Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hoth Hat Tutorial

Here is a tutorial on how I made the Hoth hat, as the pattern is. If you wish to make your own hat, you will need to acquire the pattern from Phyllis Schulte or myself. After you have the pattern, you will need:

Approximately 1 yard of off-white material. I suggest something like Kona cotton from JoAnn's, it has a good texture without being too bulky. You will also need a package of double fold bias tape in "Oyster" and one in "Taupe", batting to line the neck piece (more if you plan to bat the entire hat), about ½ a yard of fusible interfacing, a scrap of tan fabric, some 1" poly strapping in tan, a piece of plastic such as polystyrene, and a piece of heavy weight stabilizer.

Once you have all the hat pieces cut out, you can begin the construction process. Every piece should be interfaced with the exception of the neck piece and lower front brim. The upper front brim also needs a piece of heavy weight stabilizer. The lower front brim will need a piece of plastic inside it.

This is the batting that I used. It is a good quality batting that isn't too bulky. It gives the quilting a nice "poof" without being too fat.

You will need to mark the quilting lines on one piece of your neck piece. I used dressmaker's pencil that washes out with warm water and mild soap.

Once you have the lines marked, zigzag or surge the edges of both neck pieces with the batting in the center.

Pin the "sandwich" generously with quilter's pins and then sew the lines you marked. I prefer to stitch all the lines in one direction, removing the pins as I go. Then, I turn the piece and stitch the remaining lines in the opposite direction.

This is what your neck piece should resemble once you have all the quilting stitches in.

Next, you need to take the brim pieces and pin the taupe bias tape to the edges, sew the bias tape along the fold, turn, pin, and stitch the bias tape closed.

For the top front of the brim, you will need to stitch a piece of bias along the top FOLDED edge, leaving the bottom edge free. You will be sewing the lower front brim to the top front brim under the bias tape, so it is important you leave enough for a seam allowance free under the stitching.

Pin, sew, fold, pin, and sew the oyster bias tape to the quilted neck piece. (*Note: the pattern has the bottom chin edges finish off squarely, but I rounded them to resemble the screen used hats more closely.)

Close-up of the second stitching on the bias tape. It is a sort of "stitch-in-the-ditch" type of stitching where the top stitching is sewn along the edge of the bias tape, yet catches the bias tape on the other side, closing it.

Next, you need to sew the sides of the hat to the top.

Here is what the sides look like sewn to the top of the hat.

You will need to sew "tabs" for the neck piece out of the scraps of tan fabric. Mine were roughly 2½ X 3½ (don't forget to add for seam allowance). You will also need to cut 5 pieces of poly webbing (slightly melt the ends to avoid fraying). Baste the tabs and webbing strips to the top edge of the hat and sew the bottom edges using matching thread.

Then, comes the tricky parts. You need to pin the top front brim, lower front brim, and back brim to the sides of the hat.

Once you get the brims pinned in place, sew them onto the hat, being sure to remove the pins as you sew.

Pin the quilted neck piece to the hat and sew.

Cover the raw edges with the oyster bias tape.

Using a scrap of fabric left over from the hat, sew a 1" tube for the chin strap. The length will depend on how long you would like it to be. Sew one end to the right side of the neck piece. Sew Velcro to the left side of the neck piece and the loose end of the chin strap.

This is what your chin strap should look like when closed.

There you have the Hoth Rebel hat!

To see pictures of the finished hat, click here: Hoth Hat