Thursday, February 6, 2014

TUTORIAL How to Make a Top Hat from Felted Wool Sweaters
What do you make with old felted wool and cashmere sweaters? Try this DIY Do-it-yourself Top Hat. Learn to make this full-size, warm hat, a winter topper, so you can look dapper and still stay warm. The hat is fully lined so you’ll stay extra toasty while you look classy. The hat is constructed entirely by hand, without the use of a sewing machine. The PDF tutorial gives step-by-step instructions for drafting the pattern pieces in any hat size from adult XS to XL, preparing and cutting the fabric, constructing the hat, and hand stitching each seam with yarn. The tutorial ends with instructions for the optional felt flower.

Materials and Tools
1. Felted wool sweaters. Choose thicker sweaters (more than 1/8”) for a stiffer hat, and thinner than 1/8” for a softer, floppier hat. Use two sweaters, three if they are very small. The best choice is stiff, thick 100% wool for the most of the hat, and cashmere sweater for the lining. Soft Merino wool would be another good choice for the lining. That’s the part that touches your head, so the softer the better.
2. Thick thread or thin yarn: The stitching will show as a design element, so choose your color with that in mind. I use lace weight silk yarn, but any thin string or yarn would work. Your yarn is too thick if you have trouble pulling your needle through two layers of felt. If you want to use sewing thread, I recommend a heavy weight “quilting” cotton thread, doubled. You will only need a few dozen yards. So if you have yarn remnants, this is a great place to use them up.
3. Paper
4. Tape
5. Ruler
6. Pencil
7. Large eyed needle: long sharp needles work well, with an eye big enough for your thread
8. Regular sewing thread, whatever you have on hand that contrasts with the color of your hat. You will use this for the markings.
This pattern is suitable for advanced beginner sewers. Knowledge of sewing is helpful but not necessary. I assume you know the very basics of sewing (like threading needles and using scissors), but if you've never worked with felted wool sweaters before, this is a great place to start.
The tutorial is 17 pages, including 92 color illustrations and photographs that show how to complete each step. Two of the pages show how to make the flower, and the last two pages show photos of four different felt hats I’ve made with this pattern.
 If you're not the crafty type, and you'd like to purchase one of these hat, hand made by yours truly, check out the hat section in my Etsy shop.

1 comment:

  1. Terrific hats! They look like so much fun, both to make and to wear.


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