything interesting I’m sorry to report. I was actually typing a blog post at 7am, drinking a coffee, had a stretch… and crack. Ouch.

Anyways, after quite a bit of pain, afternoon sleeps, lots of physio visits and anti-inflammatories, I am on the mend and almost back to ‘normal’.

So I tackled some smaller projects while I was recovering. HATS!

When I started doing some posts for Stitch 56, one of the things that interested me was doing some more sewing for my daughters. They do appreciate it enormously… so I started at the top – literally with their noggins… and chose Kids Hats by Melbourne based designer Nicole Mallalieu of You Sew Girl to road test.

I was a little nervous – as I always am when I am attempting to sew something completely new and unfamiliar. I didn’t need to be. This pattern makes hatmaking a breeze. No sooner than you finish one, than you want to make another!

The pattern has three hat sizes for head sizes ranging from 48cm through to 57cm. The pattern pieces are not nested which meant I could just cut out each size and then trace them with the markings onto my fabric. I’ve been making so many hats I think I will trace these onto template plastic for a more durable pattern.

The pattern contains detailed instructions, photographs and variations. There is lots of learn about how interfacing behaves, what role bias plays and more. I found it an interesting project!

However the best thing? These were just fabulous fun to make! It takes me about three hours to make a hat now – I prefer to hand stitch my brim trim and crown lining into place so it takes longer than it might for others.

Hats - the girls

Hats for all! Even the crazy children!

My children are aged 8 and 10 and I made the large for both of them.

I made the first hat from denim from the op shop. The lining and trim was made from a retro floral sheet scrap a friend had given me. I made a fabric flower and we finished it with a crochet-covered button from the ‘random’ button tin. She’s been wearing it ever since!

The denim edition

The denim edition

My second daughter then required a hat immediately, pronto, ASAP! This one is made from cotton poplin and lined/trimmed with red rayon. Unfortunately she chose a black background fabric so I am making her another in a lighter shade – better for the really sunny days! However this is still as cute as a button – or rather a strawberry!

And one for the crazy kid...

And one for the crazy kid…

Finally I have made a third for my daughter’s friend who looked most envious as I made Zoe’s. It’s posted over at Stitch 56 – check it out.

I highly recommend this project as a crowd pleaser AND stash scrap buster. It’s a winner!

There will be many many more hats in my sewing future!

Finally, just a few little tips that I picked up as I made the hats…

1. Sewing the Curves

I found sewing the curves was very easy if I curled the fabric up and away from the front of the presser foot as I sewed.

hats - sewing the curves

Holding the fabric upwards from the presser foot as I sewed around the curves.

2. Think about your pinning

Position your pins so they are easy to remove as you sew (see above) and they don’t scratch you as you sew!

I pinned the top to the crown with the pins facing inwards - a lot less ouchies when sewing.

I pinned the top to the crown with the pins facing inwards – a lot less ouchies when sewing.

3. Achieving even brim stitching

All my hats have top-stitched brims, I think it makes for a more sturdy hat. The lines are evenly spaced at 2cm intervals. The easiest way to achieve this is to use a seam gauge and place a post-it note on the arm of your machine. Then watch the edge of your hat against the post-it note (rather than the presser foot). Perfect every time!
I also increased my stitch length slightly.

Careful measuring and sewing resulted in perfect top stitching every time!

Careful measuring and sewing resulted in perfect top stitching every time!

There are lots more tips in the pattern – and I can’t stay here and type as I have hats to make… and if you are interested in adding hats to your sewing stash, check out Nicole’s You Sew Girl blog which contains lots of interesting information. You can obtain this pattern from Stitch 56… where there are also a bunch of gorgeous purse patterns… hmmmm tempting….

I’ve just purchased the Fedora Pattern by You Sew Girl… I think I’m addicted! This one is for ME though!

Pattern: Kids Hats by You Sew Girl, provided to me by Stitch 56
Fabric: denim, popin, rayon, scraps and more from my fabric pile!


by random number generator is….


who hasn’t left her email address, so please send me an email Ravenna at sewbusylizzy (at) gmail (dot) com and I will organise the send the pattern out to you. If I don’t hear from Ravenna by Wednesday 15 January I will have a re-draw.

Lolita Gunmetal - the sweet version

Lolita Gunmetal – the sweet version

Thank you everyone for your kind comments and interest in winning the pattern.

If you didn’t win but still want your own version on Gunmetal – you can buy the pattern as a PDF, paper pattern – and even the D-rings at Lolita Patterns.


