Monday, July 14, 2014

Sun bonnet trial

When we first met little “Sweet Pea” (our nickname for our new little granddaughter) it was quite clear that she was going to need a sunbonnet for the summer. She had a knitted hat from when she came home from the hospital but it was huge and was going to be too hot for summer so I knew what I needed to do……

When I got home I searched for a pattern for a hat crown that I could adjust to a size small enough to fit her wee head. I found one (but it also was huge) so proceeded to reduce it by percentages with Photoshop. Well of course it reduced in all areas so it became not just narrower but also shorter! The seam allowances were also reduced. It was mainly the shape I was looking for. I had a multi-coloured seersucker fabric in mind with a white ruffled brim for this bonnet.

Crown pieces cut - pink lining the new length!
So on I tread. Once I had cut the seersucker crown and pinned it together to get a feel for the size, I knew at once it was not long enough. I had lots of fabric so cut a ‘head band’ on the bias thinking that I could always insert some elastic to make it fit. A bias band would create visual interest so that was good. I cut the lining in a light weight batiste long enough to match the new outer layer.

Stitching the seams for the crown was the first step. (Be sure to stitch three ‘wedges’ together and press the seams open as you go.) My pressing mit was perfect for this job. If you don’t have one for pressing curved seams, roll up a washcloth or small towel into a ball and use that. When you have two sets of three ‘wedges’ sewn and pressed, match up the centre points and stitch the last seam. 
Crown and press mitt
Right sides out before the bias band

I added the bias band and matched up the ends of the bias – couldn’t believe they worked out perfectly! All seam allowances were only ¼” so it meant no trimming required. Repeat the process for the lining but this time stitch around the base of the lining at ¼”. This will give you a ‘hard’ edge on which to turn your seam allowance accurately and also keep the seams from coming open if you forget to back stitch.
Next I cut the ruffle. Looking at the crown I chose to make the ruffle 1 ¾” wide (finished width). I cut the fabric 4” wide by twice the length of the crown circumference but since my piece of fabric was not quite wide enough I had to cut two!

Offset the raw edges and 'roll and whip'

Here is the seam I used to join the two pieces, a rolled seam. You can use this here as there is never any pressure on the seam and it is almost invisible when the project is finished! To make such a seam join, you lay the fabrics one on the other with right sides together and edges offset by a mere sixteenth to one eighth apart.
Set your machine to a medium zigzag width and stitch length of ‘1.0’. Stitch down the length of the fabric. The bottom layer should roll over the top and give you a very neat narrow seam much like a ‘rolled and whipped’ edge in heirloom sewing.

Ready to stitch!
I made a ¼” seam at each end of the brim and turned it right sides out before running two rows of gathering (at ” and ”). Matching up the CF of the hat to the CF of the brim, CBs and so on around the crown, I pulled up the gathering threads and distributed the fullness evenly. Once that was done I stitched the ¼” seam and pressed it towards the crown.

Done and right sides out
 With wrong sides together I matched up the centres of the crowns and then the seams of the lining to corresponding points on the band. Using a slip stitch I joined the two. Done for now. All that is left is a chance to try it on little Sweet Pea.
From the inside
Well it seems I measured her head wrong! I was out by 1”! (She was quite squirmy and brand new the day I measured.) The bonnet only just fits! And that won't be for long.....  
Stretch - "This photography stuff is such a bore!"
Well off to the drawing board again - thank goodness I have lots of fabric. Dear Daddy couldn’t understand how the bonnet didn’t fit. It was all a bit too complicated to explain and I finally just gave up.
When she was napping (the best time to try measuring a newborn) I measured again and this time got three measurements – head circumference, front to back over the crown and from earlobe to earlobe over the crown. Well the next one will be larger for sure and will include a little elastic to draw in the fit! It is all a learning curve.
Like me, just keep stitching……


1 comment:

  1. Judith, congratulations on a granddaughter to sew for! I know she will be well dressed. Can't wait to see what else you make for her besides the cute sun hat.