With this heat wave, every kid needs a bucket hat! We’ve had Fiona’s two cute hats on display in the shop for the past couple of weeks and have had dozens of offers to buy them. The free Oliver + S reversible bucket hat pattern is a gem – I’ve made it in the past and I recently made one for Harvey but he’s already outgrown it! Time to make another one – and this time I’ll have Fiona’s handy advice. Read on for tips and tricks!
I love bucket hats on kids and always thought they would be really difficult to sew, but with this fantastic pattern and some gorgeous fabric from Annie’s shop, they really weren’t difficult at all! [Editor's note: Fiona used Asbury by Thomas Knauer and Banksia Bloom by Saffron Craig for her hats]
My children have quite big heads and I decided to make a size large for each. The pattern suggests that you need 1/3 yard of interior and exterior fabric but by arranging the pattern pieces carefully I managed to get away with just ¼ metre cut of each. One pack of interfacing was plenty to make 2 hats, and I used iron-on interfacing rather than sew-in.
As with all Liesl Gibson’s patterns, the pattern is really well written with very clear diagrams for each step. She advises finger pressing before pressing with an iron and I found that this made it much easier to get a nice finish.
The pattern suggests that to make the brim sturdier, you can topstitch a series of rows around the brim. I decided to do this on the first hat, and although I liked the look I didn’t enjoy all the starting and stopping with each row. On the second hat, instead of rows I topstitched round the edge of the brim and then stitched in a continuous spiral towards the centre. This was much quicker and I think it looks better because there is no backstitching in each row.
Another tip I have is when sewing curves, the more clips you make, the smoother the curve. I find it easier to use small scissors to clip. I find it’s easier to control them so you don’t clip through your stitching line.
>When attaching the cap to the brim I would advise using lots of pins. I find it easier to pin horizontally and then you can just stitch right up to (or right over if you’re brave) each pin.
To finish the hat Liesl suggests hand stitching the interior cap before topstitching. I was lazy and didn’t bother with this step. I just turned a hem, pressed it and then topstitched using the edge of my sewing machine foot as a guide. It worked out fine for me, but I think you would get a neater and more perfect finish if you followed Liesl’s advice and took the time to hand stitch.
I absolutely loved making these hats and my kids adore them. They have already demanded another one each. You could add all sorts of embellishments and personalise them for the special little people to enjoy. I’m tempted to size the pattern up to make one for myself!
Thanks for letting me play with your fabric Annie!
Thank you Fiona!