I’m normally very alert to Mark’s requests but I completely dropped the ball on all his hints about me making him a hat – he claims for years! When I did finally get his request into my frontal lobe, we had a chat about what he wanted and the list was comprehensive!
- Must pack completely flat
- Wide brim
- Must not blow off his head
- Soft inside
- Really comfortable
- Look presentable enough to wear out and about, but be suitable for gardening and other outdoor activities
I did my usual thing of thinking I’d have to draft something as I’ve seen hats for men here and there and none of them met all the criteria. I measured his head and began thinking about possible designs when I happened to find the Angel Lea Escape Hat which ticked all the boxes with the added benefit of being reversible. I immediately bought the pattern even though I have sworn off buying new patterns – so that didn’t last long!
I used fabric from my stash for the first one, both linens, one plain and the other one is tie dyed, but not by me. Mark loved both fabrics but I note that he always has the tie dyed side showing.
I had to make it quite tight so that it wouldn’t blow off his head in fairly strong winds. It was a compromise between firmness and comfort.
This hat never seemed to leave his head and he was so pleased with it that I felt he needed a second one. This time I bought the linen from Potters, and chose blue and grey.
He doesn’t shave much now that he’s retired, so apologies for the wild man look!
We were out and about on a walk when it began to sprinkle with rain and Mark commented how nice it was to wear a brimmed hat as it stopped the rain running down the back of his neck. This throwaway comment got me thinking and I did a little stash dive when I got home and found some fabric left over from my raincoat which I bought at Misan Fabrics in London. I found some herringbone wool for the lining. The first two hats were a doddle to make so I didn’t check the fit on the third one, and so, Murphy’s Law, it was too tight! I pulled the entire thing apart, removed the inner band and trimmed some of the interfacing away, and it now fits like a dream. I wanted a contrast band on the waterproof fabric, so found some leather which just sets it off perfectly. We even had a tiny bit of rain so I could get photographs of him wearing it.
I felt that a closeup view of the three hats might be useful. I didn’t topstitch the brim of the waterproof one because I didn’t want to make holes which might leak.
Although all the hats are reversible, Mark doesn’t reverse them, so here are the insides.
I consider these hats a complete success – Mark is really happy to have not one, but three new hats and I have earned some serious brownie points for making them. Win, win!