Sewing a bucket hat

Feeling confident after my first sewing project, I decided my next one should be a hat. I chose a bucket hat as my vision was to make a unisex style hat, and something that I could actually wear.

Choosing a pattern

The pattern I have is the Robin – Bucket Cloche Hat the available for purchase from ElsewhenMillinery store on Etsy.

I chose this pattern hoping it would be a fairly simple type of hat to begin with, and the quality of the pattern seemed impressive.

The pattern is delivered as PDF file and you will require a printer to make use of it. I have printed the pattern and I can see there are detailed instructions on how to make the hat as well as the actual pattern pieces themselves. Reading through the instructions, they seem quite clear at first glance, but I am a little confused about one or two of the steps, so I hope they will become clear once I have started making. The difficulty level is stated as intermediate, as you will need to know some sewing techniques and understand the qualities of various fabrics. I would not call myself intermediate as this is my second ever project, but I am keen to try and see what happens as I am excited to learn how to make a hat.

After reading through the instructions provided in the pattern I began to order the supplies that I needed. First on my list was the hat wire and joiners, which I found online at Petershams millinery supplies.

Choosing fabric

Next to choose some fabric. with very little knowledge of fabric types, this is a difficult choice but I decided to go for brown canvas for the outside, hoping the thicker material will give some structure to the hat and camel coloured polycotton for the inside, which I chose purely for the great value and matching colour. It is also thin and lightweight, which are the properties I would expect for a lining material. Both ordered from Minerva.

Cotton canvas for the outer
Plain camel polycotton for the lining

Sewing

I found the pattern to be very good and easy to follow. I soon had the brim, lining and crown completed with hardly any trouble.

Sewing the wire into the brim was a fiddly job.

After producing the crown and the brim the next task was to put the two together. This was by far the biggest challenge so far and I had a lot of problems with it.

The hat is taking shape but there were some significant wrinkles at first.

At first I could not see how the crown was going to fit at all. This lead me to find that I had misunderstood the pattern and therefore the hole was far too small. This was my mistake I cut the hole to be the smallest size when I should have made it much larger.

After realising this I marked a new sewing line but after three attempts the crown was wrinkly or the brim was and not to mention the sewing drifted out and in all over the place.

After the forth attempt I felt ready to give up and definitely considered abandoning it and moving on.

However after some very careful measuring and marking and cutting I managed to rectify my earlier mistake and managed to sew the two pieces together perfectly.

The finished product

I am pleased with how this hat turned out as it was ambitious for a second sewing project. I don’t think I succeeded in making a hat I can wear because it looks like a lady’s hat. I would like to make another, and I would use a plain fabric, and do without the wire inside. Hopefully by doing so I would end up with a more unisex style hat. I had a lot of fun doing this and I would recommend anyone to have a go if you haven’t made a hat before.

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