A Tale of Two Cloches

I love hats -- especially cloche hats. So one day while I was browsing in the fabric store, I picked up this pattern thinking that it would be perfect for some fleece scraps I have in my stash.  For my first attempt, I used some vintage velveteen, and a quilters cotton (just for the under-brim). I had 2 issues with the finished hat.

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1. The distance from the crown to the seam where the brim begins was too long. Maybe it's just the shape of my face, but it just covered too much of my head. Judging by the photo on the front of the pattern envelope, I suspected that might be the case, but I had to try.

2. The pattern piece for the brim is scalloped. You cut the scallops, and then sew around those edges. Sounds easy enough, but I found it very difficult to get a clean, even scallop.

To resolve the issue of the wonky scallops, I decided that it may be better to sew the scallops before cutting. I chose to trace the pattern onto a piece of medium weight cut-away embroidery stabilizer. Now if you don't want to use an interfacing in the brim, you could use a tear-away stabilizer, or tissue paper, or a wash away stabilizer. Actually, if you have a printer/copier, the Sulky wash away stabilizer that goes through the printer would be the quickest method -- that way you could just copy the pattern piece to the stabilizer, iron it on your fabric, then cut (except for the scallops).  As you can see, this gave me a much cleaner, nicer scalloped edge. The downside is that with the stabilizer (interfacing) in there, the brim stands up a little bit instead of falling in line with the hat. It doesn't look bad, but it does take away from the cloche design.

To resolve the problem of the hat being too long, I made a few adjustments to the pattern, and then traced the side piece so I would have a smooth, even edge to cut.

All in all, it was worth the time I took to make the adjustments.  I think I'll try making one in a wool felt -- I'm thinking that with felt, I can cut just one brim and avoid sewing scallops altogether. I'll keep you posted.

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