Today I want to share with you another sewing project that I've found to be ideal for using up small pieces or scraps of nice fabric. What is particularly awesome with this one is that the pattern is a freebie, so if you're using up fabric rather than buying some new stuff, it's effectively free!
A couple of months ago we went on a week-long holiday to Spain. Dolores only had one sun hat from last year that still fitted her, and knowing how her hats seem to always disappeared when you're in a rush to get out of the door, I thought that making another would be sewing-time well spent. I can't remember where I first saw the Oliver + S free children's multi-sized bucket hat pattern (let's be honest, it was probably Pinterest) but I downloaded it, printed it out and then had heaps of fun raiding my scraps box to find the perfect combination of fabrics for the project. This pattern has been graded into four sizes that should span the ages of six months to eight years. And the best thing? It's reversible!!! That means you can choose two different contrasting fabrics so one hat will match twice as many of your kid's outfits.
So how did I find this pattern? Confession time: as if I'd never encountered a PDF pattern before, I somehow cods up the printing part and despite even measuring the test square like you're meant to, I didn't figure out that I'd printed the pattern out too small UNTIL I FINISHED SEWING THE HAT. I had attempted to make the Medium (approx. aged 3-5) but it came out much smaller and only just fitted her (she was two and a half at the time). Embarrassing!!! Can I blame that brain-fart on being pregnant please?!
Aside from that, everything else was fantastic! As with every other Oliver + S pattern I've used, the instructions are great and very user-friendly. The second time I used the pattern (for the larger of the two hats pictured in this post) I altered the order of construction a bit to complete the processes quicker, and added 2cm to the outer edge of the brim for extra coverage from the sun. The only other change I made was to use fusible interfacing for the brims on to both my versions rather than sew-in interfacing as recommended by the pattern because that is what I already had in my stash, and it worked fine.
Picking combinations of fabrics for these hats was very enjoyable. I wanted both pairings to be different enough that each side would work well with different outfits, but complementary so that the hats looked appealing as a unit. For Dolores's hat (the first one that came out too small), I chose an awesome piece of quilting-weight cotton with writing on a yellow background that was given to me yonks ago by the lovely Handmade Jane, and some scraps of navy double gauze with little white anchors on (I made this hat before Dolores developed her obsession with pink stuff). The double gauze was probably too thin for this project, but the quilting cotton literally has its back on this one! I really love how these two prints and colour schemes go together, and I'm glad that the outcome is very unisex now that I know I'm expecting a boy!
The second hat was made for Dolores's slightly older friend Hazel. Hazel's mum runs a toddler sensory class that I take Dolores along to, but instead of paying to attend we have a bartering arrangement by where I sporadically make Hazel garments in exchange for the classes. Hazel is a girly little girl, so I picked this pastel-y piece of Liberty print cotton that was kindly given to me by Sewbox.co.uk (left over from this Geranium dress) for one side, and some floral quilting cotton scraps that were left over from a dress I made for The Village Haberdashery's spring window display. Unsurprisingly, Hazel always wears her hat pink-side-out.
This was such a fun project, and a really nice way to showcase some small pieces of lovely fabric that just couldn't be chucked into the textile recycling. I doubt I'll ever buy my children a sun hat from a shop. The optional topstitching round the brim gives the hats some substance, however I think thicker weight quilting cottons or similar would work better for this project than a thinner fabric. As a relatively quick and relatively cheap make, these would be fantastic gifts to make for other people's kids.
Pattern: £0 (available from Oliver + S here)
Fabric: £0 (all pieces were either originally given to me, left over from a commission or I found them in a scraps bin)
Kerching!!! Got to love that total. Have you tried this pattern or something similar? If so, what fabrics did you find worked the best? Have you used any other free children's (or adults for that matter) hat patterns?