Tuesday, September 29, 2009

fabrication.co.nz will be at Stash Rehash!

So, fabrication.co.nz is an online fabric store, but it gets a bit lonely sometimes so I'm hitting the market scene and have booked a stall at Christchurch's Stash Rehash...

When: Sunday 8th November 2009, 11am - 2pm
Where: Scottish Society Hall, St Albans, Christchurch
What to bring: Cash (no eftpos facilities available sorry!)
More info: check out the Stash Rehash blog

I'd love to see you there, so if you're in Christchurch I hope you can make it!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sewing 101: Make a toddler sunhat

After getting in some cute fabrics for little boys in at my fabrication shop, I wanted to make Thomas something out of it. I loved this gorgeous green animal print from David Walker's Oh Boy! collection, and thought it looked great with a spotty fabric already in my hoard. With that in mind, and with summer fast approaching I thought it would be a good idea to make Thomas a sunhat. I looked around on the web for a good (free!) sunhat pattern, but couldn't find anything, so ended up just making up my own pattern. It's fully reversible and really easy, and it seemed silly to keep it to myself, so thought I'd post it here as my first Sewing 101 tutorial. Enjoy!

For a 50cm approx diameter hat (approx 12 mths) you'll need:
  • 0.5m of 110cm wide fabric for the outer*
  • 0.5m of 110cm wide fabric for the lining*
  • 0.2m of firm iron-on interfacing
  • coordinating cotton.
(*You could probably get away with 0.3m of both the outer and lining fabrics if you're very careful cutting the pattern out, but I always recommend getting a bit extra, esp if you have to match a pattern or don't mind having some left over which you can put to good use later on.)

  • A 1cm seam allowance is included in all measurements.
  • Cut carefully! If you cut your pattern out carefully with all pieces exactly the same size it will make it that much easier to sew.
  • Always backstitch at the start and end of each seam. This stops the stitching from coming undone.


a. Place all pattern pieces on the fabric so that the <------> marks are parallel with the selvedge.
b. Using the outlines above (note these are not to scale, but just to give you a rough idea of the shapes you'll need) cut 6 x crown pieces from the outer fabric and 6 x from the lining. For a 50cm hat you'll want each crown piece to be 10.5cm wide and 15.5cm high.

c. Cut 2 x brim from the outer, 2 x brim from the lining and 2 x brim from the interfacing. The brim should be 52cm around the upper edge and 8cm deep.

d. You can adjust the measurements and/or seam allowance to adjust the size, but just remember that as you have 6 crown pieces, a small change in the size can make a big difference to the eventual size of the hat.


a. Pin 2 outer crown pieces right sides together down a long edge. Sew, then press seam allowance open.

b. Repeat step 2a to attach a third outer crown piece to one unstitched long edge, making sure the seam allowance from step 2a is open. This makes the first 3-panel crown section.

c. Repeat steps 2a and 2b to make the second 3-panel crown section.

d. Join the two 3-panel crown sections by placing them right sides together, matching them carefully at the top. Pin in place and then sew across the matched edges. Press the seam allowance open.
e. Repeat steps 2a to 2d with crown lining.

f. With outer crown turned right side out and lining crown with seams to outside still, place the outer crown over the lining crown. Match the centre top of each crown (stick a pin through to find the centre of each) and panel seams. Pin carefully in place. You want to be really careful with this step, as you're about to sew the lining and outer together and you want your seams to be as neat on the inside as on the outside (although if I tell the truth I didn't quite manage to do this myself!).

g. Topstitch down each side of the six panel seams, starting at the cut edge and going up and over the crown. This joins your lining and outer crown pieces together and gives a nice finished look.


a. Iron the interfacing onto the wrong side of the outer fabric. (When attaching iron-on interfacing, it's best to press and hold the iron on the fabric rather than running the iron over it.) When I made Thomas's hat I used interfacing on both the outer and lining of the brim, so that's what you'll see in the photos. This was probably overkill though, so for these instructions I recommend only attaching it to the outer brim.

b. With right sides together, pin and sew the two short edges of the outer fabric to create a circle when open. Press seam allowances open.

c. Repeat step 3b with lining of brim.

d. Now you want to attach the outer and lining brim pieces to the crown. To do this, turn your crown piece upside down, right side out. Place the top edge of the outer brim right sides together with the crown (i.e. so the outer brim is on the outside of the crown), and match the side seams of the brim with opposite panel seams. Then do the same with the lining brim, placing it inside the crown, right sides together with the crown lining. Again, match the side seams. Then, ease the brim around the crown and pin in place. Hopefully your brim and crown should be the same size and it should match up easily. If not, you might want to tweak your brim size by adjusting the seam allowance so that it does. (I haven't allowed for this in the fabric, etc, but if you wanted to add a strap so that your wee one keeps their hat on this is the time to do it - insert it so that it attaches at the brim side seams.)

e. Sew right around the pinned seam.

f. Trim the seam allowance to 1/2cm and cut into it every 2-3cm all the way around, being careful not to clip your stitching. This will just help the curved seam sit flat.

g. Turn the brim right sides out and press along the stitched edge, pulling the brim taut.

Almost there .... you just need to finish the brim and you're done ....

h. Pin and press the seam allowance of the remaining open brim edges in and under towards each other. Topstitch together to close.

h. Finally, topstitch along the top edge of the brim close to where it joins the crown to give your hat that finished, professional look.

j. You're done! Congratulations! I hope your little one keeps their hat on longer than Thomas does ...