This hat is my first sewing project of the year which, ironically, wasn’t even on my #makenine list! However, I am delighted to have finished one project so far this year, especially since my other current project is taking a lot more time to finish than I would like it to.
When I shared my Style Resolutions post back in January, Tanith of Tanith Rowan Designs asked whether I would like to review and test her new hat pattern, the Grevillea Beret, since one of my resolutions had been to wear more hats this year.
I said yes, of course, and just this past weekend I got around to making the hat. I have never had much success sewing hats- I made a newsboy style cap for my sister once, which was really cute, but so many of the hats I make for myself seem to fail. I once attempted to make a pillbox, but it turned out looking more like a fez. 🙁 So it was with trepidation that I approached this pattern, hoping that it would turn out well, but also afraid I would end up with another fez. Well, of course, I should not have feared! Tanith has made a wonderful hat pattern- and I love how this hat turned out!
When I first got the pattern, I spent quite a while trying to decide which fabric I should use, because I wanted to make sure that it was something that would coordinate with my wardrobe. After almost cutting it out of a different fabric, I remembered that I had some green wool scraps left over from my cape last year. I only had a few strips (several inches wide) and I wasn’t sure that I would be able to fit all of the pattern pieces in, but, as Tanith mentions, this pattern is good for recycling leftover pieces of fabric and all of the pattern pieces fit. (With absolutely no room to spare- and none leftover! Yay for using up fabric scraps!)
I made the eight section hat, with a narrow band, and I didn’t topstitch the segments. This is because I am that seamstress who looks at a pattern (even one with every combination known), and picks out the one option that isn’t pictured on the pattern. I think that the topstitching gives the beret a sportier look, and also stiffens the pieces, so my hat is rather soft and floppy compared the pictures on her pattern. The wool I used was also rather soft, compared to melton or other stiff wool. The weight of your fabric is definitely something to keep in mind.
The hat went together very quickly. I made it in a few hours including: laying out the pattern, cutting, sewing, unpicking my bad stitches and then resewing, and then finally pressing and steaming the hat into shape. If you’ve been following my sewing projects for any length of time, you will know that a finished project in that short amount of time is pretty amazing since all of my sewing projects take me forever to complete.
After I finished sewing the segment pieces together, I laid the hat out flat, and even though it wasn’t pressed yet, I could tell that it was going to be too small. Because I was afraid of the hatband also being too small which would result in the hat sitting on the top of my head like a pancake (strangely enough…not the look I was going for), I measured my head and then cut my hatband out at that measurement + seam allowance, sewed the hatband together at the sides, and tried it on to make sure it fit. Because there is a 5/8″ (1cm) seam allowance included in her pattern, I simply resewed the segment piece seams at 3/8″ and then tapered the seams towards the bottom to fit the circumference of the hatband. Once I had resewed the seams it was a simple matter of attaching it to the hatband, adding a covered button and then I was done. Tanith does mention in her pattern that any seam or cutting discrepancies can drastically change the size of the hat- just 1mm in cutting error will result in a 1.6 cm difference once the pieces are sewn up. My hat might have also turned out too small because of printing error- I did print it at 100%, but there could have been a problem there too. Either reason, it doesn’t really matter in the end because she, fortunately, included wide enough seam allowances for me to make the necessary adjustments with no problems! I would recommend if you sew this pattern, just measure the pieces before you cut them out to make sure the sizes are all right.
So, what was my opinion of Tanith’s pattern? I really like how this hat turned out, and am thrilled to now have a matching cape and hat set. I am already contemplating future versions too; velvet would be nice, and perhaps some more outerwear and hat sets, because you can’t get more vintage than that, right?
As for this outfit, which I wore on Sunday, I paired the hat and cape with a fur collar, black tights and shoes, and my kraken necklace, which I thought deserved an outing. Peeking out from under my cape is the Vogue 8789 dress which I seem to be wearing on repeat lately. I tried the outfit with a black purse, but it was just too much black, so I ended up choosing this silly plastic covered feather clutch which I rarely ever carry, because it’s too small to hold anything other than my phone and a lipstick! But, it was a perfect finishing touch, and I always love wearing ridiculous vintage pieces, if I can 😉
All in all, I am very happy, both with this pattern, and how this outfit turned out- despite the freezing cold these photos were taken in. (The sunshine is deceptive) I was tempted to do an indoor photoshoot, but decided that a cape and hat set needed to be set against a winter background, so my sister and I braved the weather just long enough to quickly snap these and then run back inside to sit by the fire and warm up with a hot cup of tea!
Have you ever sewed a hat before or would you? Have you seen or tried out the Grevillea Beret pattern yet? Would you make a matching outwear and hat set? And- is it starting to feel like Spring where you live, or are you still in the depths of Winter too!?!
(Ps- I was wondering why the pattern was called the “Grevillea Beret” so I Googled it, of course, and discovered that a Grevillea is a type of Australian flower. I wondered whether the hat looked like the flower. . . but then I looked at the image search here and it does not look anything like it! Although- a Grevillea inspired hat would be most interesting, don’t you think? 😉 haha!)
You can get a copy of Tanith’s pattern here.
*I was provided this beret pattern free of charge in return for being a pattern tester.