Friday 4 May 2012

Guest Post by Wendy of Butterfly Balcony

Hello lovely readers! Today I am welcoming the wonderful Wendy to The Little Red Squirrel. I have been reading Wendy's blog for a long time now and I am always overcome with the beautiful pictures and projects she shares, I love her style so I'm very excited to have her share this hat DIY with you all (plus I wish I had had time to make one myself to wear in Paris!). So, without  further ado, here's Wendy!

Bonjour! My name's Wendy, I'm usual found at The Butterfly Balcony but today Katie has very kindly asked me to pop by to do a guest post for her while she is away on her Parisian adventure.

When Katie asked me to contribute to her blog I was seriously delighted, I instantly knew that I wanted my post to have a Parisian theme. So I had little look through my vintage pattern stash to find something wonderful for a tutorial, when I came across a delightful Leopard print hat in copy of Stitchcraft from Nov 1950, which it just so happens to be a Parisian Special!

So I set to work deciphering the rather vague vintage pattern and this is what I came up with...

Now mine is a little different to the original (the original has a peak and wire embellishments), but I think it is still rather smart and can be style to suit many eras. What I have created is essentially a Leopard print Juliet style skull cap which I am calling the 'Paris in Spring' Chapeau! It is a very simple pattern, perfect for a beginner, as it requires only 7 short machined seams and an inch and a half of hand stitching, which makes it super quick too! I do hope you like it! 

The 'Paris in Spring' Chapeau

What you’ll need:
  • Download the Free pattern HERE!
  • Leopard Print Faux Fur Fabric aprox 20“ square
  • Lining Fabric aprox 20” square
  • Cotton Thread in matching shade
  • Fine toothed comb (only if using fur)
  • Fabric marker or chalk.
  • Cotton tea towel
1.  Find which way the pile of the fur fabric lies. I find that it helps to use a comb to brush it all in to the same direction.

2. Turn your fabric over so that you have the woven back facing you and the pile of the fabric is brushed down from the top edge of your fabric. Place the pattern pieces matching the arrows to the direction of the pile.

3. Trace around the pattern with chalk or a fabric marker, ensuring to mark all triangular notches. I found it invaluable to mark which pieces are which as they all start to look the same once cut.

4. Cut out pattern. You essentially only want to cut the backing fabric not the hairs, I find that the best way to ensure that you don’t accidentally cut off chunks of fur is to wiggle the underneath blade of the scissors whilst slightly pushing against the fabric before sniping, this will move the strands out of the way of the blade and prevent accidental hair loss!

5. Now that your covered from head to toe in fluff :) Its time to cut out the same pieces from your chosen lining fabric.   VERY IMPORTANT: You will need to cut your pattern pieces out so that the bias (stretchy bit) runs across in a straight line the brim edge. if you do not do this you will find inserting the lining much more difficult and you will find that it may cause your outer fabric to pucker and not lay flat.

Tip:  As you pin the seams on the fur fabric tuck in any stray hairs that run along the edge, this will make judging the seam width easier and also save you time at the end.

6. With right sides together pin the F and LS together along marked edge. Stitch seam. 

 7. With right sides together pin the B and RS together along marked edge. Stitch seam.

8. Open out seams and press them flat. With right sides together match up F/LS and B/RS pin along curved seam. Stitch.

9. Repeat the process from 7-9 for lining fabric.

10. Place lining fabric over fur fabric right sides together match seams. Turn inside out so that the fur fabric is on the outside. You may want to pin the seams at crown to stop it from moving.

11. Pin the lining fabric in place whilst pulling it down about 1 cm below the edge of the fur fabric (see photo), this will ensure that when you turn your hat the correct way round the fur will pull up underneath slightly hiding your lining.

12. Mark the back section you will need to leave about 1.5” gap in your stitching for turning the hat the correct way round I marked mine with crossed pins.

13. Stitch all around brim removing the pins as you go.

14. Turn the right way out, by pulling through the opening to check that you are happy with your placement and seam. Once Happy turn back inside out again and trim brim edge seam.


15. Turn your hat the right way out again. Now you will need to pin around the brim working the fur fabric under the brim. When happy with the placement baste/tack this in place.

Now The Dangerous Bit! 

16. Be very careful you do not want to melt your new creation, or your fingers! With the inside of the hat facing up, cover with a protective later (I used a cotton tea towel)
Set your iron to a medium/cool setting and gently press the brim area to give the edge definition.

Tip: I found it helpful to mist the hat's lining with a little water before covering with the tea towel, it helped it take shape better.

17. Nearly done! Hand stitch the opening at the back closed.

18. Finally comb your fur fabric to smooth out. Then using a pin or fine knitting needle work around the seams loosening any hairs that have got trapped in the seams.
C'est tout! You're done!

Now its time for the fun bit!!
To secure your hat to you head you can use hat pins (be careful), stitch in a couple of hair slide combs, or my preferred option is to use a girls best friend the Kirby grip to hold it in place I find the the fluff of the fur fabric disguises the clips rather well and it feels much more secure.

So there you have it, your very own Leopard print chapeau to rival those of only the most glamorous of screen stars!
Wendy x


Jess Lucas said...

This hat is so cool!!! I love it:) good job wendy, I am envious of your (say in very gangsta way) Skilllzz!!!:)
Jess x

Elise said...

Ooh awesome tutorial, love the leopard print! :)

ilovefilm85 said...

Yeah, this is adorable!! xx

emma collier said...

Ooh1 c an't wait to try making one of these myself, looks fabulous in leopard print!


May Loh said...

Fabulous tutorial!!
May x

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