How to measure and make a hat that fits perfectly

Whether you’re making a hat for yourself, a loved one, a friend or a stranger, one of the best ways to make sure they love it is to make sure it’s a perfect fit. Personal preference is one of the biggest considerations between different hat designs with some people preferring their hats to sit higher on their head compared with others. A well-fitted hat should stay on your head when you bend down, but should not be so tight that it leaves a red mark on your forehead. So with that in mind let’s take a look at how to measure for a hat and also make sure that it is the perfect fit.

Measure your head

As you might have guessed, the first thing you’ll want to do is measure the head of the person who you are making your hat for. The circumference of the head is the most important measurement and needs to be taken from the middle of the forehead, just above your ears and then midway at the back of the head. Make sure the tape is level around the head and measure three times to get an accurate measurement.

Crown size

A hat’s crown is the bit that sits on top of your head and this needs to be wide enough for your head. When blocking or making your crown you should add half an inch to the head measurement to make sure that there is enough room for the inner headband to cover the seams of the brim.

Sideband

Depending on the type and style of hat you are making you may want to add a sideband which will control where your hat will sit on the head. The height of the sideband will affect where the hat sits on your head with slimmer bands sitting lower on the head then deeper bands. Remember to test with different width sidebands to see which produces the desired effect.

Brim

For most types of hats the brim will be attached to the bottom of the crown and a top stitch should be used to join the brim and the bottom of the sideband together, ensuring a perfect fit. Once the brim has been attached you can move to the finishing touches of the hat.

Lining

As well as adding extra strength, warmth and comfort, lining a hat help to hide all the unsightly joins between the brim and the crown. The easiest way to line a hat is to use a rectangular piece of lining fabric and line the inside of the crown leaving the top unlined. This has the added benefit of letting the hat breathe.

Sweatband

The final stage to complete your hat is to fit a sweatband on the inside, this will help to prolong the life and make the hat comfortable to wear. If at this point the hat is slightly too large for the wearer; then you can use hat sizing tape to help adjust the size and improve the fit.

Simple steps to finish your clothes like a professional

When making your own clothes do you struggle to make them look professional? In this article, we’ll take a look at some simple steps to help make your finished clothes look more professional and give them that high-street finish. So if you want to create boutique worthy creations that are unique follow our top tips below.

Pick the right pattern

One of the best ways to get a professional finish is to ensure you choose a pattern that will flatter your shape. You’re the best person to know which styles and cuts work well on your body so use this knowledge to pick patterns that match these. Don’t let the images of models sway you into buying a style or shape that you don’t normally wear.

When looking for patterns make sure to check the recommended fabrics to get an idea of which fabrics will be suitable for making the end garment. Also if you are thinking of using a patterned fabric take the time to work out how difficult it will be to match the fabric once you start cutting out the pattern.

Wash your fabric before cutting

There’s nothing worse than spending hours creating the perfect garment only to have it ruined in the first wash. By washing the fabric first you’ll be able to see if there is any change in the feel or drape of the fabric, any colour change or if there is any shrinkage.

Iron frequently

When creating your project you’ll want to keep ironing during creation to help create a professional finish. For example, iron seams closed before ironing them open for a sharper finish. Use an ironing ham or oven gloves to hold fabric in place while ironing and prevent burnt fingers.

Select the right needle

When starting a new project we’d recommend changing to a new needle where possible for the best results. Dull or blunt needles can cause snagging, missed stitches and cause the needle to snap. Remember to always choose the most suitable needle for the fabric you will be using.

Sharp point needles – These are a great choice for woven fabrics such as cotton or linen as the slim needles have a sharp point that creates a nice even stitch with very little puckering.

Ball point needles – For sewing jersey or stretch fabrics ball point needles are the perfect choice as the rounded needle can slip between threads of the fabric without snagging it.

Universal point needles – The go-to choice for a lot of projects, universal point needles are a little bit wider than standard sharp point needles and have a slightly rounded point and can be used for both jersey and woven fabrics.

Hang before hemming

It’s important to let your fabric hang before hemming in order to let the fabric settle and drop. This is best done by leaving your garment on a dressmaker’s dummy or a padded hanger for 24 hours or longer. Once the fabric has settled you can finish your hems and be sure that you won’t be left with a wavy hem.

Don’t rush things

It can be tempting to stay up late to finish your garment but if you’re tired or trying to rush then chances are the end result won’t be as good as it could be. Sewing should always be pleasurable and the best results are always achieved when you have plenty of time to enjoy it.

5 tips for picking the perfect mother of the bride hat

For any mum, the wedding of a daughter is one of the happiest days of their life. Watching as your child says their vows and gets ready to enjoy the rest of their life with the man of their dreams. But there are a couple of things that can fill the mother of the bride with dread and these are finding the right outfit and hat combination. In this article, we’ll give you some tips to help making or picking the right hat as simple as saying “I do”.

Colours and patterns

It may be tempting to choose a hat, outfit, shoes and bag that are all colour matched but this look can be too much and cause your outfit to become bland. Instead, why not pick an accent colour from your dress and style your hat to match this instead of the main outfit colour. Bold hat colours tend to work well when contrasted with neutral dress colours and also mean you have more freedom for matching accessories.

If you’ve chosen a statement dress then you should go for a plain hat, while statement hats should be paired with plain dresses. Another thing to check is that your hat works with your skin tone and hair colour, after all, you don’t want to clash.

Hat styles

There are so many different hats and fascinators available that the choice can often be overwhelming. While there are plenty of guides that tell you certain styles and shapes are suited to different face types, you should never discount a hat before you’ve tried it on. Nothing beats trying on plenty of different styles to see which ones you like so head to a decent millinery shop to start having fun.

