Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sunbonnet - Take II

So here goes a second run at this sunbonnet hat.

This time I decided to make the pattern crown in the original size and skip the lining.

Instead of lining the crown I made it up with French seams.  In this technique the first seam is sewn with wrong sides together and normally trimmed down, flipped so right sides are together and then the final row of stitching.

Using my quilting foot, first row of stitching at 1/8"

Since this was an item not going through the pleater the final width could be a bit wider. Thus the first row of stitching was at ” which avoided the need for trimming when I stitch the second seam at ¼”! Total seam allowance was  ”.

One section down, second one pinned to start 

Two down, half way there

From the right side of the crown

This time around I followed the pattern’s suggestion of doing 3 of the 6 crown sections and then joining the two halves.  Great idea and it worked really well (had to be very accurate to have the points work out perfectly but they did!).

Joining the two halves - ” seam allowance

Points line up but too much fabric for a good part 2 of seam!

A problem arose when I attempted the final row if stitching – part 2 of the final French seam.  There was so much thickness I had to walk the machine through the seam and even then there was a ‘gob’ at the apex. Well that would be easy to cover with a flat button.

The finished crown still looked too shallow compared to the height so once again I cut a bias headband of the seersucker and one of lightweight contrasting white cotton.

Bias bands pinned in place. Leaving and opening in band lining to insert elastic.

I could already tell that the sizing was going to be way too big as it measured 18” and baby’s head is just over 14”! I left the contracting white headband open where the ends join so I could insert some elastic which could be adjusted when the time comes. Well if it doesn’t fit this year we will have it for next summer.  And on I plowed….
Once again I cut the brim of beautiful white English cotton broadcloth cut so it would be double fullness.

A tip here for gathering up ruffles like this:
Reduce the tension on the upper thread and don’t use a long stitch length. You get better control of the gathers if you only use a 3.0, 4.5 or 4.0 stitch length – depending on the thickness of your fabric. Divide that flat fabric in half then quarters, eighths and so on. Repeat for the fabric being gathered. Match them up and keep pinning and dividing the fullness in half until you have worked the fabric down to just a small amount between pins to pull up. When you do pull up the gathering threads, you will be surprised at how little room there is for the gathers to go astray. Remove the pins as you stitch. Tailors use this method to set in sleeves in wool suits and steam out what fullness remains for perfectly set-in sleeves in suits! 

Right sides out and band lining pinned in place, ready to be stitched in place.
To finish off the hat all that was left was to hand stitch the band lining in place and top it off with a button. There will be an elastic chin strap but it can’t go in place until we fit it on the babe.

Done! Just a touch up with the iron to smooth out the headband.

Well now that I have used up all the seersucker, I will try this one more time in another fabric but with 5 crown sections rather than 6 – I think the proportions will work better. I will let you know if it turns out. But that is another day.

So till next time, keep stitching…….

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