40 thoughts on “Sew Hat Binge & the Gunmetal WINNER

  1. Glad that your back is getting better 🙂
    ‘Top’ hats and hat tips, very inspiring.
    The pattern that I’m wrestling with currently has parts for a dress and a hat. Once I’ve conquered the dress I must just have to venture into head gear…

  2. Glad you are feeling better. Backs are so delicate!
    These hats are really awesome! Thanks for all the tips. Will have to bookmark this and use it to make some fun summer hats! I hadn’t ever even thought of making hats. Notsure why. 🙂

    • I hadn’t either. I thought they would look dodgy but everyone admires these when the girls are out & I keep getting requests for more!!! There is an adults sun hat pattern too… Just got to find it!

  3. I think you need to make up a more exciting story for your back injury! Hope it’s on the mend though, I know how debilitating a back injury can be. Love the hats, I definitely need to make some for my kids with super sized heads and a tendency to losing them. Plus I have heaps of scraps to get rid of too

    • I know! Once I dislocated my knee rolling over in bed… yes really, I just rolled over. Ended up in an ambulance at emergency at 11pm! I have a tendency to dramatic injury through non-dramatic activity!
      It’s a great pattern, there is an adult one as well – if they have huge noggins that might work better as you get a hat too! If you mix and match the brim, crown, lining you will eat through tons of scraps!

  4. These look great! I’m definitely going to try the pattern, my kids need some new hats. Love the really wide brims, we’re in Florida so I’m always looking for good sun protection 🙂

    • Me too, we live by the beach and hats are essential. In fact kids are not allowed to play at school without them!
      This is great because they are soft & comfortable and easy to make again when they ‘disappear’!

  5. Way back in the 90’s (dating myself) I used to sew my girls matching hats and dresses. Yep… I sure did! I wonder if they would like some hats now? They are super cute and make great protection from the sun! Your girls are cuties… I bet they LOVE it when you sew for them! (Oh- and glad you are feeling better- hurting a back is NO fun!)

  6. I’m sorry to hear about your back, but I’m glad you’re on the mend.

    Your daughters look so darn cute! I wish I had a mom that would have sewed for me. You girls are lucky to have each other 🙂

    • My mother sewed a lot of me – I just didn’t appreciate it because it was ‘the norm’. I think sewing is now quite ‘cool’ and they get lots of compliments on the stuff I’ve made for them!

  7. I’ve often toyed with the idea of making hats – you know, something useful that would probably eat quite a lot of stash fabric – but could never convince myself (or, if the truth be known, find a sufficiently simple pattern though perhaps I didn’t look very hard). Your wonderful output has me in quite a dither; and, well, we have a jungle themed party coming up fairly soon and perhaps I could manage to make a hat to accompany my outfit!

    Very glad to hear that your back is pretty much back to normal. A dodgy back is debilitating and inconvenient at best (I once put mine out while making porridge, which is pretty unexciting, too).

  8. Those hats are lovely! I was actually planing to make a hat or two for myself – I really like the ones that have the brims rolled down towards the face (like your denim one) – very flattering. Your girls look gorgeous and seem very happy to be wearing a ‘Mum Made’!!

    • That’s called a lampshade style I think. The black hat does the same thing but the little gremlin prefers it turned up.
      They are really so easy to make, I can’t believe I’ve been buying them!

  9. What adorable children you have. And the hats are pretty cool too 😉 I can see how they would be come addictive and I can also see you getting more orders in as the word spreads! Hope your back gets better soon, lovely. Dangerous business all this blog reading, especially when your list gets up to 455! :-/ xxx

  10. Sorry not to win the Gunmetal. It’s on my list now.
    But thank you for inspiration to try rolled hem with overlocker.
    Out came the manual and lots of good intentions. But my own drunk monkey decided to join in. He said keep sewing when they was clearly something wrong. Bah! An hour later after I’d dismantled most of the overlocker and removed a fur ball the size of a small mammal, it worked.
    Another skill conquered. Tick.

  11. Great hats! They look so cute wearing them! I really like the denim one. You may want to check out the book Sewn Hats by Carla Crim of the Scientific Seamstress. The book came out in 2012 and has patterns by many different designers and most are sized from baby/kid all the way to adult. Hope your back feels better!

  12. These hats are adorable! : ) And I particularly like your Tip #1 – holding the curved fabric upward when sewing. I always do this for curved seams, as I find it easier to get a smooth seam line with no puckers. Great for setting in sleeves!

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