This is a tutorial for the third and last part of the Kitchen Ensemble
playwear - the chef's hat. No pleats in the crown of this one, though -
just simple gathers. The headband is made adjustable with velcro
straps. This is not an easy project to sew, and even harder to explain.
I apologize for making the process more complex
than it might have needed to be.
You will need:
- Half a yard of fabric that has some weight- maybe something between quilting cotton and home decor fabric, cut into
-- Two rectangles 23" x 4"
- A piece of fusible interfacing 22" x 3"
- 2 pieces of velcro 2.5" long (loop)
- 1 piece of velcro 2.5" long (hook)
- 4" of 1/4" bias tape in a color that matches the fabric
- Measuring tape
- Place the interfacing shiny side down on the wrong side of one of the rectangles so that there is 1/2" border of fabric all around the interfacing.
- Run a hot iron over the interfacing, bonding it to the fabric.
- Turn the rectangle over and place the two pieces of loop velcro so that
-- they are parallel to the long side of the rectangle
-- they are 3/4" apart and equidistant from either of the long sides of the rectangle
-- their ends are 3/4" from one short side of the rectangle
In the picture below, this is the top rectangle.
- Sew around the edge of the velcro pieces to attach them to the fabric.
- Place the other fabric rectangle right side up.
- Place the piece of hook velcro parallel to one short side of this second rectangle. Position it 3/4" from the short edge and center it vertically.
- Pin and sew the edges to attach it to the fabric.
- Lay it aside (hurrah).
You will be working entirely on the 17" fabric circle now.
- Take the 4" bit of bias tape and sew it onto the circumference of the circle like you would attach bias tape to any raw edge. It does not matter which section of the circumference you pick. This will be the part of the circumference that will be eventually be exposed within the adjustable region of the headband, and you want it to be finished rather than fraying.
- Set your stitch length to the longest possible (6 on my machine) and sew one line of stitches 1/8" from the edge and all round the circumference except where the bias tape is. In other words, start sewing just next to where the bias tape ends, and go round till you reach the other end of the bias tape and stop.
- Leave at least 4" of thread trailing from the bobbin and the needle when you cut the threads. You will need this length of thread for gathering the fabric later.
- Sew a second line of stitches about 1/4" from the first (and further in from the edge) all around the circle, again avoiding the bias tape. Again leave 4" of trailing thread when you cut.
- Adjust the stitch length back to normal.
- With one hand, take either the upper or lower threads from one end of both lines of stitching and pull gently, while gathering the fabric with the other hand so that the edge of the circle begins to pucker and curl inwards. Work till you have gathered the fabric evenly around the circumference - the section with the bias tape will alone remain ungathered. It might help to do half the circle at a time, pulling the threads from both ends of the double line of stitching to gather the whole circle.
- The aim of this step is to turn the flat circle of fabric into this shower cap-looking thing:
- You can see the long trailing threads on either side of the bias tape section where they've been pulled to gather the fabric.
- Measure a section on the bias tape that is 2" long as shown. Mark the boundaries of this 2" section. Try to make it as centralized as possible i.e. with about 1" on each side of the marks (shown in red).
Because this crown (aka shower cap) needs to fit the headband (22" long) we sewed in the earlier steps, we need the circumference of the gathered circle to be 22".
- So with the measuring tape, adjust the gathers so that the circumference is 22" around from one red mark to the other. Pull the long trailing threads and gather more if it is too big, or loosen the gathers if it is too small. The picture below hopefully helps illustrate what is needed:
So now you have this shower cap thing that has a 24" opening: 22" of it is gathered fabric, and 2" of it is a bias-tape covered straight edge, right?
- Knot the trailing threads (the ones you pulled to gather) in such a way that the gathers can no longer be loosened. You want the opening to stay 24".
The crown is now finished!
Attaching the crown to the headband
This part is fast but could be confusing. This is a good time to make a cup of strong tea (or coffee) and wash it down with vast quantities of high quality dark chocolate.
You are going to sandwich the crown between the two rectangles that form the headband. The important thing to remember (and which will save much gnashing of teeth later) is that the velcro ends have to be opposite. Perhaps the picture below might help explain: ignoring the pins - they are there to keep the fabric from separating inappropriately - one rectangle (the one below) has velcro at its end and the other (peeled back) does not.
Grr.. dare we continue?
OK, here goes:
- Take one rectangle with the interfacing and, beginning with the end with the velcro, place against the outside of the crown as shown so that
-- the right side of the rectangle is facing the crown
-- its long edge is lined up with the gathered edge of the crown
-- one red mark on the bias tape is 1/2" from the short edge of the rectangle (the blue pin is 1/2" from the edge of the rectangle)
- Pin all the way around the edge of the crown so that the other short edge of the rectangle ends 1/2" beyond the other red mark on the bias tape.
- Take the other rectangle and, beginning with the end without the velcro, place it against the inside of the crown so that
-- the right side of the rectangle is facing the inside of the crown
-- its long edge is lined up with the gathered edge of the crown and the edge of other rectangle
-- the same red mark that you began with the first rectangle is 1/2" from this short edge of the second rectangle. In other words, the two rectangles are lined up but one is outside the crown and the other is inside.
- Pin all the way around the crown.
The picture below shows a close up of the three sandwiched layers: inner rectangle, gathered crown, outer rectangle.
View of top and side, showing the interfacing
- Sew a line of stitches 1/2" from this edge all along the length of the rectangle, stopping 1/2" from either end.
- Remove the pins and fold the rectangles down so that their right sides face out. The hat should look something like this:
- a crown that has all its fraying edges tucked into the headband
- the headband going all the way around the crown except for the 2" section that has the bias tape
- the headband that has velcro on opposite ends
- the headband that has one long side sewn and the other long side and both short sides unsewn.
So far, so good.
- In this step, you are going to sew up the three unsewn sides of the headband by folding a 1/2" hem all round and tucking the raw edges of the fold between the two rectangles.
- Fold in the corners as neatly as you can.
- Top stitch all round these three sides. The picture below shows the edges folded in 1/2" and stitched over.
The hat is finished, believe it or not -