This is actually a birthday present for someone inconsiderate enough (joking) to have a birthday in December…
As I said before, friends and family need to look away now.
The intended recipient of this gift is grown up, male and still slightly obsessed with cricket-both playing (despite being old enough to know better..) and watching.
I saw this fleece American football hat,
from Make It and Love It, on Pinterest while searching for ideas for presents, and it gave me the idea to try and make a cricket ball hat.
I followed the basics of the tutorial on the site, and then kind of made up my own embellishments.
On the slim off chance that anyone out there also has a cricket mad person they need a homemade present for, here is what to do…
You will need:
- Red fleece (I already had some in my fairly comprehensive fabric stash, it is lovely soft organic fleece that I ordered ages ago thinking I was going to try and make some organic baby blankets, and then never got round to. I think I got it online from Organic Cotton, a UK company, and it is just the ticket for this. Having said all that, you could always try and find a reddish fleece jumper in a charity shop, and use that.)
- Pen-ideally a fabric one, but a marker will do the job just as well!
- Matching thread
- Thin elastic
- White thread
- Large embroidery type needle
- Sewing machine
This is what you do:
- Ideally, you should measure the circumference of the intended hat wearer’s head. Understandably, this may make them a little suspicious if you are trying to do this as a surprise, so I went with using one of my hats as a basis and adding a bit for seam allowances.
IMPORTANT POINTS TO NOTE!
-make sure you have your fleece lined up correctly-it will be more stretchy in one direction than the other, to make sure the stretchiest way is going from side to side of your hat, to make sure it will stretch over a reasonable sized head
-if like me you are drawing around a knitted type woolly hat, bear in mind that this will be much stretchier than fleece, so add a LOT extra
-also bear in mind that you want your hat to look round, so try and make your shapes as near to semi-circles as possible
(oh, the wisdom of hindsight. As you will see, I had to make this hat twice, so I am trying to share with you my mistakes!)
- Fold your material in half, right sides together, and basically draw a semi-circle of the right size-leaving about 2cm all the way around for seam allowances.
- Cut out your shape, and because you folded your fabric in half, you should have two semi-circles of the same size (genius, right?!)
- Then pin the 2 semi-circles, right sides together
and sew around the circular edge bit (obviously leaving the bottom straight bit open, to place head in..). USE A ZIG ZAG STITCH (or a stretch stitch if you have a fancy pants sewing machine). This will allow the stitches to stretch with the fleece, which is quite important.
- Turn it the right way around, and if you cut your semi-circles better than me, you should have a hat in the shape of a semi-sphere (is that even a shape?)-hurrah!
- Turn up about 1-2cm along the bottom edge, to the wrong side to create a hem. I only did a single hem
because I am lazybecause the fleece cuts without any fraying and looks quite neat, so I wasn’t too worried, pin, press if you feel the need, and then sew around, again with a zig-zag stitch. When pinning, try and make sure that you pin the side seams open
- Then, you are ready to embellish to make it look like a cricket ball! This is what we are aiming for (I had to google it….)
- Re-load your thread with white, (I know this is annoying, I hate re-threading my machine, like I said, lazy..), and sew a straight stitch (use a long stitch length) about a presser foot’s width from the bottom of the hem. This makes the line nearest the middle of the ball. If you have thick white thread, then use it. I didn’t, so it is a bit lost, but I hope the overall effect is there!
- Then, you need to do a bit of hand sewing….On my 1st attempt, I used wool. I thought this was inspired as it looked very like the picture, but it was in fact, stupid. The wool wouldn’t stretch, so after I had painstakingly sewn TWICE around my hat, I went to try it on and the bl**dy thing wouldn’t fit. Curses! SO, on the second attempt, I used thin elastic, a bit thicker than shirring elastic, about 1mm thick I guess.
- First of all though, I pinned my measuring tape around my hat to give myself a straight line to sew to (you can omit this step if you are more confident than me in your abilities to sew a straight line…)
- You need to do this twice, so that you end with 2 parallel lines, about 0.5-1cm apart.
- Nearly there now…Then I turned the hat inside out and just snipped out a few triangles from the seam (being careful to avoid the stitches-that really would be annoying…) to make sure it made a smoothish curve when I turned it out again
- Turn it the right way around again, and ta-da! One hat, that looks vaguely like half a cricket ball. It does, doesn’t it? Please tell me it does…