Think of the photos

As the mother of the bride, you will be in plenty of the wedding photos and will also be meeting and greeting all of the wedding guests. With this in mind, you should pick a hat that doesn’t hide your facial features or cast shadows across your face.

Consider the venue

If the wedding is going to be outside on a beach then you may want to stay clear of hats that will easily be blown away. Practicalities are important, as you’ll be wearing your hat all day so it needs to be comfortable, well-fitted and light to wear.

Finally – find something that you like

Stick to your own style when it comes time to pick a hat for a wedding. Just because you have seen other hats worn by friends and other mums doesn’t mean that they are right for you. Stick to what you know and love for your outfit and choose a hat that you are comfortable with and that you like. And remember all eyes will be on your daughter so you are free to have fun and enjoy the day while looking your fabulous best.

Picking the perfect headwear for your day at the races

From the Grand National to the Epsom Derby and Royal Ascot, race season is about to begin in earnest so it’s time to start planning your race day attire. For ladies, this is your chance to style up your best outfit and get creative with your choice of hat. In this blog, we’ll give you some tips for picking or creating the perfect headwear for your day at the races.

Outfit choice

At most races there is a dress code to follow with smart and stylish being the order of choice, events such as Royal Ascot take it a step further so it is always worth checking out the dress code to make sure your outfit choice matches up. The races are an exciting day out so our advice would be to dress to impress.

Face Shape

Just like different dress cuts suit different body shapes, different hat styles will work best with certain face shapes. Oval face shapes can get away with almost any style or shape of hat but if choosing a large brimmed hat this should be tilted back slightly so it frames your face. Square face shapes can use feathers, veiling and rounded shaped hats to help soften your features.

Asymmetrical shapes and brims tend to suit all face types and are a very flattering choice. Those with long faces should consider a side beret, fascinator or headpiece that can be worn to the side. For those who wear glasses, an upturned brim style won’t get in the way.

(Epsom Derby 2017)

Hairstyle and placement

One of the best ways to sport a hat is with your hair up as this will help accentuate the femininity of the wearer’s neck. Small headpieces should rest above the eyebrow rather than being balanced on the top of your head. Brims should rest at least a thumbs width above your eyebrow.

How it fits

You may have found the hat of your dreams but if it doesn’t fit properly then you will end up being uncomfortable and will likely end up hating it. Whether you are buying a hat off the shelf, having one made for you or are making it yourself, make sure that you get the fit right. After all, you’ll be wearing your hat for hours on the day of the races and you don’t want to be fiddling and fidgeting with it all day.

Colour

Bright colours will help you stand out and get attention and make sure your hat is the centre of attention. Choose a bright colour to stand out against darker tones of your outfit for a winning combination that will help you look the part. Patterns offer another way to add some brightness and colour to your dress and headwear. Botanical leafy patterns and flower prints are both popular choices at the races.

Be unique

Just like your outfit choice you’ll want your hat or fascinator to be unique. Taking the time to make your own fascinator or hat will ensure that you create something that is completely unique, helping you to stand out from the crowd. There’s nothing worse than turning up to the races and seeing lots of other women wearing the exact same dress and hat. So make sure yours is unique.

What you need to know about the Royal Wedding

Royal Wedding 2018 - Engagement

On the 19th of May, the whole world and the media will be watching Windsor Castle as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tie the knot. The happy couple have already promised a day that is focused on fun, joy and the chance to celebrate with the public and we expect that their wedding will reflect the characters of the bride and groom. But what styles will be a fashion hit for this special occasion?

The wedding dress

As you’d expect the details of the dress are being kept a closely guarded secret. Some of the designers that seem to be in contention for the commission include Erdem, Antonio Berardi, Marchesa, Misha Nonoo while the firm favourite at the moment appears to be the Australian couple Ralph & Russo who designed Markle’s engagement gown. Whether Miss Markle decides to go for something traditional or brave and daring remains to be seen and is already causing lots of excited discussion.

Past Royal Weddings

Past Royal weddings (Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales and Princess Diana, Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge)

The flowers

London florist Philippa Craddock has been chosen to design the wedding flowers which will follow a natural wildflower theme. Flowers will be locally sourced from the gardens of the Crown Estate and Windsor Great Park. Peonies will be incorporated into the arrangements as they are Miss Markle’s favourite flower. Pollinator-friendly plants will be chosen as well as flowers that are naturally blooming in May.

The cake

Pastry chef Claire Ptak who is the owner of a London-based bakery Violet Cakes has been chosen to create a lemon elderflower cake that will incorporate the bright colours of spring and it will be covered in buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers. The cake is a break from the traditional fruit cake and is just one of the ways that the couple are adding their own unique touch to their wedding.

Royal titles

Tradition dictates that male members of the Royal family receive a title from the monarch on their wedding day and the vacant title of Duke of Sussex is the most likely choice for Prince Harry. Miss Markle will also become an HRH and a senior royal and will likely become The Duchess of Sussex.

Hats

With the ladies dress code making hats compulsory, there will be plenty of wonderful outfit and hat combinations on show at the Royal Wedding. Expect the works of top milliners such as Rachel Trevor-Morgan, milliner to the Queen, Beverley Edmonson, Laura Apsit Livens and Noel Stewart to feature prominently with the Royal family and guests alike.

royal wedding hats

Some of the hats worn at the last major Royal wedding in 2011

So what styles of hat are likely to be popular? With peonies likely to feature heavily in the wedding flowers on the day and plenty of other spring flowers decorating the venue, you can expect floral detailing to be a popular.

Pillbox hats provide the perfect base for plenty of decorative flourishes. The classic side sweep hat may also prove to be a popular choice with attendants at the Royal Wedding. With plenty of uniforms on display, we’re also likely to see plenty of hats chosen to match the outfits of partners.