Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Two Ways to Fix a Pattern

Last time we spoke about my sunhat, things were not going all that well. The hat was too small for my (albeit somewhat large) head and the brim was too deep to be usable. Things obviously needed fixing and I'm happy to report that I figured out two ways to do so.

The first solution involved styling the finished hat. My friend P was over for Olympics watching/craft time and had the genius idea to fold the brim twice instead of once. The result not only worked but was super cute. Since the folds would only stay in place if pinned, I whipped up a tsumami kanzashi pin to complete the transformation.

Beyond styling, the other solution was simply to fix the pattern itself. I took 1.5 inches off the bottom of the brim, which was a compromise between still having a broad brim and being able to see below the brim. I also took 0.5 inches off the top of the brim, which added an inch to the hat size and, more importantly, fixed an error in the pattern by making the inner brim size match the cap circumference. The resulting pattern was much easier to sew and the finished hat fits me very well.

Sewing a mock-up, making pattern alterations, then sewing the final project is a standard habit in sewing; it is referred to as 'making a muslin', after the inexpensive material used for this pattern testing. In my case, I made a 'working muslin' because the first hat was intended to be wearable. Making muslins takes time but is something I definitely need to start doing as I work with more expensive fabrics. I'm just glad that in this case my working muslin turned out to be usable after all!

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