My youngest daughter’s old winter hat no longer fits. When I told her, her first response was that I could make her a new one. I googled free hat patterns, showed her a picture of the Wholecloth patterns Blizzard Bonnet and off we went.
Underlining the main fabric
My daughter’s main wish about this new hat was that it had to be blue. I had a remnant of dark blue polar fleece for the lining that was immediately approved. For the main fabric a woven fabric is recommended. All of my suitable woven fabrics were dismissed as non-blue or ugly… She liked the light blue origami crane fabric that I previously used for one of my own t-shirts, though. Since this is a knit fabric, I underlined it with an old bedsheet. Underlining a knit fabric with something woven basically gives it similar properties as a woven fabric. To do this you simply cut another pattern piece from the woven fabric and sew the two pieces together within the seam allowance. Afterwards you can just treat it as a single pattern piece. I sewed the hat with a stretch needle, but used a standard straight-line stitch since the bed sheet prevents the knit fabric from stretching out.
Attaching the binding
In the pattern the edges of the Blizzard Bonnet are bound with bias tape but I used a knit binding. I think a knit binding is softer and works better with the other fabrics in the hat. I tried to seduce my daughter away from all blue by giving her a red, pink and blue option for the binding, but she stuck with all blue. (So, why are is there also pink binding in the pictures you ask? I’ll get to that later.) For topstitching I used my stitch in the ditch foot with the needle positioned a bit more to the right. This makes it much easier to get an even line of stitching next to the edge of the binding.
In the pattern the bias binding of the front is extended into strings so you can tie the hat under the chin. This is not ideal with a stretchy knit binding. I also don’t really like strings for young children because it can be a hassle to tie and untie. I, therefore, opted for a Velcro strap. On the left side I put a small piece of the Velcro hook side. For the other side I made a sort of tab from the lining, bedsheet and binding fabric with a longer strip of the Velcro loop side (the soft part) stitched to the lining. This tab was left open on one side and I just folded the edges to the inside and shoved it over the point of the hat and stitched it in place. The hat is now really quick to close and my daughter can easily take it off herself. My daughter’s comment when she noticed the Velcro? Why is this not blue?
My daughter absolutely loves her (almost) all blue Blizzard Bonnet and immediately proceeded to wear it, even though it’s not really winter hat weather yet.
A second Blizzard Bonnet
My oldest daughter already proclaimed that she also wanted a new hat when we picked fabrics for her sister’s hat. She actually wanted exactly the same fabrics. When I finished the first hat, she had not changed her mind. I shared my concern that it would not be very practical when they both had exactly the same hat. Luckily, she agreed and we compromised on her hat getting a pink binding. I think the contrast of the pink binding against the blue fabric looks absolutely brilliant.
And so we ended up with a pair of nearly identical Blizzard Bonnets to keep two sets of ears warm this winter. For the 3-year old I made the S/M child size, for the 5-year old I made the M/L child size, which is the largest size in the pattern. Both are roomy enough that they may still fit next year.