Another short and sweet post about an age-old make (maybe a couple of years old now).
I wanted to make a men’s flatcap as H was in the market for one. I liked the idea of combining this with patchwork as there had been a few tweed ensembles around town for the discerning hipster.
My basis was the V8869 pattern, version B. As H’s head is huge (as in, so huge that the last time I got him a hat it took about six stores to find the right size), I opted for the largest size possible with the pattern. Of course I was stupid and didn’t mock one up in a muslin using his actual head first.
The pattern was not the easiest to follow. It did the classic thing of ‘Step 1: Cut out, Step 2: Thread Needle, Step 3: tadda finished flat cap. Essentially, the tricky bits with fitting the brim, neatening the edges of the seams and tucking away the lining when the cap is worn to stop it showing beyond the head band line were all slightly glossed over leaving me having to improvise.
At the time I made this, there were also no good youtube or blog tutorials to turn to for guidance.
Anyway, the best part of this make was the fabric. I wanted patchwork and a lot of it, I wanted expensive looking, sturdy tweeds and suedes. So I was a bit naughty and went to the John Lewis upholstery section where lo and behold, row upon row of sumptuous fabrics lay in wait. And then, unwilling to pay the astronomical prices and knowing I was only going to need scraps, I ordered a whole load of free swatches.
Turns out this was a perfect strategy. They all arived neatly in the post, about 15 by 10 cm, making for one or two patches of each. I also had some of the gorgrous MacCulloch & Wallace flecked blue tweed left over from the V8615 dress I had made a while before. I went for various colours, blues, browns and reds and in the end went with a blue and brown combination.
I was pretty proud of the result, although the inside doesn’t hold up to much scrutiny. See the lining polking out at the bottom there?
Confession, in the form of the inside finishing:
There was, however, a bigger problem. It comes up so small that it barely fits me, with the head of a pea, never mind the XXL I was going for! With the sturdy peaked brim and nearly no give, plus the seam allowances being swallowed and the stiff nature of the fabric, it comes up incredibly small.
It is also slightly uncomfortable to wear as done; it sort of sits on top of my head rather than actually being on it, meaning that a good gust of wind and this guy’s a gonner. Hat pin required which is never good (when do farmers ever have hat pins?).