It took a ton of time, a decent amount of swearing and a whole lot of pattern altering, but the Alabama Studio hats are finished:
G’s is the cuter of the two, simply based on the wearer, and was much quicker to finish. Hand stenciling the fabric did take some time, but nothing compared to hand stitching all sorts of beads on! Apologies for the less than ideal lighting on his picture, but he took a shining to his hat right away and I wanted to get a picture of him in it before he got it entirely covered in dirt and little boy
sweat happiness the next day at daycare.
Mine took forever to finish…and then caused an awful lot of naughty words to be uttered when it turned out way too big.
All the information I’ve ever been able to find when working on hat patterns says that the average head circumference for an adult woman is 21-23.5″. At 22.5″ I’m of the opinion that most hats ought to fit me. That being established, as gorgeous as I think Ms. Chanin’s work is, she must be sewing for some crazy big-headed, thick-skulled sumo wrestlers or something. I had to take 4″ off the circumference of the crown of her pattern (I measured in a touch more than .5″ from the edge all the way around) and a corresponding 4″ off the brim. If I hadn’t already been on the verge of tears from having cut nights worth of beadwork off of the hat, I probably would have trimmed the depth of the brim up a little bit to keep it from covering my eyes quite so far as well.
My point being: the pieces in this book are to-die-for gorgeous…but make an un-embellished version first. Don’t assume that because it’s a more or less basic piece that it will fit you and you can start beading/stenciling/embroidering away. You’ll want to kick yourself when you find you’ve wasted hours embellishing fabric that you can’t use if you want to wear your finished piece.
To create G’s version I plopped my modified version on his head to see where it needed to come in. He has a pretty big head for a 2.5 year old, so I left the crown the same size and just shortened the brim by an inch and a half. It’s floppy and a touch big on him unless I fold up the brim, but he loves it…and I love that he’s not going to grow out of it. He’s already gotten tons of compliments on it.
I plan on making some more of these…they’re super comfortable and fold down teenie tiny so I can throw one in my purse or pocket if my head gets too warm. Next time I’ll know to trim the pieces much smaller though.