Thursday, November 14, 2013

Guest Post From HATalk e-magazine

When Ann Morse-Brown, founder of HATalke-magazine, offered to help out by sewing the bridesmaids' dresses for her niece's wedding, little did she know that a new hat would be one of the results! The dresses were made from polyester under-fabric with a gauzy organza-type fabric as the upper layer, both in a beautiful deep purple.

When the dresses were finished with just small pieces of fabric left over, Ann began to consider what she would wear for the occasion. She had a purple jacket, so a hat to match would be just the thing! There wasn't much time and there was only a small piece of sinamay left, which might be just enough to provide a base on which to show off some of the fabric pieces. Ann decided to use her new embellisher machine to create a focus for her hat. This is how it all came together...

1. Instead of blocking the sinamay, Ann decided to work with the semicircular shape of her two pieces of pre-stiffened sinamay and fused the together with a steam iron.

2. She cut some polyester left-over fabric into bias strips, joining pieces where necessary to make a long strip. 

3. A bias tape maker was used to create a bias binding

4. Ann then applied to the curved edge of the sinamay, using her sewing machine's hemming stitch to sew it neatly in place.

5. Ann folded the semicircle in half and then folded each corner up at an angle, to the level of the original fold. 

6. She cut off the corner which projected between the folds.

7. She then let go of one side of the piece and used another short length of bias tape created earlier to bind the remaining cut sides together. 

8. She repeated this with the second set of cut sides, forming the shape shown here. 

9. Now for the organza-like fabric. Ann cut a semi-circle of the fabric, similar in size to the sinamay pieces. The fabric piece is shown here, folded. 

10. Using the embellisher was fun! Ann first folded the edge of the curved sides under and stitched through both layers all round. This had the effect of fusing the two layers, forming a loosely held hem. She then guided the fabric under the needles, stitching in a spiral round the piece.

11. The fabric then looked quite different - almost lacy in appearance! Ann folded the un-hemmed straight side of the piece in her fingers and inserted it between the bound, angled ends of the sinamay base. 

12. She then stitched it in place with the sewing machine so the embellished fabric would drape attractively over the back of the hat. To enhance the look of the hat, Ann added some large mother-of-pearl sequins along the front edge of the hat. To hold her creation in place, she attached it to a narrow plastic hair band. Here you see Ann wearing her hat at the wedding. It proved very comfortable and attracted lots of interest! 

This article was originally published in Issue 33 of HATalk e-magazine. To get more great hat making ideas and tutorials, subscribe to HATalk today for at the special discounted Red Hat Society price of just $19.95 a year! Go to to find out more!

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